Cough, cough, ahem…hello?

April 1st, 2011 · 127 comments

Patrick in Lexington, Kentucky recently had the pleasure of taking a luxurious Greyhound bus, and was amused to see this note affixed to the bus station ticket counter.

“I assume it was in response to someone trying to get the desk clerk’s attention,” says Patrick, “but the idea of some poor throat-clearing sap getting thrown out because of his head cold really tickled me.”

Dont knock, yell, or clear throat over my counter or ill ignore you — NO Service —

Adds Patrick: “You have no idea how difficult it was to surreptitiously take this picture — the angry desk clerk nearly caught me twice.”

related: Counter Attack

FILED UNDER: "customer service" · Kentucky · Lexington

127 responses so far ↓

  • #1   ashmeadow

    I know this is really hard for misanthropes to get but paying attention to your customers mean that they might annoy for a smaller amount of time.

    Apr 1, 2011 at 10:34 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   Mrs.Beasley bang

      I think if Greyhound’s Top Dog is a regular reader of PAN, there’s about to be a job opening at the Lexington KY station.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 12:49 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.2   park rose

      Unlikely. It takes a special breed to man a Greyhound station.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 2:31 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.3   Lauren--NY

      I’m not siding with this guy because that sign is ridiculous, but everyone who works face to face with the public knows that customers can be just as bad. I had a guy THROW his credit card at me because he didn’t want to pay his library fines. Then I had to tell him we don’t take credit cards and I was actually afraid he was going to hit me.

      Happens more often than you’d think.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 4:46 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.4   ashmeadow

      I did work in the food industry, so I do know how customers can be. But I also learned that the grand majority of the bad ones just wanted to feel like they were being paid attention to, even if they didn’t get what they wanted. The other ones were just straight up selfish idiots.

      Apr 3, 2011 at 7:22 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.5   The Elf

      Half on team Greyhound because I’ve done my time in customer service hell too, but this is over the top. Way over the top.

      Apr 4, 2011 at 10:28 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.6   anglophile

      No, Elf, just because some of the people you need to wait on are horrible does NOT mean you get to be pre-emptively horrible in return. That is because it is your job as a customer service rep to provide service to your customers. Even the rude, annoying, smelly ones.

      Apr 4, 2011 at 10:50 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.7   The Elf

      I agree – that’s why I said the note was over the top. But I do sympathize with the note-writer.

      Apr 4, 2011 at 12:59 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #2   mystic_eye_cda


    Happy April Fools!

    Apr 1, 2011 at 10:36 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   park rose

      You had me going there for a minute!

      Apr 2, 2011 at 2:32 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #3   mghmmghhmghh

    i would have had SO MUCH FUN clearing my throat

    Apr 1, 2011 at 10:46 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   shwo! bang

      “I have a theory about the Brontosaurus…”

      Apr 1, 2011 at 11:51 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #4   Restless

    Somebody should forward this to the corporate office.

    Not that it’d do any good, but it’s always fun to see how they spin it.

    Apr 1, 2011 at 10:58 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   Trish

      I thought the same thing. If I had been the one taking the photo, I would have sent it there right before posting it here.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 9:47 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.2   J

      I got a talking to from my company’s corporate office because a folded a customer’s receipt in half.

      Seriously, that was her only complaint – I folded her foot long receipt in half before handing it to her (I didn’t even crease it!).

      I had to hear about it in a more than 30 minute “coaching” session.

      Apr 3, 2011 at 4:35 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #5   Rhamza

    they are happy to take your money but not happy to serve you, weird…

    Apr 1, 2011 at 11:00 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #6   Who? Me?

    Hmmm, this is a rather novel but, on reflection, brilliant bit of PR – assuming management would actually let you get away with it …

    Prior to any interaction with your customers, non-verbally communicate to them via a sign that you quite possibly are a raging lunatic who could go off at any moment.

    That way, you “motivate them” to “be nice to you” because they do need something from you, after all, and who wants to deal with a raging psycho who is standing between you and “the pleasure of a luxurious Greyhound bus” trip?

    Man, I can even imagine the guy cackling, “I just heard you knock – No Bus For You!” No,change that, it wouldn’t be a cackle – it would be a low, quiet and fast voice, like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man: “No bus for you, you broke the rule, no bus for you”.

    Pretty ballsy of you, Patrick. You are way more gutsy than I am.

    Apr 1, 2011 at 11:04 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #7   TickleMyBambo

    Wow, this guy is serious business, or a serious curmudgeon… I wonder, would I be permanently banned from ever riding the bus if I accidentally ripped one in front of his desk?

    Apr 1, 2011 at 11:23 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   aynaz

      am i the only one who initially read curmudgeon as “cum dungeon”?

      Apr 3, 2011 at 6:32 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.2   Lauren--NY

      @aynaz: Yes.

      Apr 3, 2011 at 5:40 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #8   Fervel

    So the only means left to get someone’s attention is to go over the counter and poke them?

    Or maybe just stab them…

    Apr 1, 2011 at 11:28 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   TickleMyBambo

      What really works is to walk up to him and say: “CHARLIE MURPHY! What did the four fingers say to the face?”. Guy looks up, rolls his eyes and shrugs.. Then you leap over the counter and say “SLAP! HA HA” as you slap him in the face.

      Apr 1, 2011 at 11:39 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.2   ariane

      Not a word about throwing sharpies, paper wads or spit balls to get his attention. I think I’ll go with spit balls.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 2:43 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #9   shwo! bang

    It says nothing about singing.

    Apr 1, 2011 at 11:54 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   Worker 11811

      “This is the song that doesn’t end.”
      “Yes, it goes on and on, my friend.”
      “Some people started singing it,”
      “Not knowing what it was.”
      “But they’ll continue singing it forever,”
      “Just because…”

      Apr 2, 2011 at 8:44 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #10   Patrick

    Whoo, I got published! For the record, the desk clerk didn’t seem to be a mean guy, really—just EXTREMELY impatient. Someone called in to get their ticket refunded and after about three minutes of trying to make the caller understand that it wasn’t possible, the clerk just hung up on him.

    Apr 1, 2011 at 11:57 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.1   Canthz_B bang

      Congrats on your book…and on your submission of what someone else wrote being posted on the internet.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 12:57 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.2   Trish

      Please tell me you sent this pic and your experience to Grey Hound. Seriously.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 9:48 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.3   JumbleJumble

      hahahaha, CB! You dick. :D

      Apr 5, 2011 at 7:31 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #11   TickleMyBambo

    Hello Ladies (and Gentlmen),

    I have to inform you that yelling at the desk clerk is not only unnecessary, but extremely rude. Also knocking on the counter is annoying, the bell is there for a reason. Another issue that needs to be addressed it the “throat clearing”. If you need to clear your throat please do so on your sleeve or in a tissue for this is very unsanitary. Think about it, when you cough germs go everywhere, and your in the desk clerks space infecting it with your germs. People also use their hands to eat to. Speaking of eating, there is a “potluck” on Friday!!!! Please see Casey in Human Resources if you want to bring something. Thank You.


    Apr 2, 2011 at 12:21 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.1   Trish

      Sometimes people just cough. In fact, if I haven’t talked in a long time, I find I need to clear my throat to say anything.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 9:50 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.2   clumber

      See now TmB/ThxSandra, I fail to see a desk bell or even reference to a desk bell. Of course Patrick could perhaps educate me, but without evidence of a bell, I have to go with Fervel @8. It appears that BatShitClerk has removed all method of polite attention-getting available.

      And Patrick, I feel for ya’ dude. I’ve had to ride GreyHound in the past. I think I’d rather walk. Yes, even cross-country.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 11:59 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.3   Patrick

      The ticket desk was actually the least traumatic part of the journey. The MOST traumatic thing would probably be when the obese lady decided to have phone sex right beside me, then got up to diddle herself in the bathroom. :(

      And I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a desk bell, for what it’s worth. It was a month ago, though, so I could be wrong.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 12:23 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.4   Canthz_B bang

      Most traumatic Greyhound moment?

      c. 1967, three black children aged 10, 8 and 5 traveling from Charlotte, NC to Newark, NJ with no adults after having spent the summer with their grandparents.
      Bus stops in Winston-Salem, NC for a rest-stop. Children disembark. When trying to re-board the bus, they are told their seats have been sold and they have to stay in Winston-Salem until morning.
      10 year-old girl breaks into tears explaining that their mom will be in Newark waiting for them and they won’t be on the bus. 8 and 5 year-old boys break into tears. Station staff can’t stop the three kids from crying and shaking uncontrollably with fear (these black Jersey kids had heard stories of the South at night).

      Three little black kids ride from Winston-Salem, NC to Newark, NJ through the night sitting on their suitcases in the aisle, occasionally looking at the white folks in their seats and wondering why…but they rode that bus damn it!!

      There were other rest-stops along the way but, as you’ve probably guessed, the kids chose not to leave the bus again.

      I still wonder if those people who stole our seats felt any guilt watching us sitting there on our luggage, but I doubt they felt any…they felt entitled to them and probably retain no memory of this incident.
      I was 5 years-old then, now 49, and I will never forget it. :-(

      Sitting next to a horny fat woman is not all that traumatic in the vast scheme of things.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 12:37 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.5   Who? Me?

      CB, I’m sending you a virtual hug … To think that any adults would be so heartless to small children, well, it makes my skin crawl (not curdle ;) ).

      Do you think that the people who “stole your seats” actually knew what was going on? Is it possible that they just bought their tickets, without even knowing the back-story?

      If they knew, shame on them. I’m sure they wanted to get to their own wherever too, but to treat small children that way is too horrible for words.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 3:14 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.6   Canthz_B bang

      Oh, they knew. There was an argument about it…and my sister crying isn’t something anyone could ever miss…she was a real caterwauler, and pointed directly at our seats as she pleaded our case.

      God love her, my sister has always been a logical thinker and a great debater. That’s why when she started crying my brother and I lost it.

