Monday, January 23, 2012

Tales of Woe on The Ride

I took The Ride home from work today. John was my driver. I know this because he said, "Hi! My name is John." But when I returned the favor and began to introduce myself, he interrupted me and said, "Yes, I know. It's on my clipboard."


Before the introductions, though, there was the actual arrival of The Ride vehicle. I was thrilled when John pulled up in a sedan instead of the short bus. I despise the back-up (BEEP, BEEP, BEEP!) signal. Because I was outside waiting, I walked right up to the car and opened the passenger door.  John scrambled to get out of the driver's seat and quickly came around to assist me into the vehicle as he yelled, "Wait right there!"

I assured him that I was fine, that I just had low vision, and that I didn't need any help buckling in, but still, John reached in and fought me for the seat belt. It probably will come as no surprise that I won.

While we were pulling out of my office park, John began to complain about how the GPS told him the wrong way to go to my office. I made commiserating noises ("Oh, I know, it's terrible...") and told him that's why I tell the dispatcher the correct way to go every time I call and that I was sorry that that information wasn't passed along to him.

"It was," John said sharply.


"But now I have to find Aboretum Drive," he grumbled. "And they only gave me 5 minutes to get there and it's supposed to be my lunch break."

I made more sympathetic statements:  "Oh. That's terrible. I hope you get a chance to eat soon...."

John then asked me if I was coming home from work. When I started to answer him, the dispatcher called on the radio. "Shh!!!!!" John said, as if I was talking out of the blue while he was on the phone with the President of the United States.


When he finished his conversation with the dispatcher, he seemed to forget that he had asked me a question for which he had not yet received an answer. I decided it was best to let it pass. During the drive to pick up the second passenger, John told me many things that he did not like about his job including the demands of the reservationists and dispatchers; the rudeness of some of the passengers; poor road conditions; the camera that watched his every move; and the accidents. The last one scared me a little but I just listened and made what I hope were sympathetic noises ("Mmmmm. Really?").

We pulled up to the second passenger's house 13 minutes later. I know exactly how long it took since John announced it when we arrived:  "That took 13 minutes and they wanted me to do it in 5!"

I told John that I would be happy to get in the backseat if the person was elderly or had difficulty getting in or out of the car.  He cut me off with "No need" and went around to let her in the backseat on my side.

"Can you push the seat up?" he yelled, as if I was purposefully reclining while a 6-foot tall person with two canes was trying to get in behind me.  Marilyn was probably 5' 5" and had no assistive devices of any kind.


Thank goodness, my fellow passenger was much more successful at commiserating with John. Actually, John and Marilyn sort of one-upped each other during the trip to my house with all the terrible things about The Ride. I tried to chime in once with my story about Mr. Jones but they didn't seem interested so I shut right up. Apparently, my true Pollyanna nature shined through and I wasn't fooling anybody with my attempts at grumbling.

I made it home, safe and sound and grateful to be me. Just for today, the glass is half full.


  1. Wow I've heard "great" things about The Ride. haha! So sorry you have to deal w/ that and I think your driver needs a lesson in professionalism! Ugh!!

  2. This is a captivating story about "The Ride"....glad you made it home

  3. Don't get me wrong--I appreciate that I qualify for The Ride and that it allows me to go places on my own. I know my experience today was just a reminder for me to stay grateful lest I become like John and Marilyn. :-)

  4. LOL - this sounded like a SNL skit. I guess. I don't actually watch SNL.