Thursday, October 06, 2016
Muni Driver of The Month
Saturday afternoon on Folsom Street Fair weekend, there was an afternoon party at the DNA Lounge which was spilling out onto 11th Street at its conclusion.
People were calling up ride services…
…and jumping into SUVs while I waited for a 47 Van Ness Muni bus to take me home to Civic Center.
It immediately felt like the opening scene of the Woody Allen movie, Stardust Memories, where all the beautiful people are riding on an adjoining train while Allen is trapped in a railway car full of grotesque, crazy people.
With the assistance of the wheelchair lift, a lady boarded the bus with seemingly all her worldly belongings, and the bus driver lifted a section of seating out for her to park them.
Soon after she was joined by another woman hauling innumerable bags in a rolling cart, and the driver put up the other wheelchair space so she could leave her stuff without blocking the aisle.
When I started groaning with dismay as each character appeared and spread out, the lady above burst into sympathetic laughter.
At Market and Van Ness, the lady with the most belongings departed and was replaced by a man in a wheelchair, a process that took another ten minutes.
In the 1970s, there used to be an employee recognition award where bus drivers would be nominated by passengers as the Muni Man of the Month, and the winners would appear on posters in the buses following a celebratory lunch. The SFMTA should bring back the tradition, minus the sexist name, because Muni drivers have the most difficult jobs in San Francisco. On an hourly basis they have to contend with terrible car drivers, entitled bicyclists, suicidal pedestrians, and completely crazy passengers. My first nomination for Muni Driver of the Month would be the gentleman above who dealt with all the madness on Saturday’s 47 bus with firmness, kindness and superhuman patience. “You can’t leave all that in the aisle, maam. Here, let me put these seats up for you,” was how he dealt with the mayhem.