Two days in a row I've encountered the best/sassiest train conductors, EVER. Not only did Barry White serenade me on my morning commute a couple weeks ago, but I'm pretty sure that Miss Sassafras drives my evening train.

Yesterday, as I got on, she said: "No bikes allowed, sir. (Silence) HELLLLLLLLOOOO! I said no, bikes, ALLOWED!". While others mumbled to themselves and rolled their eyes at her abruptness, I began laughing. I mean, how awesome would it be to anonymously put inconsiderate people in their place on BART? Now, you'd have to use this sass wisely--but I think this lady has a pretty rad job.

The next day, Miss Sassafras was back at it again; another packed train with another manner less passenger. This day, she started out very polite: "Sir (pause). Excuse me, Sir (man looks around). Yes, YOU. Seats are reserved for the elderly, handicapped, and for pregnant women. SIR( pause...still not getting up), there is a pregnant woman standing right in front of you. I KNOW YOU SEE HER. Get up and make your seat available!" Finally, after what seemed like 5 minutes of heckling, the man got up and let the pregnant woman sit. Everyone on the train clapped. The best part was that she refused to move the train until he gave up his seat, putting extra pressure on this man who, clearly, was never taught manners. He ended up getting off at the next stop, though my gut tells me it wasn't his.

I suppose in this industry you have to be cooler than a cucumber or sassier than molasses to deal with such interesting people on a daily basis. As for me, I'm just glad I get to write about it!

 
Some people think I make these stories up. These are the same people who have never taken a ride on BART. I promise you; I'm not that clever! I really can't make this stuff up.

People definitely get creative when looking for a seat in a packed train. I get it-- your feet are tired and after a 10 hour work day, the last thing you want to do is stand. But what's your excuse when you're beginning your day and just starting your commute? Your body is supposed to be refreshed and able to handle standing for a good 30 minutes or so first thing in the morning.

I thought I'd seen it all. People will sit on the ground, sit on their bike or skateboard, or they'll even use the back rest as a seat (subsuquently sitting ON me, but I digress). But the genius award of the day goes to this man, who brought his own chair on his daily commute. I mean, really--why didn't I think of that? It's lightweight, it's retractable, it allows you to get work done, and most importantly-- it makes you look cool. The only thing he needs is a can of beer in the cup holder and he'd be living the dream. I mean this guy really knows his stuff. Nothing will get in HIS way. No seat? No problem! I'll just bring my own. Everyone should have a can-do attitude like that.

Bring you chair to BART day; I'm definitely petitioning for it!
 
The big thing now is that everyone thinks that chivalry is dead. It’s not dead; I’ll agree that its barren, but certainly not obsolete. Chivalry is a learned behavior, it’s taught, but it’s not a part of most curriculums these days. So, whenever someone opens a door for me, or gives up their seat (simply because it’s polite), I’m usually overly grateful and thank them with such fervor that one might think I won the lotto. Combine this behavior with an adorable young kid, and you've pretty much made me hopeful for life.

It was another busy day at work, another packed tuna can train, and another long trip home. All I kept thinking was “I’m hungry. “ “Man, I need a personal chef so dinner will be ready when I get home.” “Is Real Housewives of Orange County on tonight?”…you know-- all the basics. Right when I began day dreaming about the delicatessen that would be waiting for me at home (if I ever did hire that chef), I felt a tug on my right butt cheek. As I turned around impersonating my best Chuck Norris move, and ready to attack the groper, I saw a little boy sitting across from his mother. He said “Ma’am, would you like my seat?” Relieved, regaining normal stance I said, “No thank you, Hun. Your backpack looks like it is heavy. Plus, I’m sure you had a long day of playing at school.” With the biggest sigh of relief he said “Ya, you’re right. I could really use this seat right now—dodge ball was tough today!” I couldn't help but laugh.

As I looked over at his mother, to give her a smile, she whispered to him “Good job”. Whether she told him to get up, or if he did it on his own, I’ll never know. After they got off the train, 2 things came to mind: 1. I’m glad to know that there are still good parents out there, and 2. I wish a rough dodge ball session was still the toughest part of my day!

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Taken by CM 5/8/13
 
Today, I forgot my headphones. Such a bummer. I like to get in my relaxed zone with some great tunes, and drown out the world around me during my commute. Doing so, however, prevents me from listening to the conductor. Since I already know which stop is mine, there's really no point for me to pay attention; I always know where I'm headed. This morning was different. Since I was forced to listen to the overhead announcements, I discovered something pretty life changing: Barry White is my train conductor.

Now I can't confirm this 100%, so please don't take my word as gospel, but after todays ride, I'm pretty sure that The Walrus of Love was driving my train! Much to my surprise, about 30 seconds before we arrived at the next stop, a deep sultry voice comes on: "Nexxxxtttt stop, Fruitvale. This is a Daly City bound train..." Barry, is that you? Patiently, I waited for the next announcement. It couldn't be, could it? A few minutes later... "Nexxxxt stop, Lake Merrit. This is a Daly City bound trainnnnnn." Oh my! It has to be him! Barry has come back from the dead he's here to serenade me on my ride into the city.

This continued for awhile. Every time he would come on, I secretly hoped that instead of telling me the next stop, he'd bust out in spoken song, using that smooth sultry voice: "I've heard people say that, too much of anything is not good for you, baby. But I don't know about that." And then continue singing "My darlin I, I can't get enough of your love baaabbby"..

Unfortunately, my love song never came.

Its okay- I still know better: Barry White is my train conductor. Period. End if story. Who else can say that? You can't fool me Barry. I KNOW. Can't get enough of your love, either, and I hope to hear your seductive smoothness on tomorrow's ride in.