      That was the times. I can accept that, but I will not forget it, and still work to forgive it.

      Either way, you don’t make the people already on the bus get off and wait until morning. You apologize to the people you sold tickets to on a full bus and make them wait for the next one. Trying to kick us off was just plain wrong.
      There is no valid excuse for that.
      Besides, we’d paid for seats too, more in fact because our trip was longer, but we sat on suitcases when we’d paid for seats and transportation. All we got was transportation. See the inequity?

      Apr 2, 2011 at 3:20 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.7   chesire cat

      That is horrible what you went through. I am sorry that happened to you. I would have given you my seat or let the little one sit in my lap or something.

      I can’t help but wonder though why your parents thought letting fairly young kids ride a long bus ride by themselves as a good or acceptable idea. Especially since things like what did happen could happen. I certainly would not have let me kids do that. I would not even let them do that now at that age. No freaking way. I would go with them.

      As bad as that experience was it could have been MUCH worse if they did not let you back on the bus and 3 young kids were stranded at a bus station in an unfamiliar town. All kinds of awful things could have happened.

      Hell I know for a fact airlines at least CONTINUTE to oversell seats and this type of crap still happens to people thus why I would never let a young child travel alone.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 3:55 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.8   Canthz_B bang

      Parents? I didn’t have “parents” back then. My mom did both jobs.

      Different times, different standards. For some odd reason, we were taught not to go off with strangers and knew better than to do so. It’s called raising children smart and able enough to do what needs doing…we did that, didn’t take no for an answer. We cried our asses back onto the bus, and getting back on the bus was all we wanted to achieve…not a seat…but a ride, and we got that so we won the day. I told you, my sister was and is about logic, and to her mind being on the bus is what we needed…didn’t matter where on the bus, just GET ON THAT BUS!! We accomplished that goal.
      Not everyone was in a position to take time off of work to travel when they needed to, and back then black people were especially at the mercy of their employers. My mom was a domestic back then. She either went to work or got fired.

      There may be a level of “poor” you’re not familiar with, but she was still able to scrape together enough to send us down south for the summer and pay the fare to get us home…perhaps you’re missing that fact, and that she was responsible enough to save up enough money to send her children to her parents for the summer…something that speaks to her powers of forethought and determination to do the right thing for her children. Something that required more than a small degree of self-sacrifice.
      That and the fact that had she not, no one would have been watching over us all summer while school was out and she was at work.
      Poor people do what is necessary for survival and get by. They don’t always have the luxury of making the better choices, they just make the best choice they can afford to make.

      Thinking that a southern racist would give their seat to a black child or let a black child ride in their lap in 1967 is patently absurd (and who the hell paid to sit on someones lap anyway? My mom paid full price for seats for her children). Just not gonna happen. You’re forgetting the place, time, mindset and context.

      I count myself blessed by these things. Empowerment can be learned in many different ways, but never by over-protection. A dose of real worldism never hurt anyone prepared to deal with it…so prepare your kids for the real world, take off their blinders and put them on a plane to grandma’s house.
      They’ll thank you for it someday, and you’ll enjoy a brief vacation from over-protective parenting.

      Don’t feel sorry for me. I learned a great deal that night, not least of which is that there’s more than one way of skinning a cat.
      At least that’s what my big sister said with a wink as we rode up the highway!
      You see, she’d argued the facts and gotten nowhere, so she turned on the waterworks as tactic two…and it worked. Not bad for a 10 year-old. ;-)

      Haven’t thought of this in years, forgive me, but memories are rushing back, and I have to stow them back where they belong in the back of my mind…for my own protection and sanity.
      Racism is a bitch and does more everlasting harm than you can ever know. Can’t stop thinking “What about the time…”

      Apr 2, 2011 at 4:10 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.9   chesire cat

      I am southern and I am definitely not a racist. So you know, I didn’t exist back then but I exist now and I would did all I could to help some poor kids out.

      My kids visit their grandparents frequently alone. The difference being I don’t send them there alone on a bus. Sorry your circumstances were so bad. However that doesn’t make what your mother did responsible, even if that was her only choice.

      You had a right to your seat on the bus she paid for. No argument there. My argument is you seem to put all the blame on the bus company and I think some blame has to go on your mother for putting children in a situation by yourselves where it happened in the first place.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 5:10 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.10   Canthz_B bang

      You put the blame there because you don’t, and never will, get it. That’s fine with me…I’m used to people like you.
      Do you really think that they wouldn’t have sold my mom’s seat as well had she been there? That we should have been a safe and happy family waiting until morning stranded in North Carolina for the next bus while the one we had tickets for and had been passengers aboard drove away? Singing spirituals and shit in your imagination no doubt. After all, patience is a virtue.
      IT WAS WRONG AND IT WAS SOLELY THE FAULT OF THE BUS COMPANY!! YOU DON’T TAKE SEATS FROM PASSENGERS WHO HAVE BOUGHT THEM, PAID FOR THEM AND HAVE BEEN SEATED IN THEM!! Unless they’re black, then it’s no holds barred. That was the order of the day back then. Get a clue, will you please?
      Do you have no concept of what racism in America was like before you existed?
      You miss the fact that she should never have expected that this SHOULD happen. The very people who sold us our tickets were also charged with enforcing the legitimacy and sanctity of those tickets
      Her parents put her children on a bus with valid tickets, bought and paid for. She was up North to receive them upon arrival. Her children knew how to get on and off of a bus without being distracted by strangers, which we were doing when stopped.
      There is no irresponsibility there on our parts. We were responsible travelers.
      The bus company (not some strangers) tried to kick us off of the bus, and her well-taught kids thwarted that attempt.
      Nothing happened because of my mom. Nothing happened because of us being children. It all happened because someone tried to take advantage of us and thought there was nothing we could or would do about it.

      Well, we were not wimpy kids like yours. We got our way and got ourselves back on the bus and all the way back home.

      My mom is 77 and just had back surgery, and she’d still probably be able to kick your punk ass up and down the block for a few hours.
      Trying to paint her as an irresponsible parent after she’s raised three successful, intelligent, responsible human beings is a pile of shit. My sister is a graduate (with honors) of Brown University, my brother has been a fire-fighter for 30 years (even responded to the attacks on the WTC on 9-11) and is about to retire, and I’m…well I’m CB and I think most here would agree (like me or not), that I am no slouch intellectually. That all says a great deal about my mom’s skills as a parent. ;-)
      My mom graduated from high school as valedictorian, was a domestic servant because that was about all a black woman could expect to get in the 1950s as far as employment, and has been retired from the phone company since age 58. Left a position in management there. Irresponsible domestic servants don’t do that with their lives. The woman has more intelligence, strength and integrity in her little finger than you have in your entire body and has picked more cotton than you will ever wear!
      She just happened to be a black woman in America at the wrong time in our shared history.

      You know not of what you speak, probably because you did not exist back then.Try shutting the fuck up and learning to accept some historical facts of life for a fucking change!

      You know what? I’ve changed my mind.
      The interstate transportation system in America has NEVER had racial inequities (couldn’t have, because you didn’t exist), I’ve never experienced any, and my mother and all other poor women should force their children into the inner city streets all summer if they cannot afford to travel with them.

      Happy now?
      GOD! You people who refuse to see the impact and affects racism has had on others really chafe my ass.
      Just because you didn’t do any of it personally doesn’t mean it never happened.
      Did you kill any Jews in Europe in the 30′s and 40′s? No? Did it happen? Maybe it was the parents’ fault because they didn’t get their children out of Europe fast enough. Not the fault of the Nazis that killed them. Maybe they should all share the blame as you suggest above.

      Please bear in mind that I AM NOT CALLING YOU A RACIST…just ignorant of the facts and a bit elitist. Poor people do what they can do. They should not be judged harshly for doing their best and having trust in others whose job it is to perform the duties they’ve been paid to do.
      I used to be poor, so I know what I’m talking about…try to respect that just a bit.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 5:29 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.11   Who? Me?

      chesire cat, I think you are guilty of putting your 2011 attitudes back into a very different world, and blaming CB’s mom is just making a painful memory that much more painful. What you are saying is outrageous.

      Back in those days, “good parents” didn’t even use safety belts, for heaven sakes. Children traveled alone all the time, and people didn’t think twice about it. Having responsible adults at each of the trip was how it was done. And the oldest child was ten, and likely starting to babysit by that time.

      The bus company was *completely to blame*! You don’t sell someone’s seat because they get off the bus at a rest stop! And if they accidentally made a mistake, the newest passengers should have been told, so sorry, the seats were already occupied.

      Adults took advantage of children because the opportunity presented itself. The bus company collected two fares for the same seat. But if you are living in a culture where blacks are thought of as second class citizens, nobody blinks an eye.

      I’m not black, I’m a privileged white woman. My DD12 was recently taken advantage of by a local store owner who pretended to sell her a service (a manicure) at a low price, then when it was all over told her a different price and insisted that she pay. English is not the owner’s native language, I think she uses that as a scam technique.

      At the age of 12, my DD is only now being allowed to walk “alone” (with a friend and a phone) to a local shopping center. And the first time out of the bat, she gets ripped off by an adult.

      Afterwards, I walked with my daughter and her friend to that store, and in front of the entire store told the owner she should be ashamed of herself. And I’m sure there was likely at least one person like you who silently thought it was “my” fault for allowing my child to start to have a little more responsibility.

      I told my daughter that she had just learned an expensive lesson. She grew up a little more that day, sadly. The wolves are out there, you have to be careful. Unless you plan to keep your own kids locked up in your house until the age of 21, Chesire cat, you’ll find that out for yourself one day. Then we’ll see who you think the real bad guys are.

      Blaming the victim has been done for centuries, but it won’t actually make you or your children more safe.

      CB, I get it. Progress happens so slowly … It makes me want to scream. Give my best to your mom.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 7:35 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.12   TickleMyBambo

      Wow, I make a THX Sandra reference out of sheer amusement and it turns into a full blown discussion about placing blame, personal responsibility and traumatic bus stories…

      The article in which I referenced..

