Has there ever been a career that requires so much patience? Being a city bus driver must be the most aggravating job in the history of the world. We all hate driving in rush hour in our fair city of Chicago. But imagine having to drive a monstrous vehicle on the bustling streets during rush hour, having to avoid getting in accidents with the worst drivers and pedestrians in the country, for a living. Not only do bus drivers have to put up against the infamous Chicago traffic and pedestrians, but the sometimes rude passengers that make any true Chicagoan feel embarrassed to hail from this city. In a sane world, CTA bus drivers would be paid more than the convicted athletes we for some reason patronize. I believe CTA drivers are the hardest working people in this city, and deserve all the appreciation and respect they deserve. After all, hard workers and nice people should be respected, and not ignored.
If you have ever driven the streets of Western, Cermak, Roosevelt, or any other busy street in Chicago, you know it is a royal pain. The cars are zipping over the speed limit, but the police are absent. The pedestrians ignore crosswalks, like they are nonexistent. But the CTA drivers, do they mind? They have to deal with these hassles because it is their duties. When the ignorant cars refuse to let a bus back in the lane because it had to drop off a faithful passenger, does the bus driver ever give the finger and put the pedal to the metal, risking the lives of his loyal passengers? No, the driver is patient and waits until a human soul lets him in. The CTA driver is the prime example of a patient and caring person. Perhaps, our driver on the 38, 12, 9, 60 etc. should be our youth’s heroes, not the athlete with several DUIs and enough traffic violations to make you wonder how you got to work safely this morning.
The best story of a bus driver’s patience was not caused by dangerous drivers or crazy street crossers, but a passenger who was homeless and lonesome. I was riding the 60 home from school, and as we approached Halsted a man paid his fare and stood next to the driver. The man was talking about his day and how beautiful the weather was for a November afternoon, but the woman did not ignore him. She simply engaged in conversation with the man. How many people have ignored this man in his life? How many people have not even remotely considered giving this man a second of their time? Yet this bus driver talked to the man until I got off the bus. She showed not only patience, but enough care to give somebody her city has shunned a voice. Would the big shot athlete take that time out of his day? That is why I believe we should appreciate and revere our city’s bus drivers.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.