Service of Inquiring Minds

January 8th, 2024

Categories: Bus Trips, Cut Off at the Pass, Disrespect, Driving, Inquiring Minds, Manners, Questions, Respect, Waiting

No bus in sight.

As I waited too long for the bus and during my ride I came up with this list of questions to distract from the ridiculous crowd once inside and a screaming toddler.


  • Must NYC citizens wait over 15 minutes for a bus on a busy crosstown street at rush hour?
  • Are some people always cheerful?
  • Do manners no longer matter?
  • Are some radio hosts told they must laugh all the time?
  • Are some compelled to cut off other pedestrians if they are walking or vehicles if driving?
  • Do drivers think that by honking incessantly in traffic it will make the cars stuck ahead of them move faster?
  • By yelling at a sales associate or waiter who is trying to help do some think they will get better service?
  • By treating someone with disrespect do others think that they will be respected?
  • By speaking louder at someone who doesn’t understand English do the clueless expect that he/she will understand?
  • Does a little thing over which I have no control–like an elevator door slamming in my face–annoy me beyond words? Is it because I’m really angry about something much more important?

If you have answers, or questions to add, feel free!


15 Responses to “Service of Inquiring Minds”

  1. ASK Said:

    My major pet peeve is bad manners, which leads to rudeness and disrespect. When dealing with any kind of service person, I find I get better service if I am polite while also being firm if I have a complaint or a problem. This applies to political discussions as well.

    As to people who are always cheerful: I can handle them only in small doses and I haven’t met too many lately. A lot of casual acquaintences seem to be on the gloomy side, which may explain the extraordinary rise in those claiming mental-health issues.

  2. Loretta Adams Said:

    Loretta on Facebook:
    lsquashed in an overcrowded bus with a screaming toddler
    I would feel for the mom/dad/nanny of the screaming toddler…try to smile and distract him/her…kids are tired /frustrated too waiting 15 minutes for the bus.
    Here are a few.
    • Must NYC citizens wait over 15 minutes for a bus on a busy crosstown street at rush hour? Traffic in NY as you know is unpredictable….but when standing 15 minutes, endeavoring to arrive for your own appointment probably feels like an hour.
    • Are some people always cheerful? I hope so,….I try to be!
    • Do manners no longer matter? They absolutely do! However, I do not think they are “taught” at home snd “reinforced” at school. Many young parents are “offended@ when a teacher corrects their child.
    • Are some compelled to cut off other pedestrians if they are walking or vehicles if driving?
    Yes! Some do it without thinking, ….ithers becsuse they are late having waited 15 minutes for the bus! When I drive in NYC I find pedestrians on cell phones are the big offenders of not looking as they step into traffic or just walk oblivious of other pedestrians.
    • Do drivers think that by honking incessantly in traffic it will make the cars stuck ahead of them move faster? They are jerks! Honking is frustrating to everyone!
    • By treating someone with disrespect do others think that they will be respected? People who treat others with disrespect only “think” of themselves!
    If you have answers, or questions to add, feel free!
    I hope I keep you company while waiting for the bus!

  3. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I think that the mother with the toddler–who had a young child and a tween with her as well–and I should stay clear of public transportation at rush hour. When I commuted daily to Manhattan from Brooklyn for years I did. However, I’d run out of steam that day and was carrying a bunch of stuff otherwise I could have walked.

    That said, if the city wants to keep cars out of midtown it had best get its stuff together to provide sufficient bus service, certainly by the time congestion pricing kicks in. The traffic the day I waited was not at all bad, which is unusual. There were several Out of Service busses that passed by….nobody seems to be on top of things.

    You would be great company while waiting for a bus or subway!

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    A favorite former boss invited me for lunch yearly around Christmas. I laughed so hard when he’d tell me about his brother-in-law whose reply to “how are you?” was always “terrific,” or some version of fabulous. He’d say this if he’d lost his job or his house had burned down or he’d had a terrible accident. He never went with “fine thanks.” It was always some superlative that drove my boss nuts.

    I understand being cheerful to strangers. However, if the world is falling apart and a friend knows, false hilarity is jarring. That doesn’t mean you can’t add something off the subject that changes the mood of the conversation in a positive way.

    Lack of manners which impacts empathy is sad and is enough to make anyone feel gloomy.