      Apr 2, 2011 at 10:39 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.13   TickleMyBambo

      And thank you for sharing your story with us , CB, sadly not many will understand that times were different then and you and your siblings did what you had to do cause there was no other choice. You obviously have came out of the experience a stronger person and for that you have my respect. Your mother was only doing what she thought was best and nobody should demean her for trying to support her family because it was either that or they all go starving and homeless until she found a new job. Don’t place blame on those just because you have no real idea where to place it.. it just makes you look like an ass.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 10:59 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.14   Ishie

      Wow, I’m only 30 and my parents sent me everywhere as a kid. Stranger danger awareness and all that, and I got quite good at making transit connections.

      Way back in my day (the 80s?), it was still quite common to send kids back and forth on transportation under the care of the company.

      Dumping children at a rest stop and selling their seats absolutely fails a responsibility companies have had until relatively recently. The concept that a mother in the 60s should conform to current helicopter mom standards seems… well… let’s say uninformed? And this is coming from someone young enough to think of Vietnam as “history class”.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 11:26 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.15   Canthz_B bang

      Thanks guys…sorry I lost it there for a moment.

      You know, my wife is back in school and is taking a History of the Post World War Two Era class.

      She has been amazed at the shock the college-aged students express when they learn of how racist our society used to be. Some had never even seen the fire-hoses being used on people in Montgomery, Alabama before this college course!

      Happily, they just don’t see how people could have ever thought the way they used to…and sometimes still do.
      Many, she says, are in inter-racial relationships and are deeply affected by and very outspoken about it.

      There is hope. My interracial grand-daughter’s future is dependent upon that hope, as is my son’s (not the same child as the mother of my grand-daughter) interracial marriage.

      Thankfully, the attitudes of 1967 are a long time in the past and not likely to return unless we allow them to do so. :-)

      Apr 3, 2011 at 2:58 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.16   Mrs.Beasley bang

      OK, then! So who’s with me for a few rounds of Kumbaya?

      Apr 3, 2011 at 3:21 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.17   Canthz_B bang

      LOL…Or “We Are the World”. LOL

      Apr 3, 2011 at 3:27 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.18   TickleMyBambo

      CB, I hope you mean the Original version of “We are the World” and not that sad excuse of a “We are the World” remake.

      Apr 3, 2011 at 4:54 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.19   Canthz_B bang

      1985, of course. :-D

      Apr 3, 2011 at 5:06 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.20   chesire cat

      Who?Me? : There is a big difference in your 12 year old daughter walking to the store close to your house with a cell phone and three much younger kids riding on a train halfway across the country.

      No, I do understand how bad racism was CB. For one thing I am a history major. That is why I fond what your mother did irreponsible. You are contradicting yourself. If racism was so bad like you say it was, than sending 3 small black children alone to the South without an adult to watch out for them would be VERY irresponsible! They may or may not have sold out your tickets had your mother been with you. Either way if you got stranded at least you would have had an adult with you to get you a hotel room or make sure no one molested you. They might have been less likely to even sell your seats had she been with you. Either way you would have been better off if she was with you. That goes for today’s standards and the past standards.

      It would actually be safer now to do what your mother did since people are not that racist anymore. Also with inventions like cell phones it makes it much safer. I still don’t think I would send a 5 year old alone on a bus trip with only a 10 year old to watch out for them even today but back then especially if my children happened to be the “wrong” color. Hell no would I have risked my children that way!

      I am not going to argue it anymore, I just wanted and felt it needed to be pointed out that it might not have been the wisest decision on your mother’s part to let the whole situation go down in the first place.

      Apr 3, 2011 at 7:08 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.21   Canthz_B bang

      “If racism was so bad like you say it was, than sending 3 small black children alone to the South without an adult to watch out for them would be VERY irresponsible!”
      If? It was, but we didn’t let racism control our activities and movements because you cannot allow injustice to rule your life. You must fight against it on every front, at every opportunity. Otherwise, you’re saying you accept injustice.
      You’re an idiot. You actually think that in the south back then a black adult female had the power to protect her children should a horrible situation develop, don’t you?

      You have no idea of the fear of living in a racist society. In fact, you don’t know what real FEAR is. Social control of blacks was based upon FEAR…and you’re saying that my mother should have bought into that fear tactic and not allowed us to travel within the country which is our home?
      Name me just one black adult who was able to save his or her son from a lynch mob…JUST ONE!!!!
      We’re talking about a time and place wherein people were still being dragged from their homes and lynched, family member objections never seemed to stop that.
      You’re assuming she’d have had some power which at the time society did not give her (as if she had the power to turn back a mob if one of us had broken one of many social conventions of the South a la Emmitt Till…Google it…)
      That’s what racism does. It strips power from the discriminated upon class. Do you not understand what having no power is like? Then you don’t understand discrimination.
      We, adults and children, traveled between the north and south all the time. Not because it was safe all of the time, but because we had a right to, had family ties, and refused to allow fear to control us. Again, you really don’t understand racism in America and just how blacks were able to deal with it and still live full lives.

      You may be a history major, but I’m a history survivor. Your books can never convey what real life was like…so shut it.
      You don’t know what you’re talking about. They would NOT have been less likely to sell our seats had she been with us, they’d have just had an additional seat for sale. You seem to not grasp the concept that blacks were second-class citizens no matter their age. Injustice was commonplace and accepted as just the way things were.

      Well, we did not accept it, and got ourselves back on that bus! Just because your kids don’t have the strength of will and self-confidence to do the same doesn’t mean all kids are helpless.

      There was no way a child molester would have bothered us (again, you are bringing your 2011 fears into a 1967 situation). Last time I checked they prefer to target lone individuals not a group of three, and not three who are savvy enough to know better. My mom would not have sent us if my sister wasn’t as mature a person for her age as she was. As I said above, my sister cut to the heart of the matter. She didn’t argue for our seats….she argued that we needed to ride that bus and she won the day. She was aware by age 10 that there was no way the company was going to ask white people to give “their seats” to black children in 1967, so she changed tactics. Do you really think a mind that sharp would be distracted by a fucking puppy?

      You know, as a history major, you can gain a much better perspective on history than just what you read in history books if you stop and listen to the people who lived the times. They can add some feeling to the facts for you. I’d like to suggest that you speak to some people of all races in the age range of 50 and above. You may gain some surprising insights into our not too distant past. ;-)

      Apr 3, 2011 at 12:14 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.22   Who? Me?

      Of course there is a big difference in my 12 year old daughter walking to the store close to my house with a cell phone and three much younger kids riding on a train halfway across the country. You seem to have missed my point.

      In that store, when I was doing my best to shame that owner for taking advantage of children, I could see in the eyes of the patrons that some were thinking that the entire situation was “my” fault.

      Perhaps you should expand your studies to the field of psychology where you can discover why it is so emotionally soothing to blame the victim. It is a way of (psychologically) protecting yourself from a horrific situation that you pretend “could never happen to you” because you never would have done what the “stupid” victims did. Having this little fantasy helps you “feel” safe, which is delusional thinking but it gives folks the courage they need to get out of bed in the morning.

      You don’t seem to realize that poor people don’t always have the “luxuries” that the non-poor have. Did you know that some parents actually have had to leave their children in the hands of questionable characters because they have to go to work and they have no other choices? Pretty damn tough choice – let your kids starve, or go to work and hope for the best. Ghandi once said, “Poverty is the worst form of violence.”

      You don’t even know what was behind the trip to the grandparents. Perhaps it was just a vacation, or perhaps it was required because of some obligation that Mom had and needed somebody she trusted to watch the kids. So, as “risky” as the trip was (hah!), it was the best option among all of her choices.

      Until you’ve walked in those shoes, you have no idea what you are talking about.

      Apr 3, 2011 at 12:53 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.23   chesire cat

      Actually CB my 400 level History paper was on racism in the south from first hand accounts. My mother grew up in Hernando, Mississippi so she grew up right in the thick of it. Racism was bad that is why I would not have felt safe sending 3 very young kids there alone. Maybe your mother would have been given trouble too. But the difference is she could rent a hotel room should you guys get stranded. A 10 year old couldn’t.

      I think today’s standards do apply because I would not let kids that age go on a bus by themselves even now no matter what their color. A teenager, sure. A 10 year old being responsible for 2 even younger kids. Umm no.

      I am glad your sister was smart beyond her years and everything turned out okay in the end.

      Apr 3, 2011 at 4:15 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.24   Canthz_B bang

      She could rent a hotel room where? She’d have to find accommodations that allowed Negroes in a town with which she was not familiar.

      Rent a hotel room with what? Assuming she’d saved just enough for a 15 hour bus trip on a maid’s salary?

      You think the average man black or white had credit cards in 1967?

      Again, maids didn’t earn “vacation time”. There was no union. She worked at the pleasure of her employer.

      You continue to apply 2011 standards to 1967 life in black America. Something you clearly have no understanding of, and no willingness to learn about.

      You also have no idea apparently at how young an age children used to take on responsibility. By age 10 my sister was nearly our principal care-giver. She cooked, cleaned, laundered and babysat. You’d be surprised what your kids can do if you’d just teach them how and let them grow. Necessity being the mother of invention and all that.

      BTW, your mother’s experiences in Mississippi would be far different from those of a black Mississippian of the same age. I’m not so sure she can relate to you their perspectives. Try talking to them, then those of your grandparents’ age, both black and white. Your eyes may be opened just a bit to the realities on the ground at the time.

      No, I’m not going to post pictures of Emmitt Till this time. ;-)

      Apr 3, 2011 at 4:40 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.25   ashmeadow

      Hey CB,

      I actually did talk to my mother when I saw you’d wrote about this, because I wasn’t sure what her experiences would have been (she’s a couple years older than you and she lived in Kentucky) and she also wondered why you all were alone. She also said, that while they did walk to school alone, her mother would never have allowed her to cross the country alone. But those are simply my mother’s thoughts.

