Monday, 7 May 2012

Skipping the Queue


The title of this blog is Auld Reekie Rants. So, after my self-pitying post last week, it's high time I left off some steam with another inane rant.

Some of you may be aware that the Olympics will be held in London this summer. The build up has been a low key affair with scarcely a mention in the media...There's an old joke that says Britain would excel at certain events if they were made Olympic sports. Such as gossiping, not making a fuss if you're unhappy about your meal at a restaurant - and queueing...

Using public transport as I do, queueing for buses in Edinburgh has become more of a challenge in the last couple of years. One of the reasons for this is the advent of bus trackers at many of the capital's bus stops. These are information boards sited at bus stops that detail how long you can expect to wait for a Lothian Transport bus. Now, I have to say that, by and large, they are pretty accurate and a help for me getting my old creaking bones to work in the morning. Travelling across Edinburgh from Gorgie to Craigmillar to get to the office can take an eternity thanks to the never-ending roadworks caused by the Edinburgh trams fiasco. So when I see I only have a few minutes to wait for a number two bus then it does help my patience from being overstretched. However, the bus trackers have created a relatively new phenomenon  - a complete disregard for those people in the queue.

I arrive at the last bus stop on Gorgie Road heading into the city and see there are five minutes until my bus arrives. I'm the only one there so I wait patiently. A couple of minutes pass and I'm still on my own. Then, as the 'due' sign appears on the bus tracker, there's an inevitable posse of people who suddenly appear, take one look at the information board and simply stand there at the head of the queue i.e. me. Usually, these people are schoolchildren and/or students, the majority of who don't have a bloody clue about social etiquette. Now the number two bus is usually a single decker (why LRT think this is a smart idea of one of their busiest routes is beyond me) and it irks me considerably when some gormless lout with a haversack the size of a small mountain on his back ambles up to the bus stop, looks vacantly at the bus tracker and steps forward just as my bus arrives. It makes me downright angry (hard to believe, I know) if this gormless character grabs the last remaining seat on the crowded bus meaning the weary old Ranter has to stand for half of his long journey.

Such a scenario occurred one morning last week and finally my patience snapped. I placed my hand firmly on the shoulder of some laddo with the words 'Just hold it right there, my lad - there's a feckin' queue here'. I gently pushed past him and grabbed the one remaining seat on the bus. I felt quite pleased with myself. The elderly lady I sat next to didn't say anything but gave me a knowing smile and a look that intimated 'Well done, son' - although quite what the old biddy was doing on a busy bus at 8.15am is another story...

Today is a local holiday so I won't have to fight my way to work. But my message to anyone considering queue jumping for the number two bus to The Jewel from Gorgie at the back of eight in the morning is clear - get to the back and wait your place. The worm has turned...

8 comments:

Lilly said...

Oh God, public transport is the same the world over. I caught buses all the time when I lived in Gorebridge. It was ok as it was never that busy so I always got a seat. The return trip from Edinburgh was a different story though. Good on you Mike, you have to stick up for yourself. And you need to rant more! Perfectly acceptable.

Now take Melbourne and the trams here (has Edinburgh got trams yet? Bloody nightmare when you are driving with trams). The trams always run on time and I cant fault that but they are often so packed. Inevitably you find yourself standing for the duration hanging on to whatever you can for dear life. You get young kids who take the seats and the poor old people (yeah, even older than me- there are older people than me honest) have to stand. Many times I have tapped some kid on the shoulder and politely suggested they let the man with the walking stick or whomever sit down. There have been times that someone has just sworn at me and turned around and ignored me. It makes me so angry that they do not have any empathy at all for any one. When its time for me to get a walking stick I will be using it - literally on people, lol.

Anyway, have a good week and I hope things are looking up for you. At least it must be getting warmer with summer approaching in the not too distant future. Bloody cold weather here.

Adullamite said...

Good rant.

Mike Smith said...

Lilly - thank you. You lived in Gorebridge? My daughter Michaela is now living there with her boyfriend. As for asking if Edinburgh has trams yet - no, no and no! They're already two years late and who knows when the single route that is planned will be operating. Meanwhile, Edinburgh is one giant roadworks...Hope you are well.

Adullamite - Thank you, sir. See what happens when I have a day off work...

Vicky said...

I'm more worried you work in Craigmillar...

Oh and LRT... Not for a good few years, what next, a blog on Eastern Scottish!! ;-)

Mike Smith said...

There's always one smartarse! Lothian Buses as they are now, of course.

miruspeg said...

Great rant my friend!
I am one of the lucky ones who only have to travel on public transport in non peak hour times.....call me blessed!!

Keep smiling.
Hugs
Peggy xxxxx

Sarah H said...

Interesting take on the subject! I have had the opposite problem; a couple were waiting at the bus door, and I was behind a stream of people on the other side of the pavement, waiting for them to get on so I could nip across and board the bus... but they weren't getting on, so the bus pulled away! I'm not making that mistake again, and disregard any sort of 'queue' at the stop, it's not really a queue at all!

Mike Smith said...

I know that feeling too, Sarah! Thanks for visiting and posting on my ramblings.