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Exit Only: A rulesy kind of girl

~Friday~  Today was a cold and rainy day, which was only made worse by relying on public transportation to move between buildings on opposite sides of the campus a couple of times during my work day.

Now, I'm all about some rules. After all, my Myers-Briggs temperament is ESFJ, one of whose characteristics includes, "They value the rule of law and expect the same of others. ESFJs may be less interested in understanding the concepts behind the rules, tending to shy away from the abstract and impersonal."

With that said, I'm ambivalent about the rule of the university's Wolfline bus system, which is that you enter the bus using only the front door, and you exit the bus using only the rear door, although I actually do understand the concept behind the rule, which is two-part:

  1. To create a flow such that riders can simultaneously enter the bus while others are exiting, which can speed things up. On most buses—the city bus included—where you can exit or enter either door, the riders boarding have to wait for those riders getting off to exit first.

  2. To allow the bus driver to easily count the number of passengers coming on board, which seems to happen often on the Wolfline buses, but not always.

I mean, most of the time, this rule makes sense, but not always.

That's the set-up. Now, picture it: Sicily, 1912—okay, Raleigh, 2011—a cold, rainy day. I'm on one side of Hillsborough Street, coming from Kinkos with a laptop bag in one hand and balancing my umbrella against the driving rain and wind in the other one, and I see the bus that I want to catch across the street in front of the library.

I hustle across the street, and as I reach the rear of the bus, the driver is walking toward me (so away from the bus), presumably to go use the restroom or gab with one of the other drivers until it's time to leave. Since it's raining so hard, and I can see there are only three other people on the bus, none of whom are exiting since the bus has already been sitting there for about five minutes, I step into the bus using the rear door.

The driver, with her head turned to watch me says, "Please exit and enter using the front door."

"Yeah, right. Let me get right on that," I think, but just say, "Okay," as she turns her head away.

She carries on toward her destination, and I sit down at my destination—comfortable with the risk of a blemish on my permanent record.

Comic of airplane crashing through wall with caption: You know, of course, this will go on your permanent record.

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