      My caveat is that I don’t know why your mother made her decision. For all I know, there was something going on in Newark that made the trip down south a better idea, so since I don’t know you or your mother’s reality, I’m not judging her decision. But I’m sure you can agree that three kids going down south alone is dangerous, whether it be 1967 or 2011 (though I understand what you mean about responsibility. My mother is still taking care of her 4 siblings) and that going with your mother would have made it less dangerous, although I understand completely why she couldn’t come.

      Chesire cat,
      Your history classes, and your second-hand research isn’t enough to say you understand. It really isn’t. You have the concept, but there is simply no way for you understand any of the sentiments behind being black. I understand why you think they way you do, but saying you understand and that you can make the “right” judgment based on the understanding is rather ignorant.

      I’m sorry those people were looking like it was your fault you daughter got ripped off. I hope you also told that she didn’t have to pay the new price and because the show owner was scamming her, the only thing the owner could have done was banned her, as horrible as that is. My mother always used to make sure I knew when things like tax and other assorted things were added, but she’s a really suspicious person (she also made sure I read everything I signed at that age).

      Apr 3, 2011 at 7:19 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.26   Who? Me?

      ashmeadow, keep in mind that your mother represents a sample size of one (in other words, not statistically significant) Also, in your post you mentioned that she is a really suspicious person. Her opinion obviously is going to have great sway with you, but she’s not really an authority on the subject.

      CB has expressed multiple times that “things were different back then”, and I agree with him. I don’t know how old you are, I’m approaching 50, and I have seen this phenomenon on a variety of subjects, including women’s rights. The young seem to take for granted the relatively nice playing field they have been given, and seem to have no idea of the sacrifices that transpired to make it that way. There seems to be a feeling that “it’s always been this way, and it always will be this way”.

      People back then were much more trusting of “authority”, including politicians, doctors, priests, what have you. There is a wariness and cynicism that has crept into the culture since Watergate or so. Things were done differently, they just were.

      Riding a bus was pretty much the same thing as riding a plane. You got on at the beginning, you got off at the end, and that was pretty much all there was to it. To lose your seat in the middle of the trip was not normal.

      As for my daughter, she had already paid the money to the store owner, and that person wouldn’t give it back. Don’t say that the only thing the owner could have done was to have banned her, she could have refunded the difference between the price my DD was quoted and the price she was charged. And if she had been smart and done that, she might have gotten our business again. I gave her every chance.

      But in hindsight, I’m glad it happened. The lesson my daughter got, for $10, is worth it’s weight in gold.

      Apr 3, 2011 at 8:38 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.27   anglophile bang

      CB, do you think the company ever actually got the extra ticket money, or do you think the clerk in Winston-Salem pocketed it? Did they even bother to try to justify by saying you were gone too long and company policy is to bump you or give some other explanation? What a horrifying story.

      On a related note, I see PBS is airing a special on the Freedom Riders next week. Looks like they have a lot of first-hand recollections.

      I am shaking my head over the “what was your mother thinking” attack. I suggest Chesire cat google “New York Times blames the victim” and see if she can’t avoid falling in the same trap.

      Apr 3, 2011 at 10:14 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.28   dave

      Aaaah! victim blaming. That isn’t ever going to die. Is it?
      I mean you are a good guy and not an attacker of course you have to take a responsibility of actions of a bad guy. It comes with the role, duh! You are a good guy for a god sake! Good guy’s innocent and totally moral misjudgment totally trumps bad guy’s deliberately immoral action on the sin scale.
      Look if sheep does not have a foresight to wear the wolf’s skin and disguise itself then it should do the right thing and take a responsibility of being murdered by a wolf.

      Apr 3, 2011 at 11:13 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.29   Canthz_B bang

      Maybe someone will Google up a map, because NJ to NC isn’t exactly “traveling cross-country”.

      Maybe today you guys think of it as an excessively long trip for kids to make, but it wasn’t unusual for people who had migrated North for work and opportunity to send their kids “down south” to spend the summer with grand-parents. It was no more dangerous to take that bus ride than to ride a bus across the city.

      In fact, it was safer to ride the bus down south than it would have been to be unsupervised all summer vacation long in a northern city. So for those of you wondering why my mom sent us, consider the alternative. Consider those inner-city kids whose parents did not have the wherewithal to (or were too irresponsible to) get their kids out of the city for the summer and what happened to many of them as they got involved in crime and drugs. Consider what a sacrifice it was to save the money to be able to buy three round-trip tickets on $50 a week pay. Consider what it must have been like to have very limited options. And above all, consider that you live in a very different world than she did…we did in 1967. The fact is, you haven’t walked my mom’s mile and probably couldn’t fill her shoes. I know I can’t, and probably not the shoes of anyone else raising children back then either. It’s much easier today.
      You can’t take your credit card mentality into a charge card world. Back then, you had to actually have the money to buy things. You didn’t have a piece of plastic that deferred payment for months at a time for you. If you had enough money, you had an American Express card and that bill was expected to be paid in full on the next bill.
      You can’t say things like “If your mom was there she could have just gotten a hotel room.” as if hotels were happily accepting black patrons when they weren’t. As if restaurants were happily accepting black diners when they weren’t. That’s why we carried our food with us, because there was no guarantee you’d find a place to eat (haven’t thought of that lovely, greasy shoebox in years either…smell that chicken, biscuit and fried apple pie?!)

      It was a different world altogether, and any history major should know at least that much about understanding how to assess history. That you have to view the period of time from the attitudes of the time in order to understand the time period in question properly.
      The issue isn’t about safety anyway, it’s about injustice. Keep your eyes on the ball.

      Who?Me?…I think the bottom fell out in 1968 when Martin and Bobby were assassinated, but Watergate was the nail in the coffin.

      Glo, no valid explanations were offered up. I don’t think it would have even occurred to them that we would or should deserve an explanation given our station in life. Adults didn’t feel a need to explain every little detail in life to children back then. Children were supposed to be seen and not heard. You told them something and no back-talk was expected from them…which is what makes my sister’s fighting back all the more extraordinary and admirable.
      As far as the money…I hope the clerk pocketed every dime. That’d show some entrepreneurial initiative at least! :lol:

      Apr 4, 2011 at 12:50 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.30   Rachel

      I can’t say I know what it was like to be black in America in 1967, but I can say I know what it is like to be a 2nd class citizen without rights. Most people believe that my wife and I shouldn’t experience the same rights and responsibilities as others. This is even in liberal ass CA in 2011. I’m pregnant with our daughter and even though we were married during the brief period in time it was legal in this state, I can tell you that we are undergoing considerable expense to try and make sure her rights as our child’s parent are protected. And there are no guarantees there. We shouldn’t be scared to take our child to Disneyworld. If something were to happen to me in the state of FL there is no guarantee they would honor my wife’s parental rights to our child. EVEN WITH AN ADOPTION (which shouldn’t be necessary because we are married people and her name will already be on our child’s birth certificate). So yeah, even at 30 I can imagine the magnification of those fears when things were 100x worse for people. Yes, I’m scared to hold my wife’s hand in lots of places in the south. Violence could errupt, but again, racism then was 100x worse than homophobia is today. And fuck them, we’re taking our child to Disneyworld, whether or not they’d honor it. You’ve got to live like things will go well, not live in fear. You can’t submit to ignorance, bigotry, and hate. That’s no way to live. Go CB.

      Apr 4, 2011 at 4:07 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.31   The Elf

      Sorry to hear it CB. There’s really no excuse for shit like that, especially to kids who don’t have the means to stand up for themselves.

      Patrick, your story horrifies me but I have to ask…. You didn’t record it? There’s a market for that, I’m sure.

      Apr 4, 2011 at 10:12 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.32   ashmeadow


      My mother was older than CB at the time, so I think she was quite understanding of how it was back then. She also has a degree in human resources and almost has a doctorate, so I would also say she’s an expert on race relations when it comes to matters like customer service. However, I was just responding to CB’s request that people who were there be asked. He asked with the implicit assumption that whoever was asked who sympathize with his point of view. I was merely stating that his inquiry might not acquire the results he wanted in all cases. That in fact, not even black people in 1967 were a monolith on childcare and that to assume that there wouldn’t be any significant diversity of thought isn’t quite reasonable.

      As far as I go, I stated quite clearly that I don’t know what circumstances went into CB’s mother’s decision, so her decision to let CB visit his grandparents finds no issue with me. It was probably a risk worth taking. But you can hardly assume there wasn’t considerable risk involved (not that their seats would get taken, but that a problem would come up that CB’s sister simply didn’t have enough authority to adequately solve, like if the bus just went on without them when they got off). In general 10-year olds don’t have the necessary authority, although they might be quite comfortable with responsibility. Regardless, CB’s sister was clever enough to get them safely back onto the bus and that’s definitely all that matters here. I glad there is evidence of parents who simply want the best for their children, since I don’t think we see quite as much of that today. I’ve certainly learned that risk perception is different for everyone, even for two kids in the ’60s.

      As for your daughter, I’m happy she learned how miserable some people can be about money. That will certainly serve her well in life. But I’m also glad my mother told me about some of it before I had to actually deal with it and so I knew how to manage it.

      Apr 4, 2011 at 10:40 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.33   Who? Me?

      ashmeadow, do you know how condescending your post sounds?

      At what sweet young age did your mother deal with the subject of “when the owner quotes you one price for a service, and then insists on a higher price after you have already “consumed” that service, this is what you do”?

      My daughter knew that she had taken the service, she did what she thought she should do, namely pay for it, because I’ve taught her not to be a thief.

      And for the record, if your mother “protected” you by installing an exaggerated sense of fear about the world so you count yourself lucky that this situation would have never happened to you, keep in mind that she also damaged you in ways you likely will only understand after many years of therapy.

