People people.

On the bus ride home yesterday, gridlock gave me plenty of time to think. One thing I thought to myself was, "what's the plural of people person?" At first, I thought it might be people persons, then I realized that the plural for person is people, so does that make it people people? That just seems silly. Who says, "they're people people." It makes the talker sound annoyed, as if they're ineffectually decrying some injustice, "they're people, people!" I ultimately decided that the acceptable form was indeed people persons because it leaves the original term intact, but simply pluralizes it.

And now that I look in the dictionary, persons is apparently a completely acceptable plural form. Sigh....


The reason I thought of this, unlikely enough, was bus drivers. Specifically, it was C-Tran's bus drivers. Here in Portland, the bus system is called Trimet, but since I'm staying over the border in Vancouver, I have to take the Clark county bus system to even get into the city. And discovered that C-Tran kicks Trimet's ass. Every time I board a C-Tran bus, I get a friendly greeting and help paying the right fare for whatever I need to do. I told one driver where I needed to get and he said with a complete lack of sarcasm, "well let's see, mmm..." and proceeded to tell me exactly what I needed to do. Another driver, whenever anybody thanked him for the ride, he would sincerely thank them back! It was blowing my mind. Since our bus was late due to traffic, he even called another bus to make sure a woman wouldn't miss her connection.

You don't get that kind of service on SFMuni. Or on Trimet for that matter. One driver I had was downright surly, and another had her head in the grey Portland clouds. She flew right by someone waiting at a bus stop, who had to catch up with us at a stop sign and plead to be let on. Then she later missed somebody's stop request by two blocks. When I got on the bus, I had to put my bike in the front rack, which I'd only done once in my lifetime, and I accidentally dropped it. When I boarded, she said, "you know, you shouldn't let it drop like that." I replied, "I didn't mean to." What I wanted to say was, "give me a break. That thing weighs like 60 pounds and it's not spring-loaded to stay up or anything. And I have to hold up my 40 pound bike while I do it. That's 100 pounds I'm dealing with, so give me a freaking break!"

Did I mention, this was after I had to chase her down on my bicycle, because she was unexpectedly right behind another #4 bus with a full bike rack, so I went to use the restroom and she drove by as I stepped out? It's a long weird sentence I know, but I'm trying to imply my irritation.

2 comment(s).:

June 13, 2008 at 8:15 PM MPU said...

I guess I'll take C-Tran the next time I'm up there. Driving into Portland not my fav thing to do anyway.

June 14, 2008 at 11:40 AM Peaches said...

Who would have thought that C-Tran would like Trimet's ass? That was a very good story and I laughed otu loud. I couldn't believe that one Trimet driver! And I suspect she is the norm rather than the exception. That one C-tran guy could work at a Japanese copy shop, where they feign difficulty with the copying task so as not to put you to shame.

I think the job ad for a C-tran driver would probably say, "All applicants must be people people". !