TITLE: "How's the corporate world out there?"
DATE: 8:45:00 PM
"How's the corporate world out there?" It was about 6:30pm on a Thursday. I'd run to catch the #30 from the corner of Sutter and Stockton, and the be speckled bus driver directed the question toward me as soon as I borded, so I answered, "busy, and good." He asked if I was going to hit happy hour, grab a martini somewhere and celebrate the successes of the day. For the ease of the situation, I said yes and asked if he stops at Bryant but he said Brannan, just a block past. So we chatted about how he goes around and around the number 30 route, nine times a day, from 5:25 pm until 2 am. No breaks. But that he also does number 9 and the California 1 on the weekends, so the crazies don't catch you. Then he mentioned that there was one in particular, on the number 21 line and I asked him where that goes, and he said, Hayes to Fulton to Market. "Was he just crazy, or crazy for you?" He said he "can't tell, but these days, you never know." And then he pointed out two girls playing violin in front of Macy's at Union Square, who he noticed have a grandfather who's the security guard and comes around to collect their money. Then we talked about his gig with the Department of Health and how he'd take the bums to Saint Anthony's rather than to General because they'd be better taken care of, and how a shot effects five different people five different ways-- some want to hug you and some want to kill you. Then there came a time when they made it clear his job was about to end that he joined up as a floor trader for a few years around the time of the dot com boom, but that he knew nothing and learned about 401(k)s and such things but that the verbal abuse was the worst he'd ever heard and that NY bought SF in case of another disaster and they needed a financial center, but it's all online these days and that after three years of doing that in 2000 he joined MUNI since no one wanted to do this job but it's steady and when the state and the city agree and there's no union and guys saving to buy a house and support their kids, then everyone gets 9-hour shifts with no break rather than a split 12-hour shift (I said he must be thirsty), so he just puts his money into taking care of himself, and that a massage with a chiropractic right after is the right combination right before bed that will make you sleep like a baby, and I commented that a glass of wine does it for me. Then we pulled up to the Brannan stop and I thanked him for making my ride so pleasant, to which he replied that's the Department of Transportation's job, and that his name is John.