      Apr 4, 2011 at 11:09 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.34   Ace of Space

      My twin brother and I started riding the Greyhound bus together without supervision at age nine. There were rules we had to follow: 1. Always sit behind the driver, 2. Never get off the bus (we didn’t have far to go, Just Cincinnati to Chicago), 3. Don’t talk to strangers, other than the driver. I remember being especially proud of the fact that my mother considered me mature enough to handle the trip by myself. 30 years later, I am well travelled, and so are my children. Helicoptering children just keeps them at home longer, IMO.

      Apr 4, 2011 at 3:51 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.35   Who? Me?

      Anglophile, I finally googled “New York Times blames the victim”. I had missed it when it came out. The results are sickening.

      The NYT wrote, Residents in the neighborhood where the abandoned trailer stands — known as the Quarters — said the victim had been visiting various friends there for months. They said she dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s. She would hang out with teenage boys at a playground, some said.

      WTF? Like other preteens, including my DD, she wanted to look older and “be cool”. She wanted boys to like her, poor thing. What the h*ll does “dressed older” even mean anyway? Do most 20 year old women dress like sluts these days? I think not.

      “Where was her mother? What was her mother thinking?” said Ms. Harrison, one of a handful of neighbors who would speak on the record. “How can you have an 11-year-old child missing down in the Quarters?”

      That’s right, it’s always the Mom’s fault, for not locking her daughter in a closet until she’s 21.

      “It’s just destroyed our community,” said Sheila Harrison, 48, a hospital worker who says she knows several of the defendants. “These boys have to live with this the rest of their lives.”

      That d*mn mother. Those poor boys.

      Yeah, right.

      Apr 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.36   chesire cat

      CB: Yes, kids can be very smart and quite resourceful and I am glad you guys were. The problem I have is that even if your sister was great at taking care of her younger siblings and other things, that is not her job. I know that really is a modern day belief but I think it still applies. She should have been being a kid, not a secondary mother.

      You are being obtuse as far as continuing to refuse to admit that you would have been better off with your mother coming along with you. Even is she could not get a hotel room. Even if they still kicked you off the bus. Having a capable adult with you would still have been better. Can you honestly argue that it would not? That is all I am arguing here. That maybe she should have been with you. You say, she couldn’t and I am not arguing that. I am just saying it would have been better if she had because the whole thing might not have happened in the first place and even if it did, she would have been better equipped to deal with it than a 10 year old.

      You don’t know a darn thing about my mother or her family. My mother was there when James Meredith got shot. Her father rented out a lot of houses to black families and he was the town sheriff. They witnessed a lot on both sides and were right in the thick of it. She tells stories about it all the time. It is rude to just dismiss her life like that. She played with the black children because their house was not near any other white families. It was up on the hill and then all the rental properties they owned were down surrounding the hill. She was raised practically by the black maid. She talks fondly of her all the time. Next time I am going to talk to her and see if she thought sending 3 kids of those ages on a bus down South by themselves would have been safe. I will ask my grandmother too. They were white, but they were very familiar with how both sides lived.

      I don’t think it will matter though. You seem completely unwilling to admit whatsoever that perhaps your mother did not use the best judgement. Even though ashmeadow backed up what I said by her mother’s experiences.

      Apr 4, 2011 at 6:01 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.37   TickleMyBambo

      Wow that article is messed up yo! While the mom should of checked up on her daughter at least once or twice, or shoot had a plan set up.. like, okay you’re going to hang out with these kids for a few hours, at least call me and let me know where you are and whats up or you can come home, just let me know all is well. That way the girl isn’t being constantly helicoptered and mom can know her daughter is well and can continue doing whatever it is that she’s doing.. Curfew works wonders. And if the neighborhood residents were so concerned, like they say they were, then why were they just watching this go down for all those months before the incident? Especially if it’s an 11 year old girl hanging out with older teenage boys and mean. If they seen that she was doing something that was going to lead to her being missing and later gang raped then they should of either intervened, called the mom and say “Look your daughter is hanging out with older men. Bad things might happen. Do something now!”, or they should of called the police. That is where the saying “It takes a village to raise a child” applies, when you grow up in a close community where everyone knows everyone else, they become like a family and it’s natural to watch out after each other. There is no point to play the blame game, it’s a waste of time and to be honest everyone from the mother to the community who knew what was going on failed to protect that girl. That girl not only has to live with the trauma of being raped and having to live with the mistake of inadvertently putting herself in that situation but she has to live with everyone knowing about it and nobody did anything to help at the time. This is a hard lesson to learn and a lot of scars to be healed. All this could of been prevented if the mom was more attentive, if the community was more attentive, and if the girl was much more aware of the danger she was in. There is no excuse for things like this to happen to someone. I hope those rapists pay for what they did to that girl!

      Apr 4, 2011 at 6:22 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.38   Who? Me?

      chesire cat, it all boils down to the fact that CB’s mom showed really poor judgment by choosing to be black and poor instead of white and rich.

      Of course the kids would have been better off if only Mom had come with them. Why do you seem unable to comprehend that that wasn’t an option? Mom chose to do what was necessary to keep her job, which didn’t provide vacation time. Do you and your Mom think that the kids would have been better off if Mom lost her job in order to go on the trip? Do you think that the kids would have been better off living in a riot zone instead of “risking” a bus trip? See @21.9.

      Here’s one for you: I think that the kids would have been better off if only Mom had been white.

      But at least I can understand that Mom had as much “choice” about whether or not to go on that bus trip as she did about the color of her skin.

      Apr 4, 2011 at 7:53 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.39   chesire cat

      I said multiple times that she was doing the best she could and it sucked their circumstances were that poor. That is not the argument. The argument and what CB continues to deny is that they would have been better off with their mother. Read through what he said again. I did not notice one time where he acknowledged that. He just argues how competent his sister was and how whether or not his mother was with him it still would not have made a difference. I beg to differ. Having an adult is always a better scenario.

      The color thing is kinda not the issue. A poor white woman would have been in the same situation. She would have to work, she would not have extra money, the kids would still be in danger to be somewhere far from home alone. It was probably more dangerous for black children but it would have been dangerous for white children too. Kids get taken advantage of a lot as one other poster pointed out so even poor white kids might have had their seats sold out from under them too.

      To me, color is not the issue as much as it seems like a dangerous thing for any children at that age to go far from home alone. Check local laws, most 10 year olds are not even allowed to be left alone or babysit legally. I read the free range kids blog and they post all the time about parents getting into trouble for letting kids that age stay home alone when someone calls CPS on them. Not saying I agree with that, just saying obviously our lawmakers deem that not an appropriate age to be responsible for yourself or younger children.

      And don’t say crimes were less then against children. The free range kids blog also debunks that myth by backing it up with statistics. Crimes against children are less now or at least the same, they are just sensationalized more now.

      Apr 4, 2011 at 10:07 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.40   Canthz_B bang

      CC, we’d have been stranded in a bus station, with station staff making sure we made our connection the next morning. But it still would have been wrong because we had tickets.
      We wouldn’t have been wandering the streets of Winston-Salem all night.
      Our situation was not as dire as you’d like to make it, nor was it as dire as we allowed ourselves to believe, we just didn’t want to be caught “on the wrong side of town after dark”, so we made sure to get back on that bus.
      And yes, to a very great extent it was my sister’s responsibility to take care of her younger siblings. It’s what poor families do. They work together to survive when life is hard. Don’t think my sister had no childhood. She went out and played with us just like all of the other older siblings went out and played with their little brothers and sisters all up and down our block. It’s not an either/or situation. She had a full childhood, and still had the responsibility of looking out for her little brothers…just as many other older siblings in my neighborhood had and did.
      Maybe your attitude about parenting is why so many kids are self-centered and selfish these days thinking it’s all about them, but we were encouraged to look out for one another.

      Still projecting your worst fears of today onto the world of yesterday, eh? :roll:

      Ashmeadow, I believe that I suggested asking people from different races and age ranges about those times to maybe get a sense of the different perspectives of the times.
      For example, a 75 year-old black man from Kentucky may tell you what it’s like to be discriminated against, while a 75 year-old white Kentuckian may tell you about how good things were back then and all “their Negroes” seemed to be quite happy.
      You’ve never seen Chris Rock do the routine about the old black man who smiles in a white persons face and when the white man leaves every second word out of the black man’s mouth is “cracker”?

      I didn’t say “Just ask your mom what it was like to be a black person in the south in the Pre-civil rights era.”

      Anyway, the story isn’t only about discrimination…it’s about right and wrong done to any passenger…we just happened to be black, and that “colored” our experience. ;-)

      For the record, we made this same trip to our grandparents’ the next two summers and both trips were quite uneventful.

      Sorry some of you feel about it the way you do, but, you know, that was just the way things used to be. Buses and trains were how most people traveled back then. Air travel wasn’t really for the poor and much of the middle class back then, and people sent their children alone more often than you’d like to believe…trusting in the transportation company to deliver them safely to their destinations. By and large, it all worked out fine as long as they’d prepared their children well to travel.
      Ten years old wasn’t as young then as it is now, hell, I was walking home from school by myself (well, with a few friends, but my block is where I turned) by age six (about 4 whole blocks crossing a major street along the way…looking both ways didn’t seem all that difficult a feat to master), letting myself into the house, making a sandwich then doing my homework, changing out of my school clothes into play clothes, doing my “chores” and then going outside to play. Still, back then there were several responsible adults who kept an eye out their windows for the neighborhood kids coming home. There was a sense of community that doesn’t seem to exist nowadays, but I knew the names of every family on my block back then…and they knew me. We weren’t called “latchkey kids” back then…just kids.
      Believe it or not, there was a time when people looked out for one another, not just themselves. So to think that anyone would have allowed three children to be dragged out of a bus station against their will is to not understand the times. To think we’d have gone willingly with a stranger is to not understand us.

      Apr 5, 2011 at 7:49 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.41   Who? Me?

      @11.39 The argument and what CB continues to deny is that they would have been better off with their mother. Read through what he said again. I did not notice one time where he acknowledged that. He just argues how competent his sister was and how whether or not his mother was with him it still would not have made a difference. I beg to differ. Having an adult is always a better scenario.

