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Author Topic: I didn't flip you off, dammit!
Max_Renn
Jingle Bell Hock


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Okay, this is going to seem like a nothing rant, but it’s been bugging me. Sunday afternoon I emerge from the subway station to see my homebound streetcar at the stop. I race across the sidewalk to try and catch it; I’ve got my nylon attaché in one hand, my TTC pass in the other, and I’m limping because I buggered up my foot somehow last week. Just as I get to the door it closes and the streetcar starts moving along. I raise my arms in the universal signal for “Aw, c'mon! It’s Sunday and I don’t want to wait half an hour for the next car!” then turn around to head back to the sidewalk.

The streetcar stops again. Excellent. I turn around again and hop over to the door, but the driver suddenly starts accelerating again. WTF? Same arm gesture, and a muttered “NFBSK” under my breath. Back to the sidewalk. The streetcar stops AGAIN, and he actually opens the door this time. I know it’s for me because he’s got a green light and would normally be moving along. I bound up the stairs as much as my gimping allows, and thank the driver.

However, as I’m showing him my pass, he gives me a nasty sneer, and with the tone of a schoolyard bully, taunts “You wanna show me that finger again?” For a second, I had no idea what he was talking about, then it hit me: when I’d raised my hands (each of them holding something, remember), he thought I was flipping him off for leaving me behind. I was gobsmacked, as I certainly hadn’t, and insisted (weakly, I’m sure it sounded) as much. Unable to formulate a sentence along the lines of “Even if I was the kind of person who flips off strangers for doing their jobs, I take the #501 every day including weekends, and chances are you’d be driving me again one of these days, so why in the world would I want to piss you off?” I muttered something like “I don’t flip off drivers…” Maybe he realized by the genuine state of befuddlement on my face that I hadn’t flipped him the bird, but he sounded doubtful. “Well, okay…” I sat fairly close to the front of the streetcar in a stupid attempt to show that I wasn’t intimidated and had nothing to be embarrassed about.

I’ve seen and heard plenty of lousy, nasty TTC drivers--many more have been pleasant and unmemorable, but the bad ones do stick in the memory. The all-time worst was this German-sounding woman who, when a passenger asked if she could open the doors and let them out, as we’d been stuck in non-moving traffic for ten minutes, thirty feet away from the stop, shrieked “No! I know you people are in a hurry to get back to your NFBSK lives, but there are rules!” But this guy on the weekend really got my back up. Maybe I just don’t like strangers thinking I’m an uncouth asshat. Maybe I put up with getting so much reflected blame at the office for things I had nothing to do with that I have a low tolerance for false accusations. But I can’t stop playing over the incident in my mind, and every streetcar I’ve gotten on since, I get a queasy feeling in my gut thinking the driver’s going to be the same jerk.

Am I making too big a deal over this?

Max “TTC’s got nothing on the STCUM anyway” Renn

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Sister Ann: DRIVE! DRIVE
Crow T. Robot: Look, I'm already driving, there's no inherent quantity of driving that I can increase! If you want me to go faster, you should say so.

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Canuckistan
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I wouldn't worry about it. He probably doesn't even remember you, given the number of people he sees in a given day. Besides, I'm sure he's seen far worse things on the 501 line.

It is Queen St., after all.

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People need to stop appropriating Jesus as their reason for behaving badly. It's so irritating. (Avril)

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DrRocket
I Saw Three Shipments


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quote:
Originally posted by Max_Renn:
Am I making too big a deal over this?

Somewhat.

I'm betting the driver has dropped the issue from his brain long time ago. Even though he may drive the same route every day, he still sees thousands of people every day that he'll never see again. I'm betting he'd dropped the issue fifteen minutes after you got off.

You're giving this issue way too much of your brain space. Consider it over and done with, and move on. I'm betting he has.

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It's rough on rats! "I'll Say!!"

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Max_Renn
Jingle Bell Hock


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Fair enough. I have a long memory, I often assume everyone does. And it was the accusation that bugged me more than anything.

Max "way too obsessive" Renn

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Sister Ann: DRIVE! DRIVE
Crow T. Robot: Look, I'm already driving, there's no inherent quantity of driving that I can increase! If you want me to go faster, you should say so.

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Hubert Cumberdale
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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I know how you feel. Whenever I have a traffic altercation I alter my route to avoid the spot it happened for a few days so I don't have to see the person who started it (I'm not perfect but I very rarely start traffic fights). Of course, someone who will flip out and scream at a total stranger for having the nerve to go through a green light and preventing them from turning on red most likely gets mad at many people throughout the day and can't keep track of them all so probably forgets all about me in seconds. I just retain things for a long time.
Chances are you weren't the only person he got mad at that day.

