Complaint Desk: Is it something I said?

20 Feb

Are you mad at me, Route 110 bus?

You said you’d be there at 6:00 Saturday evening. I left home at 5:50, with plenty of time to get to the place where we usually meet. I waited.

I counted the people sleeping in Mayor’s Park (three). I counted the Cheersport cheerleaders with tell-tale be-ribboned ponytails (nine). I stared at that ghastly Medical Arts building. Fifteen minutes passed.

I read part of a book. I made a phone call. Ten more minutes passed. One of the people sleeping in the park finished his nap, packed up his things and left. The other person who was waiting for you got disgusted and left. Then you passed by going toward downtown, with another 110 bus right behind you.

Another ten minutes passed. Finally you arrived, 35 minutes late. As you got close to where I was standing, you slowed down as if to stop, then sped up again and drove away as if you hadn’t seen me there at all. I just stood and watched as you cruised away toward Midtown.

So I walked to Civic Center Station to catch a train to Arts Center, hoping to catch up with you there. While I was waiting, I called MARTA’s customer service number to ask if they knew what was going on with you. They were closed, of course.

I waited at Arts Center, knowing you’d eventually come by. I hadn’t quite decided whether to ask why you hadn’t stopped earlier or why you’d been so late. I can’t remember what I decided because, again, you just blew by, this time without even slowing down. I’m sure I didn’t imagine it. Several other people, who also were waiting for you, saw the whole thing. By then it was 7:15.

By this time I’d already called twice to reschedule the appointment you’d said you’d take me to. I didn’t want to call again, but I was starting to doubt that you’d behave any differently if I waited for you for another 20 minutes.

Finally I called Zipcar for a ride. l like Zipcar and all, but we don’t see that much of each other because he only wants to hang out when I have money. I waited until the last possible minute to call him, as I was still hoping you would show up in time to get me to Spa Sydell by 7:45. But at 7:30 there was still no sign of you. I left.

At 7:35, as I was walking over to Woodruff to meet Zipcar, I saw you pulling into Arts Center again. I was considering whether to call back and tell Zipcar that I wouldn’t need a ride after all when I watched you roll past the bus bay without even a glance at the 10 or 12 people still waiting for you. They watched you turn back onto 15th Street and climb the hill toward Peachtree, then they just looked at each other. If we’d been in a cartoon, question marks would have been floating over their heads.

I finally got to Spa Sydell at 7:50, two hours after I left home. I could have walked there in about half that time.

You’re usually quite reliable, Route 110 bus. What got into you yesterday?

Well, I say “yesterday,” but this isn’t the first time this has happened. This is at least the third episode of this kind of behavior in the last three months. We need to talk.

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