Autobus Animosity

I don’t have a car, so the state of ‘road rage’ is rather impossible for me.  At least when it’s put like that.  I tried to come up with something cute, like “Bus . . . ” something . . . or “Commute . . . ” something, but all I came up with is the stinking title.

I am starting to develop INTENSE rage around my commute.  This morning was a great example — while I was standing on the bus, this woman stood directly behind me and jammed her bag into my back.  Then, she would whip her head around, hitting me with her nasty ass ponytail, while she blathered to some friend of hers.   Everytime she did this, her bag would push me forward, into the bar.  I couldn’t move because, well, there were people everywhere and no, I’m not going to stand on the bus without anything to hold on to.

Eventually I get really pissed off — this is at about ponytail whack #20 and bag bitchslap #15.  I take my headphones out and turn my head.  Since she’s talking to her friend, her ear is about six inches from my face.  And I say “I’m so sorry my back is in the way of your bag, but I want to tell you, IT DOES NOT BEND THAT WAY.” and I stood firm enough where SHE got knocked forward as she jerked away.  She starts moving, of course it’s so crowded she can’t go anywhere and ends up almost taking my arm off with her other bag.  And I say to her “Just where do you think you’re going to go?  Stop pushing me around.”

She froze, thank God, and I managed a block or two unmolested before lots of seats cleared up.

My commute is the number two place for me to have murder fantasies.  I know it’s awful, and no, I would NEVER do it, but boy — when I get someone who insists they get on the train before you get off of it (Come on, people, the driver can see you getting ON — they can’t see the people trying to exit.  What the fuck.  Wait two fucking seconds.  There is NOTHING THAT IMPORTANT that you are going to get done in those two seconds that is going to make you look like less of a jackass, or improve your life any.  Jesus), or steps in front of you, baby on hip, rolling over your foot with their stroller (and why would they bother to apologize?  Of course they don’t!) — when these things happen, my brain starts thinking of grabbing people by their ponytails, shoving my supernice pen in such a way it traps them on the escalator they just HAD to get on in front of me, and watching them get choked to death with the scarf they threw in my face because of course all their SHIT isn’t a part of the area they are taking up, and to think about someone being behind them in Los Angeles  . . . why that is unheard of.

Few other places have I fantasized about murder (other than work) than on my commute — and it’s actually rapidly taking the number one spot.  I mean, at least with my commute I have a wide range of victims at my disposal — killing the same person over and over again . . . meh.

Jen and I had a long discussion about rage in general, and my rage at my commute in particular.  It’s been heightened the last couple of days because of my wonderful employer, but that’s a different story for a different day.  A lot of my rage has to do with the fact that I’m a very, very polite person.  This means that I am absolutely fucked with on my bus journey home.  Jen called courtesy the oil of society — that it makes it run smooth.  So why the hell aren’t people MORE polite the more people are around?  Look, I understand I don’t get to have four feet of personal space anywhere I am in Los Angeles — but why do people have to be so shitty when they are in proximity of each other?  The more I try to be polite and note the lack of politeness in others, the more enraged I become.

I tried to see if anyone else had bus rage, and the first scan of my google search reminded me of our beheading friend from many months ago.  The other big slew of articles dealt with this ad:

Bus Rage Ad Pulled by Greyhound following Canadian Incident[/caption]

Which was apparently pulled by Greyhound following that whole murder / cannibalism thing.

I did uncover this article about a bus driver taking some rage out on a passenger for not having the right change.

There’s lots of information on road rage out there, some of the more entertaining bits being incidences that involve ‘special’ vehicles like a bus or a land mover, but nothing really about bus rage itself.  Except for Greyhound.  God, it’s one thing to think about doing something vs. actually doing it — right?  RIGHT?  Anyway, lots of information on road rage, and even some on “wrap rage” (have kids?  An action figure collection?  Then you know what wrap rage is all about), and even air rage.

But, apparently my malady does have a cute name — “Ride Rage,” though it isn’t used very often.  I did dig up this blog that expresses a lot of my rage at people who don’t think about where their backpack is, or being jammed between two really big people — all that stuff that pisses me off on a daily basis.

So — how am I going to fix it?  I don’t know that I can.  I can just keep my headphones on, tune out, and try to forget what rude fuckers I’m surrounded by.

Just so you know, the newest piece of equipment on the assist is the 8 gig Microsoft Zune.  W00t Zune!  If you’ve got one, I’m under “PubliusEnigma” on the Zune network.

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I am Cassandra

I was talking the other day to Lou Ann, and explaining why the name “Cassandra” is one that has followed me not only in my career, but in my personal life. Hi, I’m Jamie, and I’m an analyst. And, I am a very, very good one, if I do say so myself (see resume below).

As an analyst, I have the very deep honor of being paid to think. And I really do consider this an honor — can you believe it? People think I’m smart enough to let me think on the job. Analysis in the IT industry, and in healthcare, is an interesting mental exercise — you have to try and predict what could possibly go wrong, and figure in some time to fix it, in addition to just doing the work. I’m sure you’ve noticed that computers don’t always do what you may want them to do.

Analysis, at least in a systems sense, is actually a balance of two abilities — one, the ability to look at data and extract information, and the other is to be able to formulate data to extract from — in other words, not only do analysts analyze, but they model as well. And I’m good in this super sick way at modeling.

And I guess I get a little sensitive, as anyone would after years and years of practicing a discipline and a way of thinking, that I don’t get listened to, or I get dismissed as ‘paranoid’ or ‘uncooperative.’

And, this story was told before. Many, many hundreds of years ago. The story was about a woman named Cassandra. I like to think she would be one hell of an analyst. She was a young girl that Apollo fell in love with, and he gave her the gift of prophecy. When shit went south, he spit in her mouth and made it so no one would believe her. So, she was right, but no one would believe her. After that whole Trojan war bit, since our friend and genius analyst Cassandra was actually Trojan, she was given to Agamemmnon as part of his spoils of war. So, with his new Trojan super smart concubine in tow, Agamemnon returns home. But, there was this family fued going on, and his wife, Clytemnestra was completely won over by his brother. So, her son, Orestes, and her daughter Elektra conspired to kill Agamemnon pretty much the moment that he walked back into the castle. It’s kind of funny to note, by the way, that both the Elektra and the Oepidal complexes don’t work name-wise because the issues they describe simply aren’t in the myths — while Elektra did cheer Orestes on, she wasn’t exactly dealing the killing blows. More like . .. hiding behind a curtain and egging him on.

Anyway, so before Agamemnon walks into the castle, Cassandra flips out. Tells him everything — that they are going to get killed, and this is a general bummer. Agamemnon ignores her, takes her by the hand, drags her into the castle, where both meet a horrible and bloody death. This isn’t where the Orestian saga ends, but this is where I’m going to stop telling the story because I’ve made my point.

The point is this. Know I am an analyst. Give me credit that even the things I say that might make you uncomfortable or make you think I’m paranoid that I probably have a reason for thinking them. Know that I probably have data to back up my argument. Don’t marginalize me. And, to answer your question, of course I probably think about things too much!