Monday, November 12, 2007

and delusional part 2 by jeff rose and al margul

I thought about calling dispatch and letting them know what happened- but
nothing happened. I really didn't do anything out of the ordinary- I didn't
brake really
hard coming into the stop- and she didn't fall down. The only thing that
happened was
she misinterpreted my smile (from having managed to make a transfer to the nine)
laughing at her for something I wasn't even aware of! BTW- can you just fill
out incident
reports.... and get paid for them?!! I'll fill one out everyday!! [laugh]

What would YOU do (referring to ALL of you!) in this situation?

Yesterday was yet another grand day on the 4. Early in the day (while I was
waiting to
relieve the bus, actually) I was talking to a Chinese man at 82nd and Division.
He told me
that on an earlier bus, he was talking to an older Chinese man who was with a
younger woman- no, he was talking to the woman who told him in Chinese that the
man was her "master" and she was his "servant"!!! Concubine??!! Human
slavery??!! I
thought it was wierd and that probably there was something lost in translation
along the
way. But who knows. Maybe Portland is a haven for human slave traders or

A bunch of other interesting stuff happened, and at one point I thought to
myself, If I
would just make a list of things that happen/are said on my bus- I could make a
ton of
money writing about it.

Later, a bunch of kids got on at Columbia Villa/ New Columbia heading outbound.
probably ranged from about 10- 18 years of age, but mostly younger. They
about a dozen and there were only a couple of other people on the bus. I hadn't
moved the bus an inch when I had to secure the bus and lecture them about
behavior on the bus. They quieted down until I went around the corner at McCoy
(about 2 blocks) and I had to stop the bus again. This went on for several
blocks and a
guy got on and immediately answered his cell phone- his girlfriend calling. The
kids are
at the back of the bus screaming, he's at the very front standing literally NEXT
to me with
his finger in one ear and the cell phone over the other and he CANNOT HEAR WHAT
GIRLFRIEND IS SAYING!!!! So I stop the bus, go back and tell the kids that this
HAS TO STOP. They say OK, I say I've given you 5 chances, you kids are going to
have to
talk to a supervisor. I RTT dispatch. And sit there.

These are young kids!! But this is eactly the kind of thing that we desperately
have to get
under control if we are going to serve this area safely. Kids have to learn
that when they
are on public transportation- they AREN'T on a playground. When kids misbehave,
ought to be taken off, taken back to their parents by the cops, and if they were
misbehaving in a serious enough way, I say their parents should be CITED!! Just
loitering, this bad behavior is ALWAYS the precurser to bad things. The
*really* bad thing
that happens around the system are just the end of a very recognizable continuum
events/situations. It goes something like this:

1. A big group of kids gets on the bus.

2. The big group of kids starts getting really, really loud."

3. They start moving around the bus, and doing things like opening windows and
outside, running up and down the aisle and cussing etc.

4. People on the bus start either telling them to shut up, or start looking

5. Somebody gets beaten, stabbed or otherwise assaulted.

Or something like that. There might be more elements to the process and the
might be different at times, but in any case- the problem NEEDS to be dealt with
at step
one and two (what ever those steps might be) and NOT at 5 at which point it's
too late.

I'm not saying that if we intervene in bad behavior early that nothing bad will
EVER happen
on the bus- but it would happen much less frequently and behavior on the MAX
improve somewhat too. But there needs to be a process. When I RTT'ed
dispatch, I
thought later, maybe I should simply had sent a police emergency. Getting the
involved might increase the chances that kids misbehaving on your bus are going
to have
their parents notified of their bad behavior, and while some (maybe even most)
might still
not do much to control their children, perhaps SOME good will come of it. The
kids that
finally just voluntarily left my bus probably aren't going to be THAT inclined
to behave
better for the next operator they ride with, unfortunately.

In any case, we desperately need a process to keep bad juvenile behavior in
check. I
would like to see a loitering outmessage, and maybe a policy regarding what to
do in
cases such as this- "use police emergency"!! If we don't have a game plan in
place that
will work, and result in the same kids behaving appropriately- we'll continue to
ourselves and our quieter passengers at risk.

Ha ha!

"What would YOU do (referring to ALL of you!) in this situation?"


"I could make a
ton of
money writing about it."

I dunno about a ton of money!?

"I say their parents should be CITED!"

I say that too, but guess what? WE DON'T MAKE THE LAWS!

"3. They start moving around the bus, and doing things like opening
windows and
outside, running up and down the aisle and cussing etc."

NERVOUS BREAKDOWN! Pull over, put the bus in the "park" mode so that
its shut down, leave the doors open, put your head on the steering
wheel and don't move for several minutes. Then stick your head up and
tell everyone your having a heart attack or nervous breakdown but you
would like to get to the end of the line first.


Ps: did you notice you have made the international google alert?!

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