      I did read through what he said again. And there it was: the fact that his Mom was not able to go on the trip because 1) she didn’t have the money, and 2) she would have lost her job.

      @11.8 “Not everyone was in a position to take time off of work to travel when they needed to, and back then black people were especially at the mercy of their employers. My mom was a domestic back then. She either went to work or got fired.

      @11.8 “That and the fact that had she not, no one would have been watching over us all summer while school was out and she was at work.

      @11.29 “In fact, it was safer to ride the bus down south than it would have been to be unsupervised all summer vacation long in a northern city. So for those of you wondering why my mom sent us, consider the alternative. Consider those inner-city kids whose parents did not have the wherewithal to (or were too irresponsible to) get their kids out of the city for the summer and what happened to many of them as they got involved in crime and drugs.”

      I do not understand why you fail to see that 1) it was not possible for the mother to go on the trip, and 2) she was actually being a “good mother” by seeing to it that her kids were supervised when she was at work.

      She had to make hard choices. That’s what poverty does to people. It sucks. She was doing the best she could with what she had. And now you unwittingly rub salt in the wound by calling her judgment into question, using today’s mentality over forty years later.

      I will turn 50 this year, you sound about 20. When you get older, hopefully you will learn that what “lawmakers deem appropriate” is often what the mob demands, a mob that is fed a constant diet of media sensationalism. Yes, the free range kids site points out that crime was about the same back then. But you didn’t hear about every single little crime 24 by 7 as you do today, and so the world “felt safer” and people were more trusting because 99.9999999999999% of the time when you put your kids on the bus, they got off it at the other end just fine. It was done all the time.

      Apr 5, 2011 at 12:20 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.42   ashmeadow


      Well, now you’re just making defensive assumptions, considering that not once did I make any comments to suggest I was afraid of the world. But to answer your question, I was about 7 or 8 when I asked her why sometimes ads said you got something that you didn’t get when you got to the store. Then we had a discussion on why businesses want you to spend money, how they get you to spend money and how they can’t get you to spend money. My mother said a good rule of thumb was to have something in writing, since it was more likely to be binding than something not in writing. Then she gave me an allowance and told me to use my judgment on how to spend it. I think I learned how not to be scared of the world, since I learned that I had rights, but that’s just how I felt. My mother’s philosophy was that knowledge was better than ignorance, but if you think that’s no different than locking a child in their room until they’re 50, then I considered that a decided lack of subtlety in parenting on your part.

      I’m glad you taught your child not to steal, but wasn’t someone stealing from her? Were the prices posted anywhere, because if they were than the business was breaking the law . If the prices weren’t, then I guess that’s where my mother’s “in writing” caveat comes in, although I’m pretty sure they were still breaking the law. Did you call the better business bureau? That’s what I mean about my mother teaching me knowledge. She didn’t say “everyone is out to scam you,” she told me that I could do something about it if someone did scam me or that I could pick places that were less likely to scam me. Or just, in general, to understand the ramifications of the decisions I made. Not that I couldn’t make any decisions without her. But if you still think that’s being a helicopter parent, then again, subtlety.

      Yes, you did ask for a variety of experiences. But it was my impression that you asked chesire cat to do so because it might open her eyes to the reality of the time in a way that would help her sympathize with your mother’s position. However, my point was that depending on where or whom she asked, she could find an equal amount of assent with her own. And that’s what I mean about the perception of risk being varied. To your mother your trip was a perfectly reasonable option. To other people at the same time, in similar circumstances, it wasn’t. You can’t assign their view to not understanding the time.

      Apr 5, 2011 at 2:57 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.43   Hand Banana bang

      wow this conversation is getting old. people keep explaining things as if it will sway someone else to change their opinion.
      i think you all have some very good points on both sides. but what it really comes down to is misunderstanding the circumstances. Canthz was so young that many details will have been lost in time, or embellished in thought. We truly all dont know how it all went down except for those that were there.
      We can all say, “shoulda, coulda, woulda” about ANYthing from the past and criticize every action taken, no matter how something truly went.
      Keep in mind that this all stemmed from someone else’s bad experience on a grey hound bus, and canthz just had to top it. ;)

      Apr 5, 2011 at 3:15 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.44   Who? Me?

      ashmeadow, you are putting false words into my mouth. What I actually said (and stand by) was this:

      And for the record, if your mother “protected” you by installing an exaggerated sense of fear about the world so you count yourself lucky that this situation would have never happened to you, keep in mind that she also damaged you in ways you likely will only understand after many years of therapy.

      Do you think I disagree with your mother’s philosophy that “knowledge was better than ignorance”? That is known as a strawman’s argument, google it.

      I seriously doubt that you would have been better able to deal with the situation my DD encountered at her age, but obviously you do – which is one of the psychological benefits of blaming the victim. Yes, I know about posted prices and the BBB. Did you know that many manicure salons give lower prices to children, however? Which is exactly what this owner quoted to my DD, and then claimed there was a “misunderstanding” after service had been rendered.

      You also are apparently not yet a parent – many childless adults are experts in parenting until they happen to find themselves in possession of an actual child.

      I do think that you have great helicopter-potential, however, whether you realize it or not. And I don’t say that as an insult, which you likely won’t believe. I am a recovering helicopter Mom myself. My natural urge is to overprotect, but I know that causes great damage in it’s own way.

      I’m pretty sure most helicopter moms believe that they are “great parents”, however. How could they not be? They are doing their utmost to keep their kids “safe”. And what could possibly wrong with that?

      Apr 5, 2011 at 6:01 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.45   JumbleJumble

      What’s done is done and sometimes you have to do what you have to do, but letting kids that young travel alone? Not ever (after all, look what happened–people are asshoels). I am waaaayyyyyy too Type A for that.

      Apr 5, 2011 at 7:36 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.46   Canthz_B bang

      Ashmeadow, how you form your impressions is up to you and your thought processes of course, but I wasn’t trying to get anyone to sympathize with anything. That’s just you ascribing a motive to me that I never had…partly because I don’t need any sympathy, but mostly because all I really wanted to do is point out that sitting next to a horny fat woman on a bus really shouldn’t be called a trauma…or has everyone forgotten that part by now and made it about race and responsibility rather than about a passenger’s right to their seat and good customer service?

      I was only trying to get CC to realize that much of her opinion is based upon the times she knows and was trying suggest a way she might be able to put things in the right context historically speaking, by speaking to a number of diverse people who know of other times.

      Sounds pretty reasonable if you read that without trying to add your made-up impressions of my motives.

      And I NEVER disagreed that having a parent along is the best of all possible worlds (but we didn’t live in the best of all possible worlds), what I’ve disagreed with is that not being there was irresponsible given the circumstances…circumstances which made being there quite impossible, and also made her decision not an extraordinary one at the time she made it. Other than what I described above, the trip was uneventful, as it was the other times we made it…and lived.

      Apr 5, 2011 at 8:37 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.47   ashmeadow


      Well, then I’m afraid that I simply don’t understand what you do mean to imply with your words. Why make a conditional, as you did, if I gave no sense that there was any reason to think like that? Especially, since the problem with helicopter parents is not that they are overprotective. It’s that their overprotectedness prevents their children from fully embracing and being prepared for life on their own. Since I do think I would have handled the situation and still paid the original price, I don’t think your conditional about how my mother “protected” me makes any sense, unless you were in fact trying to imply that she was a helicopter parent. In which case, I don’t really think I’m putting words in your mouth. Of course you might be talking about some other sort damage incurred by “protective” parenting. If so, please enlighten me and I will moderate my response.

      I wasn’t making a strawman by the way, I was simply denoting that your strawman was based on an erroneous and unnecessary implicit assumption of my mother’s parenting style.

      I don’t think your daughter is to blame at all for paying the secondary price. Or you, since it’s quite clear that my mother and you have very different viewpoints. No doubt there are things I would be at a disadvantage for that your daughter wouldn’t. I simply doubt there are very many and I attribute that to my mother’s parenting.

      However, I am beginning to understand why you think I am putting words in your mouth. You seem to have thoughts on your words that I’m not getting. For instance, if you don’t mean to insult me, then what do you mean? Is it a warning, which thereby implies an insult anyway? Was it a compliment, which would be inherently contradictory with your previous thought on helicopters? Maybe you should be more clear, so that we’re on the same page when we’re arguing on the internet. Otherwise, I also can only conclude that arguing on the internet is also some sign of overprotectiveness, since I don’t know what others behavioral signs you’ve read in my comments.


      You want her to understand the right context so that she can what? What will understanding the right context do to her opinion? Because I was trying to say that your assumption that her opinion was based on times she knows may not be correct and that therefore your request that she talk to people would yield nothing either for you or for her. But I apologize for misunderstanding your motives.

      However, you say that you also wanted it to be known that sitting next to horny fat woman was not a trauma and you illustrated this by talking about your horrible experience. However, doing so requires that people sympathize with your experience (sympathy in the “mutual understanding” definition. However I understand that that is a uncommon way to use sympathy, so I understand why you thought that I meant “pity or sorrow.” I didn’t mean that way, though.) So when I said sympathize, I mean understand why your mother made the decisions she did. However if you didn’t want chesire cat to do any such thing, my apologies.

      Apr 6, 2011 at 12:03 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.48   Who? Me?

      ashmeadow, my words were primarily intended to communicate my belief that overprotective parents deeply wound their children. Honestly, I also intended a bit of a warning, not as an insult (nobody is perfect), but to help you become the best parent when the time comes. Like I said, I myself am a recovering helicopter parent, I have to fight my own urges to “keep my baby completely safe”. She was friggin 12 years old before I’d finally let her walk to a local shopping center in a completely safe neighborhood. And I’m still nervous when she does it. But I believe I’m a *better* mother because I *take such ridiculous chances* with my daughter. In the grand scheme of things, being cheated out of $10 is not the biggest tragedy in the world – better she learn that lesson now, than learn it later over a far larger sum.

