There’s an interesting social dynamic that happens as commuters gather to wait for the bus.
They mill around casually at first. Some reading the times posted on the, um, post. Others sit in the shelter, some read. But as casual as everyone appears, make no mistake – every single one of them is on high alert.
Like a crack commuter SWAT team, muscles are tensed and reflexes readied to spring into action.
And this action spring happens at the mysterious, yet precise, moment when the first person makes that subtle head tilt or shoulder shift declaring “the line is now forming, people, THE LINE IS NOW FORMING!”
Maybe this happens in other places, but here it’s like playing a game of Lineup Chicken: “Let’s wait until the last possible moment, wait for the other guy to flinch, then we bolt.”
It must be interesting to observe from space. You blink and that relaxed scattering of commuters has formed a rigid line.
And according to strict rules of bus-line etiquette, you traditionally keep your place in the queue as you board the bus. I tampered with that etiquette today as I stood aside from my coveted front-line position (don’t ask how I ended up there, it has to do with having well-honed curb instincts, precise timing and big feet).
I stood aside in order to let the elderly lady behind me get on the bus first. I sensed she was anxious to sit down and she did indeed find a prime seat.
I won’t lie to you … I’m happy to say, so did I ….
P.S. Here is a great song from Canada’s Jill Barber. Enjoy!