The other day I mentioned I rode the bus for the bus time. I can (sorta) laugh about this now, but at the time it was not funny, and I was so mad at myself.
Eric and I bought 30 day CTA passes the other day. They're $87 dollars, and you can take the L or the bus as much as you want. Eric tried out his pass earlier in the day, and rode the bus downtown. When he got back to the apartment he told me how it works, and what to expect.
He told me you have to be quick when you step on the bus. Apparently the bus driver snapped at him to hurry up. He said that you slide your CTA pass in a machine when you first get on. The machine is by the driver, on the right. The machine scans your card and pops back out. Then you must take your card and find a seat immediately, because the bus starts moving. If there are no seats you have to stand up. If there’s no room everyone has to keep moving towards the back to let more people on. When you want off you have to tug this pull cord, get up, and press on the doors when the bus stops.
So we walk down the street to catch a bus to Trader Joe’s. I got very nervous about how this whole bus-thing was going to go down. I mean, I was really nervous. I don’t know why I get so worked up sometimes. When I get nervous, I make stupid mistakes.
The bus pulls up. Eric quickly steps on and I’m right behind him. He scans his card incredibly fast, and I can’t really see around him to see what he’s doing. It all happened so quickly, it’s hard to say what I was really thinking. I see a machine on the right side and stick my pass in, as fast as possible. I mean, I was quick! More people were behind me who needed on the bus! We can’t leave them behind! The bus driver shouts NOOOO and lunges towards the pass going in the machine…. the pass not popping back out. Then he said, “It’s gone. I can’t get it back. You’re going to have to fill out some forms to the CTA to get a new one.”
I had stuck my pass in the machine that takes CASH.
I look at Eric. He’s just shaking his head.
I’m such an idiot.
Let’s just say that trip to Trader Joe’s was a depressing one. Not even a bucket of Ginger Cats could cheer me up. No one likes to fail on their first bus ride. Since then, I have successfully taken the bus seven times, and the L once. The CTA has already mailed me a new 30 day pass.
But now I take my time when I get on the bus and pay attention to which machine I’m choosing. The machine for passes isn’t always on the right!