Sunday, October 02, 2011

BUS STORY # 256 (Polite)

Bus Etiquette by Mr Hyde
Bus Etiquette, a photo by Mr Hyde on Flickr.

Bus etiquette poster on London buses featuring five ways riders can be polite written on their shirts. From left to right:
“I’ll offer that person my seat.”
“I’ll keep my temper down.”
“I won’t drop litter.”
“I won’t play my music out loud.”
And my favorite:
“And I’ll remember what it was like being 14.”

The ride home is crowded this afternoon. We stop, and one of the boarders is an older guy. He reminds me of one of my brothers-in-law except for the short haircut. He’s wearing jeans and an old-fashioned football jacket without a letter.

He moves down the aisle and stands by the rear door.

The three-seater bench facing the back door is occupied by two women, a purse, and a backpack. One of the women grabs the stuff off the seat, moves the backpack down by her feet, and asks the man if he’d like to sit.

He tells her he’s fine, he doesn’t have far to go.

A few stops later, the woman gets up to exit. The man turns to address her, looks her directly in the eye, and says in a warm and gentle voice, “Thank you for offering me a seat.”

After she exits, he takes her seat.

A little while later, he gets back up and stands by the rear door. Then he reaches up for the cord, but there is no cord over the door. He looks around. One of the guys on the platform tells him he’ll get it for him and pulls the cord.

Before the man exits, he turns to face the rider on the platform and, looking him straight in the eye, says in that same voice, “Thank you for pulling that cord for me.”

He steps out onto the sidewalk, then breaks into a trot toward the front of the bus. He stops by the still-open front door. I can see him lean his head in toward the opening. I don’t hear everything, but I do hear “Thank you.”

The photo at the top of this story is titled “Bus Etiquette” and is posted with the kind permission of Mr Hyde. You can see this and all Mr Hyde’s photos on Flickr at:


Anonymous Brenda said...

I bet he has a happy life. A little gratitude goes a long way towards our own attitudes.

8:10 PM  
Anonymous Ibrahim said...

Perfect manners is an art form that can surely need reviving in our ultra busy life times. We move so fast - we dont acknowledge each other at all.

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Touching, lovely reminder of the grace of language and heart - beautifully written. Thank you!

8:52 PM  

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