Ahh! Fire!

“I’m an ADULT!” (I’m not part of the system!)

-An angry young Bay Area man to a middle-aged woman managing the shuttle bus to San Francisco

For those who didn’t get that reference, the man’s frustration reminded me of The Lonely Island’s music video “Threw It On The Ground”. His quote was taken out of context, but was said in the exact same tone as one of the lyrics from the song.

So a little more context, today there was a fire on the tracks of the BART train tracks at West Oakland, rendering the major transit system incapable of bringing anyone from the East Bay to San Francisco. The BART did offer a shuttle bus, however, the line for the shuttle bus wrapped all the way around the block. This man was at the end of the line, definitely in a bad mood. I think he was trying to hop on cars who were offering rides to San Francisco for money, but was causing a ruckus.

For those who are curious, the woman replied with a:

“Sure, you’re an adult…wait till you get robbed and then we’ll see who’s an adult…”

This situation may have been an inconvenience to many everyone who was trying to get to work, but I was actually quite happy that it had happened. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t that I hated the Dev team and didn’t want come in to work, (I love you guys! Is that a code yellow?) I just found that it revealed more of the personalities of people in the Bay Area. Of course, I shouldn’t generalize. I know I was only seeing a small slice of the demographic of the Bay Area (these were people who lived in the Dublin/Pleasanton, Richmond, Freemont and the Pittsburgh/Bay Point areas who had jobs in San Francisco), but it was interesting interacting with people in times of inconvenience.

In the middle of the line, I found a talented artist who specialized in drawing profiles and portraits and black woman. He also turned out to be an exceptional rapper as I listened to him test out a few lines to entertain everyone on the line.

A little later, I decided to make the attempt to get to San Francisco while I tried to get wifi in order to let the Dev team know that I wasn’t going to get there on time. As I was searching, two other men joined me on the back of the line and we engaged in a friendly conversation. One of the men worked for a contractor and had to call his boss, but didn’t have a cell phone to do so. I lent him mine and later found out more about the extremity of what had happened on the tracks.

“So I heard it was so hot where the tracks caught fire that the power cords and nearby street lamps started to melt. Kinda like those Salvador Dali paintings, except for real this time!”

As the line moved along, an ACtransit worker who was also monitoring the line asked us how we were all doing. We responded with thumbs up, but wondered how long it would take the shuttle bus to get to the city. The woman had sense of humor.

“Eh, you’ll get there about 4:3o, sit there for half an hour, eat lunch and leave at 5. Sound good?”

We gaped at her.

“Guys. Relax. I’m kidding.”

We all heave a sigh of relief. Shortly afterwards, I finally got wifi and quickly e-mail Larry that I was going to be extremely late. He quickly replied that I could work from home today. I retrieved my cell phone from the man who had just managed to reach his boss and bid him good luck in getting to work.

“Enjoy your day off! Wish I could skip out, but I need the money!”


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