  5. Linda Levi Said:

    Linda on Facebook: My sister isn’t necessarily always cheerful, but she’s always optimistic, which drives me, more cynical and pessimistic by nature, nuts. Actually secretly I admire it!

    As for lots of other Qs you pose, I chalk it up to “life in NYC.” It’s never been easy, but generally well worth the aggravation compared to living elsewhere.

  6. Debbie Kunen Said:

    Debbie on Facebook: It’s always hit & miss in this town. I pay attention to my surroundings as many are clueless and distracted. If there is no drama – uneventful works for me.

  7. Jeanne Byington Said:


    With zero years studying psychiatry behind my observation I think you are born with an optimistic or pessimistic default and there’s little you can do about it.

    Life in NYC is rarely boring. The characters we see on the street or in stores can’t be beat. And because it’s a walking city, most of us have front row seats.

  8. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I too like uneventful. However, it’s crazy how a polite action or word cheers me and the opposite irks me.

  9. Linda Levi Said:

    Linda on Facebook: You’re probably right to a degree, but I think childhood trauma, or even just everyday childhood stuff, impacts who we are as adults. Big age gap in my case, so our childhood experiences were vastly different.

  10. Deirdre Wyeth Said:

    1. Why do 2 separate bus lines that have different start and end points meet up and travel together across 57th Street instead of leaving a few minutes of gap time?
    2. Why are so many more people cheating the MTA by jumping turnstiles or getting on the back doors of buses that do not have street ticket purchases (most west-side buses). In the past year the bus cheats have gone from roughly one a month to dozens a day – at least on the lines I normally take.
    3. Why do people think they are adept at texting and walking when they in fact are a danger to themselves and others, not to mention annoying as heck. I’m told that in Japan there is a special lane where texting pedestrians can “pull over” to text and just annoy each other. Let’s do that here.
    4. At a time when headphones of various kinds are cheaper than they have ever been, more people seem to be playing games or watching shows on the subway or bus with the volume on. Please, make it stop.

    Thanks for allowing me to rant, Jeanne. I feel better!

  11. Jeanne Byington Said:


    My answers. Because

    1) Nobody is paying attention
    2) It’s easier to inflict higher charges on the rest of us than to enforce the laws and most are too frightened to say anything.
    3) I LOVE the idea of a texting lane. When I was in California I was so impressed that there were pull-offs for tourists who wanted to take their time on the narrow two-lane scenic route to let commuters go on their way.
    4) A million years ago when the earbuds/loud music trend began my husband bought stock in a company that made hearing aids. It had a great reputation, having just been spun off by a reputable Fortune 500 company. Guess what? Turns out the new owners were crooks and the company went bankrupt. But I thought he was on to something by getting in early on!

  12. Lucrezia Said:

    Looking for answers? Here they are:
    1) Yes
    2) Yes
    3) No
    4) Anything is possible
    5) Yes: testosterone!
    6) Yes
    7) Yes
    8) Yes
    9) But of course!
    10) Possibly
    11) All done……Phew!

  13. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Thanks! You get an A+.

  14. Martha Tepper Takayama Takayama Said:

    i am most sorry that it seems manners no longer matter at all! Neither does kindness or consideration for others. It is really unfortunate because good manners really make life easier.

    I don’t know how some people always manage to be or seem to be cheerful, but humor does make things easier.

    I think it is very unpleasant to yell at service people and I doubt it makes anything better, but actually worse. However, I must confess that the incredible disinterested, rude and interminably slow and proudly disinterested ‘service” so-called service providers offer today does make me want to be mean!

    And if I speak harshly to the rude party on the other end of the nightmarish service calls we all waste hours on, I end up apologizing and saying that I don’t blame the person I am talking to, but their superiors! Then I feel even worse. I hope that my irreverence or worn-out sense of humor and ability to laugh at myself will prevail but it can be difficult!

  15. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Manners are the lubricant that helps people live together in towns or cities and between nations. They help keep interactions civil which is crucial when people disagree.

    I’ve been known to apologize to customer service before I say another word because sometimes I’m so upset I fear I can’t control my frustration and I know it’s not the fault of the poor schnook at the other end of the line who isn’t paid enough to hear my gripes.

    Humor is precious. I agree.

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