She really thought she’d get sympathy from the internet after a bus driver let her wait outside during his break. She was wrong
When Vancouver Translink rider Jen Pacheco shot and uploaded her video of, what she thought was a cold-blooded, heartless Translink bus driver refusing to let her and other passengers in during his union-guaranteed break, she thought fellow Vancouver residents would be outraged at the bus driver. Such was not the case. Instead, commenters on Facebook, Twitter, and even Reddit sided with the driver, and rightfully so, pointing out what a thankless and grueling job being a bus driver is.
According to the Daily Hive, in the now deleted video, Pacheco films the bus driver at various times sitting in his driver’s seat, on his phone and, at one point, does pull-ups. Pacheco pans over to several passengers waiting, many of them elderly, one even in a wheelchair.
Pacheco knocks on the closed door and asks to be let inside whereas she’s met with the indifferent response, he had 10 more minutes till he had to leave.
“He is the ONLY bus driver I ever encountered that would not let people on til time to leave,” she wrote. “I don’t see how anyone sitting on the bus would be of any disturbance.”
Beleaguered drivers face off against passengers who don’t understand the circumstances they’re under
COVID-19 has not only put a hiring freeze on new bus drivers employed by Coast Mountain Bus Company (the subsidiary of Translink) but has caused the firing of, according to a previous DH post in April, up to 1,500 workers.
Those remaining drivers are now picking up the shifts left behind by those drivers let go, that means longer shifts, fewer days off, and the need to take union-mandated breaks, breaks they just fought for a few months earlier.
Prior to Covid-19 hitting the fan, according to GlobalNews.ca, Metro Vancouver Transit workers worked out a new agreement with Coast Mountain Bus Company that included better pay and concrete breaks.
That meant a minimum five-minutes rest at the end of each trip and scheduled 30 minutes guaranteed recovery time distributed evenly in a shift (which would eventually increase to 45 minutes by 2021.) In addition, drivers could use the bathroom, if needed, without being penalized.
Before this agreement, pressure on drivers to drive without proper rest times during a shift, and, being penalized for small things like using the bathroom when nature calls, had reached a peak.
Worsening working conditions stressed these bus drivers.
This bus driver doing pull-ups needed his rest
To Pachecho, he was being cold-hearted and abusing his powers as a bus driver, but, as a driver, he was just trying to keep level-headed, sane, and rested for the shift to come.
Other internet users recognized this, siding with the bus driver.
Here are screenshots from Facebook saved thanks to Vanfun.com with comments backing up the bus driver.
And here’s an impassioned comment from a fellow bus driver.
Here’s a Twitter thread who all had the bus driver’s back
Finally, here are some comments off Reddit citing Daily Hive’s post.
We expect our public transportation providers to be as efficient and robotic as possible when we use their services. To us, they’re there to get us from Point A to Point B as quickly and safely as humanly possible.
If we want that level of service from them we need to recognize they’re just humans like us, need respect, and shouldn’t be bullied into doing something they’re contractually not obligated to do. That means, if we see a bus driver taking a break, let them dictate how that break goes. If they’re kind enough to let you wait in the bus with them, kudos to them. But, if they want to be left alone for, G-d forbid, five minutes, give them their space.
For posterity’s sake, if you happen to come across a copy of the deleted video, let me know in the comments below!