March 16th, 2010


Tuesday Evening 1700

I have a doctor's appointment to go to in a little while and I have to decide whether to try to walk or take the bus. If I walk I will arrive sweaty but this doc rarely asks me to remove any clothing and besides one usually has to wait a while so the sweat would probably dry anyway. The real question is whether to arrive with my back screaming in pain. It might be good to pull into the garage with the car making all those funny noises, but it can still be nerve wracking to drive that way, you know? If it hurts when I stand for more than ten minutes, it hurts when I stand for more than ten minutes, and the clinic is more than ten minutes away on foot.

The other choice is one of two buses. I absolutely despise the buses here. I actually am not that het up over the fact that the drivers are well-paid: they should be. They are on the front lines dealing with the dangerously unpredictable clientele and are charged with delivering them safely and in a timely fashion while negotiating San Francisco traffic in vehicles that are only barely maintained. I would kill myself after five minutes doing what they do. Management, I'm not so sure about. Maintenance is obviously in the toilet. Those areas need some work, as do Dispatch and whoever is in charge of the general procedures are for keeping buses running on time. Contrary to public perception, that is the job for people in dispatching. Drivers cannot do much about traffic or buses that break down. And yeah, I think it is ok if a driver stops and runs into McD's to take a piss or Starbucks to get a cup of coffee. You ever do a job where you are strapped to your seat the whole time?


I hate them though because they are crowded, dirty, messy, smelly, loud, and slow, although my particular journey this evening is usually negotiable in a reasonable amount of time, as traffic doesn't get bad until right about where I get off the bus. That leaves crowded, dirty, messy, smelly, and loud. This is mainly the fault of the riders and Maintenance. Although there is some anthropological interest in riding in the back--always ride in the back: it's more interesting and somewhat dangerous so gives you a thrill ride--it does not outweigh all the negatives most of the time.

But it would shorten my time standing and thus decrease the amount of pain I'd be in and how sweaty I was on arrival. I'm already planning on walking home so I will get some exercise. By that time my back will have loosened up and probably be ok. I know I could stretch but I think it would take about 30 minutes of stretching to do any good. Ten minutes doesn't help, in any case.

OK I have about ten minutes to make up my mind. Must find relatively clean clothing..