      Almost nobody thinks they have “excessive fear”. Almost everybody thinks that their fears are “rational”, even those who actually have excessive fear. And by that I don’t mean to imply that you in fact have excessive fear (I don’t know you very well, and based on our exchanges I don’t assume that you do), merely to point out that if you did, you most likely would not know it.

      You do, however, seem quick to judge and also show little compassion for CB’s mother and the lack of awesomely wonderful choices available to her that summer.

      You say, “I don’t know you or your mother’s reality, I’m not judging her decision.” but that is not true. You think she is a worse mother than your own, because she sent 3 kids on a bus alone.

      CB wrote @11.21 “I’d like to suggest that you speak to some people of all races in the age range of 50 and above.” So you talked to one person, your Mom. Is she black? Is she poor? I suspect not, and that makes a difference. Your Mom sounds like an impressive person, but was she completely familiar with CB’s Mom situation? I think not. Did you mention to her that the critical choice was 1) spend the entire summer completely unsupervised or 2) send the kids on the bus to the grandparents? That little factoid might change her verdict.

      You say, “I understand completely why she couldn’t come.”, and then repeatedly go on and on about how dangerous the trip was and ask for CB to admit that “going with your mother would have made it less dangerous”, a question that gives the alert reader the impression that you, in fact, do not understand that she couldn’t come. Why would you possibly ask such a question? Here are a few more you could have asked:

      Wouldn’t it have been better if they flew? Yes.

      Wouldn’t it have been better if a private chauffeur drove them? Yes.

      Wouldn’t it have been better if there was another caretaking situation for the kids that summer? Yes.

      Wouldn’t it have been better if they were rich and living in a house with a big pool in the backyard? Yes.

      Wouldn’t it have been better if the family was white and didn’t have to deal with any kind of racism? Yes, yes, yes!!

      Were those rather ridiculous questions to ask, under the circumstances? Yes. CB’s Mom could not come because of the expense of the trip and because she would have been fired from her job. Poverty sucks.

      Now, WRT to my own DD you wrote, “My mother always used to make sure I knew when things like tax and other assorted things were added,” and “But I’m also glad my mother told me about some of it before I had to actually deal with it and so I knew how to manage it.”

      which implies that you think I am a worse mother than your own, because my daughter got cheated. You imply that I didn’t do as good a job of teaching my child because she became a victim. You “just know” that you would have handled the situation better at the age of 12 than my daughter did.

      You wrote “My mother’s philosophy was that knowledge was better than ignorance” and imply that I, on the other hand, am a big fan of “keep kids in ignorance”. WTF? You don’t know me. On what basis do you choose to insult me this way?

      You wrote “the problem with helicopter parents is not that they are overprotective. It’s that their overprotectedness prevents their children from fully embracing and being prepared for life on their own.”

      I’m not sure what you mean by “prepared for life on their own”. If you mean that they will never become a victim of any kind because they have been taught everything they need to know to keep them completely safe, I disagree with you.

      There are multiple problems with being a helicopter parent, including keeping children in a dependent state longer than is developmentally appropriate, stealing self-confidence from them because they don’t have the chance to discover that they are capable and competent to take care of themselves, and unconsciously communicating that “the world is a very dangerous place, something bad is going to happen to you if you stray too far from mommy”.

      Best of luck to you, though, when you actually have kids, in teaching them every single thing they need to know to protect themselves from every type of calamity that might come their way. And keep in mind that if you don’t, your judgment and ability as a parent just might be called into question by 20 somethings who think they know ever so much than you do.

      This is my last post, you are welcome to have the last word.

      Apr 6, 2011 at 3:51 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.49   Canthz_B bang

      Ashmeadow, I wasn’t trying to get CC to see why my mother made her decision. I plead guilty for losing my temper when she started to toss in scenarios of what she thought could have been done without fully understanding how things were back then, but given the situation Race and access to funds was in fact a consideration. You just cannot assume most people had credit cards when at the time today’s credit system did not exist…anymore than you could ask why we didn’t just call my mom on our cell phones to let her speak to the ticket agent in a time before cell phones. Or stop at an ATM machine and grab some funds before there were ATM machines. You have to take the realities of the day into account before passing judgements on responsibility vs. irresponsibility.
      I was trying to help her understand why making said decision was not irresponsible given the times.
      I felt that in order to do that, it may be helpful to her if she got a better feel for the times from the perspectives of a sample more diverse than her own experience, so I offered some constructive advice to a history major on a good way to gain insight into history, from the horse’s mouths if you will, since there are plenty of horses still around to tell it.
      BAD CB!!
      There is no one History. Interpreting History involves examining more than one point of view of the times and trying to find the nexus point, a center point of viewpoints, from which to view the time in question.
      One can NEVER properly interpret History using ones own contemporary concept of Reality alone.
      From our contemporary viewpoint, most of us would say that destroying Mayan society, outlawing the speaking of their language and the practice of their religion was a terrible wrong, but from the standpoint of a Spanish missionary of the time intent on saving souls it was right.
      Not such a difficult concept to master, or even understand if one can keep an open mind and realize the difference between an argument and a discussion…and at what point one changes into the other.

      I simply take great issue with CC calling my mother irresponsible when she wasn’t and has never been.
      Sorry for knowing my mom better than you or CC. Sorry for having actually lived and seen how life was before your time, and most of all, I’m sorry for trying to give you some degree of greater insight into life…my deepest apologies to you both.

      You are our future after all…God help us.

      Apr 8, 2011 at 1:58 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.50   Mrs.Beasley bang

      I was in college when CB took his traumatic bus ride.

      I didn’t live in the South, I lived in Detroit. You don’t grow up in Detroit and remain ignorant of tense race relations, and that’s true for both then and now.

      I can guarantee you that while this discussion can continue to go around and around like a mobius strip, in the end everybody will still be right where they started.

      Nobody’s totally right, nobody’s totally wrong. That’s just how it is. But hammering at one another over and over will succeed only in raising hackles.

      Apr 8, 2011 at 6:19 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #12   Canthz_B bang

    So the Hell what. You’re ignoring me anyway.

    Why do you think I’m standing here knocking, yelling and clearing my goddamn throat (looking like a rabid ostrich in the process) in the first place?!

    What are you going to do?…Double ignore me?!
    That’s like being sentenced to two death sentences or double life in prison.

    Just sell me a ticket so I can board the bus with the rest of the losers, okay?

    Apr 2, 2011 at 12:39 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.1   TickleMyBambo

      I’d flash my boobs at him..but sadly the rabid ostrich would pay more attention then the Desk Clerk.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 12:47 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.2   Canthz_B bang

      For all that’s Holy, I thought you’d said Dick Clark at first. Guess his balls dropped for the last time!

      But seriously, your joke didn’t fall, um…flat. ;-)

      Apr 2, 2011 at 12:49 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.3   TickleMyBambo

      That’s if Dick Clark had balls to drop to begin with! :p

      Seriously, I am not going to push this joke much further haha

      Apr 2, 2011 at 12:59 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.4   Canthz_B bang

      No reason to lift ourselves and separate from this.
      We can relax and Playtex-Mex music…cross my heart.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 1:10 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.5   TickleMyBambo

      Heaven forbid we let the subject drop and hang for a while… There is no need to beat around the bush.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 1:17 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.6   Canthz_B bang

      Certainly not. We should plunge right into the thicket, thrust forward if you will. Have some real back and forth interaction with it. We may disagree at times during this intercourse, but I’m sure we can find a way to come together in the end.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 1:31 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.7   TickleMyBambo

      I dunno, I noticed your tendency to completely dominate the conversation by trying to be on top of the subject.. Even when it’s hard for you to keep it up at times.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 1:50 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.8   Canthz_B bang

      I like an interesting conversation is all, never doubt your ability to stimulate me. Well, there I go again. I swear, sometimes I just seem to go on and on, hitting a subject from all angles like there’s no tomorrow.
      I guess it’s because I like to make sure all of the nooks and crannies of an issue have been explored and touched upon before I’m satisfied it’s been done right.

      I’m not really on top of everything that happens here. Sometimes I just slip in the back door, toss in a quick one and leave.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 2:03 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.9   Canthz_B bang

      Just after midnight here. I have to go. My wife got paid today, and I’d better go and make sure her booty is properly taken care of. She has a tendency to fall asleep and leave it out in the open. I have to stuff it away deep into the mattress for her sometimes.
      I wouldn’t want anyone to come along and steal something like that. ;-)

      Apr 2, 2011 at 2:13 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.10   chesire cat

      When I worked customer service occasionally I would be stocking or doing something and not notice a customer needing my attention right away. I would rather they get my attention than just stand there getting more pissed off every second. A throat clear if done subtley would be fine or a “Excuse me Miss” or ringing a bell or knocking on the counter would really not piss me off at all. That is my job after all.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 3:58 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.11   AuntyBron

      I just want to congratulate Dick Clark. It isn’t every guy his age who can drop his ball every year on New Year’s Eve. And on National Television, too.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 10:31 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #13   Nahhh bang

    I know a guy who works for Greyhound. He likes the picture.

    Apr 2, 2011 at 12:47 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   FeRD bang

      I know an old woman who swallowed a horse. She’s dead, of course!

      Apr 2, 2011 at 10:42 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.2   Canthz_B bang

      I believe for every drop of rain that falls, a Greyhound stalls.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 2:23 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #14   matt

    Here at greyhounds, we are proud and excited to launch our new public relations slogan “fuck you” and “we seek your money, not your business”

    Apr 2, 2011 at 1:24 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #15   Canthz_B bang

    Go Greyhound, and leave the bitching to us.

    Apr 2, 2011 at 2:39 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.1   TickleMyBambo

      Greyhound, where you’ll be overcharged and still get “No Service”.

      Apr 3, 2011 at 5:05 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #16   pizza

    mmmm……..who gets on a bus expecting quick and efficient?

    Apr 2, 2011 at 7:16 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #17   McManus

    Who in the frick would ride Greyhound?!

