Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Public Transports, Drivers, Conductors, Barkers, and Attitude



I write this in the wake of a biter encounter of an intimate with a conductor with apparently brusque manner. Instead of attempting to dampen the heat of the argument, this conductor of a well-known bus line continued to act as if he owns this intimate of mine, as if he is the boss of the bus aisle, as if manners are no longer require for their job. It was for a valid reason that this intimate of mine blurted out: “Kuya, kaya konduktor nga lang e!” pertaining to his coarse attitude which most likely pushed him towards that job.

A clarification: this is not, in any way, aimed in disparaging such job, or a driver’s job or even generalizing them into one particular description. Our family’s breadwinner was once a bus conductor too. This blog entry is meant to point out that some of those who work in the transport sector often times forget that in every piece of work they do, manners (at least in the level understood by elementary school children) still matter.

I have already encountered bus conductors who only lack a whip to use for the passengers. Some of their harsh words are certainly not appropriate. They may not have finished formal schooling but that is not a reason for them not to treat the passengers well. To play with a common phrase, passengers are customers too, and customers are always right.

As with the drivers, my point concerns in particular jeepney drivers who belch out cigarette smoke as if they are chimneys to the great irritation of non-smoking passengers. I fully understand the feelings of craving for smoke, but to do the smoking inside a public vehicle despite an existing law against this practice is something really out of place. Their on board stereo with their ear-splitting twitters and chest-busting bass are, to be straightforward, rude too. Modulated sounds would to good for a ride.

Lastly, for a “job” that is obviously sewn in a fabric of charity, a little politeness would be enough. Barkers would do well to make their actions a reflection of their desire to earn money for their family and not as a reflection of their lack of education. Tax-paying people own the streets and highways (including the barkers to some extent) but that does not endow the right to rule the streets as if they are gods.

This is indeed an ugly picture in our environs. If the majority of the people shout of living moral lives, then we might as well fulfill this by performing the basics of such morality, devoid of religious strings – and that is treating people with respect. I may not have been out to different places with different cultures and political set-ups, but I think it is from this concept of respect that the sense of humanity blooms.

As a final note, there is still much more to be improved in our transportation sector and its varied transactions and mechanisms.

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