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PallasAthena
Xboxing Day


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Max_Renn-I wonder if you're upset because of the driver's bullying attitude as opposed to the accusation. He was in a position of power and used that to just be flat out mean (the whole stopping and driving off thing) for no reason. He mocked you publicly. If it had been me, the rational part of me would be thinking how silly it was to be upset over the whole thing, but the rest of me would be freaked. Reading your account took me straight back to high school and getting bullied by "friends" there.

That's just my take though...

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"How do you make chocolate? You take dark chocolate, you mix it with white milk, and it becomes a delicious drink. That is the chocolate I am talking about." --Ray Nagin

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Jonny T
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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probably slightly over-reacting, but I've been in situations like this - misunderstanding leads to confrontation leads to de-escalation - and it stuck in my mind for a bit.

I think a large part of the reason behind it is that it's not that common to have someone start a fight for genuinely no reason. if the other person takes a comment the wrong way, is clearly highly strung, you mis-worded something, etc. then there's a fairly identifiable chain of events. if it's a complete stranger starting a fight - or rather, thinking you started one with them - it's somewhat disorienting.

A bit ago I was in a pub and my mate had gone to the toilet. I started singing a little to pass the time, whereupon one of the blokes we were playing pool with came up to me, said he had seen me call his mate a cunt (he thought he could lip read), and tried to start a fight. he eventually lost interest but it annoyed me for a few days.

he made a misinterpretation and got angry as a result. meh.

- Jonathan

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Hello, I love you - won't you tell me your name?
Hello! I'm good for nothing - will you love me just the same?

Greetings from the dark side...

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Morrigan
Happy Holly Days


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If I were you (which I'm not!), I would take it up with his supervisor.

Morrigan

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"The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep." Robert Frost, Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening

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ThistleSoftware
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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What exactly would you take up with his supervisor, Morrigan?

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Officially Heartless

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Sara at home
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Jonny T:
said he had seen me call his mate a cunt (he thought he could lip read),

[hijack]Interesting. I'm no expert on lip-reading but I do a bit of it because of my auditory processing problem. Generally speaking, your lips don't move when you say "cunt". I imagine -- and I could be wrong -- that someone dependent on lip reading would have a difficult time reading "cunt". Two of the sounds I confuse are the hard "g" and the hard "c". My lip reading doesn't help one bit with those sounds.]/hijack]

Max, I think I'd give the guy the benefit of the doubt for my own piece of mind. I would just assume that he was having a bad day, had some other problems that made him overly sensitive that day. I'd let it go and not worry about it....unless it happened again.

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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frogpond
Jingle Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by ThistleSmelt:
What exactly would you take up with his supervisor, Morrigan?

Street car riders are paying customers and should be treated with respect. This doesn't mean that the operator should have to take abuse, but most supervisors would frown on his version of customer service.

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So many books, so little time.

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ThistleSoftware
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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I'm curious as to exactly which of his actions Morrigan would be reporting, though. I'm not saying reporting him would be wrong, I just can't pick out what one would say to the supervisor in this situation.

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Officially Heartless

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Morrigan
Happy Holly Days


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I would turn in this behavior: "Just as I get to the door it closes and the streetcar starts moving along. I raise my arms in the universal signal for “Aw, c'mon! It’s Sunday and I don’t want to wait half an hour for the next car!” then turn around to head back to the sidewalk.

The streetcar stops again. Excellent. I turn around again and hop over to the door, but the driver suddenly starts accelerating again. WTF? Same arm gesture, and a muttered “NFBSK” under my breath. Back to the sidewalk. The streetcar stops AGAIN, and he actually opens the door this time. I know it’s for me because he’s got a green light and would normally be moving along. I bound up the stairs as much as my gimping allows, and thank the driver.

However, as I’m showing him my pass, he gives me a nasty sneer, and with the tone of a schoolyard bully, taunts “You wanna show me that finger again?” "

I would tell the supervisor just what was happened.

Morrigan

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"The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep." Robert Frost, Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening

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quiltsbypam
Happy Holly Days


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Max_Renn, I wouldn't worry about it. Somebody who sees that kind of behavior, even when it's not really there, has seen lots worse and probably within an hour of picking you up.

OTOH, I know how hard it is to actually not worry about it. I'm a worrier from way back and it makes me mad when I can't shut it off. But it's the way I am (shrugs). So I know it's much easier to say it that for you to do it.

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"No Biblical hell could ever be worse than the state of perpetual inconsequence." Beatrice in Dangerous Beauty

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DawnStorm
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Canuckistan:


It is Queen St., after all.

Must be a nice area. [Wink]

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Leashes?! We don't need no stinking leashes!!