    Apr 2, 2011 at 9:45 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.1   Odious

      BTDT. Cancelled flights.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 11:46 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.2   Nunavut Guy

      People who can’t afford a car.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 11:54 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.3   Canthz_B bang

      I would. We drove from the Phoenix, AZ area down to Tucson to visit our new grand-daughter a couple of weeks ago in my wife’s car. While there we had an argument.
      For a brief moment there I had to think fast about how I’d get home if she decided not to unlock my car door and just drove off leaving my butt stranded.
      :idea: Greyhound!

      McManus, how’s your Trailways stock doing these days?

      Apr 2, 2011 at 11:56 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.4   Nunavut Guy

      Elitist running dog.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 12:09 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.5   park rose

      Travellers. I’ve gone through the States on the Greyhound. Like all coach travel, it has its ups and downs. You don’t have to go through the frustrating security checks that you do at the airport. Always a story to tell, too. It’s cheap. It usually gets you to where you want to go.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 9:37 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.6   Ishie

      Wi Fi, power outlets, and no one in a booth saw me naked. Me!

      Apr 2, 2011 at 11:30 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.7   The Elf

      I have. You do that when you’re broke and need to get someplace. Definitely not my favorite way to travel, but you gotta do what you gotta do sometimes.

      Apr 4, 2011 at 10:25 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #18   Odious

    Funny that the PANer added “No Service” at the bottom. As opposed to…

    Apr 2, 2011 at 11:45 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #19   Canthz_B bang

    This is unacceptable.

    We should get service…as long as we have on shoes and a shirt.

    Apr 2, 2011 at 12:57 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #20   Divvitar

    I have a solution– AIR HORN!

    Apr 2, 2011 at 2:13 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #21   kermit

    Oh you laugh, but Greyhound is actually one of the few bus companies that does passenger screening on buses (at least in Canada), to make sure that nobody brings on a weapon.

    It was a result of this incident in Manitoba in 2008. A dude went nuts (or was nuts), beheaded a person, and hacked off parts of others:

    Sorry, but I’m on team Greyhound here, and not just because I’ve done my time in customer service hell.

    Besides that, unless you’re paying by cash or have some issue with your ticket, you can either: a) buy your ticket online because they’re cheaper or b) use the automatic kiosk if you’re paying by debit/credit card.

    Apr 2, 2011 at 5:59 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #21.1   park rose

      Oh, I just road to Portland last year on the bus, and I can’t recall screening (from Seattle to Portland). Maybe because it was a short trip? That incident you refer too was terrible.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 9:39 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #21.2   Nunavut Guy

      I rowed to Portland last year.Boy are my arms tired……….Da Dum Dum.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 10:48 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #21.3   Canthz_B bang

      Poor human-based customer service is acceptable as long as you provide automated services as an alternative.

      That’s the new business model?

      Apr 3, 2011 at 2:08 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #21.4   kermit

      @ Park Rose:

      I think it is only done on night rides where you are more likely to get sketchy people. I don’t know if the company’s policy differs from place to place though, and I’ve never been the Oregon area.
      I’m surprised that the counter is not behind bullet-proof glass though.I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bus station where the clerk behind the counter wasn’t behind glass.

      @ Canthz_B:
      Dude, you have a right to decent service and the way you and your siblings were treated in 1967 was disgusting and appalling. But to put it in perspective, most (if not all) black people in America were treated like shit in 1967. I can’t say that from personal experience because I am not black and didn’t exist in 1967, but I think it’s a pretty-well known fact that all companies treated black people poorly. I don’t say that to excuse Greyhound’s behavior towards you, but merely to put it in context.

      At the risk of sounding naive, I don’t think that something like that would happen today – because if it did the media attention would make them rectify the problem. Sure there are still plenty of ignorant racist assholes, but the disenfranchised do have more means to be heard now than the did in 1967.

      That being said, the sign doesn’t specifically say anything about poor service. It’s just a frustrated clerk who warns you not to annoy him/her or else you’ll have to go to another counter.

      I don’t think it’s news to anyone who’s worked in customer service that a hell of a lot of people take out the frustrations – frustrations most of the time completely unrelated to the problem at hand, like hatred for their ex-wife, mother-in-law, boss – on customer service reps because they’re supposed to smile politely and just take abuse – even though most of the time they have no power to solve your problem.

      Apr 3, 2011 at 12:03 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #21.5   Canthz_B bang

      Um, I’m not singling Greyhound out.
      I just gave my “most traumatic Greyhound moment” in response to the comment above mine.
      Nowhere did I say or try to imply that the rest of society was fair in 1967 or that I have anything against Greyhound.

      All I said is that something wrong happened to me once in my dealings with Greyhound, not that that’s the only wrong I’ve ever experienced. We just happen to be talking about Greyhound today, when we get onto Woolworth’s I’ll talk about them. ;-)

      I never said things have not changed, in fact what I was doing is pointing out JUST HOW MUCH THINGS HAVE CHANGED.

      Unfortunately, too many (certainly not all) of our younger people have not been taught just how bad things were, so they cannot really appreciate how much better things are.

      You have to try to understand that when our seats were sold out from under us it was not considered the wrong thing to do. That’s what’s so hard to wrap our minds around today. What seems like an obvious wrong today wasn’t considered a wrong at the time.

      You young people have loving and fulfilling interracial relationships today that would not only have been fraught with difficulties in the not too distant past, but could have been life-threatening.

      These are very different times, and I am aware that it’s hard to understand how things could have been the way they were from where you sit today.
      But that way they were.

      Apr 3, 2011 at 1:36 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #21.6   chesire cat

      Dude, seats get sold out from people all the time everyday on planes TODAY! That is an official policy to overbook and oversell plane seats! So you know, it may not have to do with racism as much as just sometimes companies pull dick moves because they predict a couple people will miss the bus or not show up and then they make double profit. Then when everyone DOES show up they end up making someone get stranded.

      Apr 3, 2011 at 4:19 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #21.7   Canthz_B bang

      History major? Or apologist?

      The difference here you’re conveniently overlooking is that airlines today do not fly someone half-way to their destination and then put someone else in their seat leaving them stranded.

      You may not be able to board the flight you thought you had, but they won’t remove you mid-trip to accommodate another passenger.

      How do you expect to study history if you’re not willing to accept it?
      Even the ugly parts of it.
      I accept that some Africans sold people to slave traders, but you find it difficult to accept that a bus company would sell a black person’s seat to a white person?

      You have to keep an open mind and see things in their proper context…or you’re no historian.
      Don’t believe me? Run and ask your history professor.

      There was nothing wrong with my mom sending us on a bus trip back then, though today it may well be frowned upon, there was nothing wrong with doing such a thing back then. It was commonplace, and done by people from all walks of life.

      Apr 3, 2011 at 4:25 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #21.8   Canthz_B bang

      You know, in these days of “play-dates” and “supervised activities”, it may be hard for some younger people to understand that 40 years ago kids used to just “go outside and play”.
      But we did (hell, we were often ordered “outside to play” by our parents. then we had to go outside and FIND something to do! LOL), and we lived. We ran and played and formed friendships. We left the house, went out and played with our friends, making up games as we went along, and came home before dark. Along the way we learned how to take care of ourselves without adult supervision.

      So while the times were different back in 1967, children were also different than the children of today. Children used to be much more capable of negotiating the world without adult supervision back then.

      You really want to guard against comparing apples to oranges.

      Apr 4, 2011 at 4:13 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #21.9   se

      Newark summer in 1967 was not a place for a responsible mother to want her children playing outside. CB probably does not remember the rioting in July and general disturbances going on that summer, but his mother may have seen what was coming and what better place to get her children out of harm’s way than to send them to spend time with the grandparents? In retrospect, this decision seems to have been the smartest move to make.

      Apr 4, 2011 at 7:55 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #21.10   park rose

      NG @ 21.2 – you were the guy who was fond of a good paddling a few threads ago . . .

      kermit – greyhound has its fair share of sketchies, day or night! I’m hearing you on the bulletproof glass and so on, though most people just want to get from a to b, I think.

      Apr 4, 2011 at 8:21 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #22   knittykat

    CB, I want to thank you for sharing your story, as hard as it was for me to hear (which of course is nowhere near as hard for you to recall and live through in the first place).

    I was listening. I’m sorry other people voluntarily have their hands over their ears. I feel like I really learned something today. The history books have nothing on the real, lived human experience.

    I think the subtlety of your sharing your worst experience on Greyhound right after someone else’s “worst experience” was lost on a lot of folks, it hit me in the face. I was grimacing at the idea of the horny obese woman, and then I got some serious schooling when you shared your story.

    It was obviously difficult for you to recall–shit I’m a 32yo white privileged middle class gal sitting at my desk, and I’m almost in tears.

    Thanks, friend.

    Apr 4, 2011 at 2:05 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #22.1   Canthz_B bang


      It’s sad that today’s “trauma” was yesterday’s “How does that affect me? Live and let live.”
      And yesterday’s “trauma” is today’s “Let’s find someone to blame.”

      Apr 5, 2011 at 10:17 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #22.2   JumbleJumble

      Aww hooray for white guilt.

      Apr 5, 2011 at 7:59 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #22.3   knittykat

      Awww hooray for willful ignorance, JumbleJumble.

      Apr 6, 2011 at 1:18 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #23   Casting Los Angeles

    This sign just gives a bad reputation to the world of customer service. Being in it, I know the frustrations that the industry takes, and maybe he was having a bad day, but since it’s a corporation he’s working for, you’d think he’d think twice before posting a sign like this. I’m sure his bosses or Greyhound weren’t too happy…

    Apr 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #24   GrrSnarlGrowl

    This one time, when I was four, I rode a Greyhound bus, and a bunch of black people raped me and said if I told the cops, I’d be arrested for a hate crime because I was saying bad things about black people.

    Then later I made up stories about it and whined on a humor website for attention and asspats.

    Apr 12, 2011 at 1:41 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up


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