Today was a great day for equality (Prop 8 was declared unconstitutional!) but a horrible day for ME. Today was the day I cried not once, but twice in public, both times because of evil MUNI employees. I realize how ridiculous that sounds, but that's what went down.
I rarely cry in public. Just the other day I saw an article on Jezebel.com titled "How to deal with public weepers" and thought to myself "Why would anyone cry in public? God, people are so weird." In retrospect, this is all probably karma for thinking that. Awesome.
Let me start from the beginning. I woke up this morning and before I even opened my eyes, I could tell it was going to be a bad day. I couldn't even summon up the energy to do my morning affirmations (a new thing I've been trying), because telling myself "I am a powerful creator of good in my life" just felt lame and annoying. I tried on five outfits and still walked out the door looking like shit. I was doomed. I jumped on the bus, swiped my Clipper Card (bus pass) and instead of hearing the "BEEEPPPPPP" that it usually makes, I instead heard the "beep beep beep" of the card being declined for lack of funds.
That bus driver didn't seem to care, and I figured it was a fluke because I set that thing up to autofill itself every month, so I continued on to Embarcadero station, the second stop on my route. This time I had to scan my card to get through the gates, and when it declined for the second time, I had no choice but to go talk to the man sitting in the ticket office. I explained to him that my Clipper card was being declined, but autopay was set up so I didn't know why. He started barking at me that if I didn't have a receipt for the payment MUNI police was going to give me a ticket.
Flustered, I stormed over to a newsstand ten feet away and started rifling through my purse for coins to buy a ticket. After watching me do this for a good two minutes, the ticket man came up to me and handed me a transfer. Nice, right? Well when I walked back up to the gate and waited for him to buzz me through, he took the opportunity to start lecturing me about my "attitude" over his microphone. So that everyone walking by could hear. I was forced to apologize and hurry down to the Subway, fuming at this point.
The second I got on the bus, the fucking tears started coming. I tried holding them back, taking deep breaths, looking down and then up, but they wouldn't stop. I finally resigned to crouching in my seat, hiding my face with my hair and wiping my nose with my sleeve. When I reached my stop, I rushed off and tried as hard as I could to pull it together before walking into work.
Surprisingly, the work day went by pretty smoothly, and I was convinced that things were looking up for me. I had gone online and put more money on my Clipper card and printed out the receipt, just in case there was an issue on the way home. There was. Getting back onto the 38AX bus, the card again was declined. I turned to the bus driver and explained that I had refilled my card, but as it said on the receipt that I was showing him, it can take 72 hours for the payment to process.
"YOU PAY FARE!!!" he screamed at me, as the other passengers filed past me, taking all the good seats. I tried explaining again, as I dug through my purse for coins that I knew weren't there, but to no avail. He just kept screaming. Overwhelmed, embarrassed and defeated, I simply turned and walked off the bus. A second later, the tears were back. I was crying in public again, and now I was on Market Street (the busiest street in the city).
Some days are just harder than others. The simplest things become monumentally difficult and frustrating, and usually the more upset you become, the worse things get. Today was definitely one of those days. Just existing was a challenge, let alone riding MUNI. Call it a mood swing, quarter-life crisis, whatever. It was just a bad day...part of me wishes I had followed my instinct and not even ventured out of bed.
There is a silver lining, though. Once I stopped crying for the second time and gathered up the change and will to hop on the next bus, I called Clipper card services. After AT&T dropped my call four times and I sat on hold for 20 minutes, I was connected to a wonderful gentleman by the name of Julian...or Joseph...or Juan. He listened to my issue, agreed with me that bus drivers are assholes, and credited my card $6 for my troubles. It doesn't sound like much, but after the day I'd had it restored my hope in humanity (and public transportation).
Another bonus is that I finally felt strongly enough about something to write again! MUNI, as much as I hate you, you are my muse.
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