If you work in an office, you probably take for granted the little things. Standing up to walk to a coworker’s desk. Multiple runs to the coffee machine. Off-site meetings to stretch your legs. The ability to use headphones. Availing yourself of legal pot.
But being a transit operator affords you none of those things. Imagine sitting for 4-8 hours at a time. If you drive a bus or streetcar, your bathroom breaks depend on the whims of traffic. If you’re really late on one run, you may not get a break at all in order to keep your next run on time. Your daily work life consists of hundreds of micro interactions with strangers, asking random questions as you navigate a 40′ or 60′ machine through tight city streets. For many part-timers who work only the peak periods, think about it: you hate traffic, but traffic is what they do for a living.
The pay is decent and the benefits are top-notch, but the work is hard and often thankless. They work hard for you every day, and are far more often the object of scorn than praise, as angry people lash out at them as a captive outlet. Just about anything you’re tempted to be mad about on a bus ride isn’t their fault.
Today is Transit Driver Appreciation Day. As you board a bus today, give your driver a quick thank you for freeing you from having to drive yourself.