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Canuckistan
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by A Fish Called DawnStorm:
quote:
Originally posted by Canuckistan:
It is Queen St., after all.

Must be a nice area. [Wink]
Nope. That would be Church St. [Razz]

Queen St. W. is quite an eclectic street. There are a lot of funky shops and ... interesting people. Back when I used to live close to there, there was a time when I saw a woman pushing a baby carriage up the street while shouting obscenities.

As she approached, we realized there was no baby in the baby carriage. [Eek!]

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People need to stop appropriating Jesus as their reason for behaving badly. It's so irritating. (Avril)

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Monza305
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by Jonny T:

I think a large part of the reason behind it is that it's not that common to have someone start a fight for genuinely no reason. if the other person takes a comment the wrong way, is clearly highly strung, you mis-worded something, etc. then there's a fairly identifiable chain of events. if it's a complete stranger starting a fight - or rather, thinking you started one with them - it's somewhat disorienting.
- Jonathan

I agree with you. I've had my share of traffic spats, but the one I really remember I did absolutely nothing wrong.
I was getting off the freeway and came to a stop behind this real P.O.S. station wagon. I saw the car start to go, then come to a quick stop, almost like it hit something. Then it did it two more times. All of a sudden this (at least) 300 pound guy gets out of the car and tells me that he's gonna kick my ass if I hit his car one more time. [Eek!] After I picked my jaw up from my lap, I told him something along the lines of that I didn't hit his car and he should get his big behind back into his mother farking piece of turd car before I knocked 100 pounds of gravy out of him. I'm not usually that rude, but I was pissed, and it had the desired effect of him going away.
About 5 minutes after I got to my destination, he ended up coming into the place. He left right away after an evil glare from me. [Big Grin]

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I've got a pen in my pocket does that make me a writer?
Standing on the mountain doesn't make me no higher.
Putting on gloves don't make you a fighter.
And all the study in the world doesn't make it science. -Paul Weller

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LeaflessMapleTree
The twelve shopping days 'til Christmas


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quote:
Originally posted by Canuckistan:
quote:
Originally posted by A Fish Called DawnStorm:
quote:
Originally posted by Canuckistan:
It is Queen St., after all.

Must be a nice area. [Wink]
Nope. That would be Church St. [Razz]

Queen St. W. is quite an eclectic street. There are a lot of funky shops and ... interesting people. Back when I used to live close to there, there was a time when I saw a woman pushing a baby carriage up the street while shouting obscenities.

As she approached, we realized there was no baby in the baby carriage. [Eek!]

Have you told that story on the board before? I am having mega deja-vu.

Oh, and I love Queen Street.

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"For me, religion is like a rhinoceros: I don't have one, and I'd really prefer not to be trampled by yours. But it is impressive, and even beautiful, and, to be honest, the world would be slightly worse off if there weren't any."
-Silas Sparkhammer

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Max_Renn
Jingle Bell Hock


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And on the subject of outrageous TTC behaviour, I know I got off increibly easy compared to this poor woman. I really wish someone would lose their job over this:

Heavy-handed behaviour by TTC officers leaves single mom convinced there has to be a better way

Max "wishing I could just be a pedestrian" Renn

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Sister Ann: DRIVE! DRIVE
Crow T. Robot: Look, I'm already driving, there's no inherent quantity of driving that I can increase! If you want me to go faster, you should say so.

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Canuckistan
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by MapleLeaf:
Have you told that story on the board before? I am having mega deja-vu.

Probably. I don't remember, but it sounds like a story I'd tell several times for the shock value.

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People need to stop appropriating Jesus as their reason for behaving badly. It's so irritating. (Avril)

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MaxKaladin
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Jonny T:
A bit ago I was in a pub and my mate had gone to the toilet. I started singing a little to pass the time, whereupon one of the blokes we were playing pool with came up to me, said he had seen me call his mate a cunt (he thought he could lip read), and tried to start a fight. he eventually lost interest but it annoyed me for a few days.

Reminds me of something that happened when I was in high school. I was driving to school and singing along with the radio. I came to a four way stop sign just as a bus pulled up on the cross street. We both must have thought we were next because we both started through at the same time. Once I saw him start, I hit the brakes and stopped to let him through. No big deal, right? Wrong. I got to school and was called to the principal's office. When I got there, the bus driver was there. It turns out the bus driver decided I'd tried to cut him off and then was cussing at him when I stopped (I was singing with the radio, remember). He wanted to have me expelled for it. Fortunately, the vice-principal was pretty laid back and knew I wasn't the sort to do that kind of thing. He believed me when I told him what happened and let me go back to class.
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