A young man walking his dog on the sunny side of the street kept saying, "Come on, buddy! Come on, buddy!" to a dog that was more interested in looking around than he was in walking forward. A very skinny, hairless, shirtless man jogged by me, and we exchanged good mornings.
There were only two people on the bus when I boarded—an "ebony & ivory couple" if you will. Four guys got on at Gorman and Connifer and two of them sported t-shirts with the slogan, "Come out and play!" on them advertising for Raleigh Recreation. I knew it wasn't referring to the kind of "coming out" I usually think of.
At work, I had a quick staff meeting from about 9:00-9:30 with my boss, as my officemate, who is the only other person in my department, was on vacation today.
I had a 45-minute meeting from 10:45-11:30 with our intern, who is also a student in the Master of Science in Technical Communication from which I received my Master's degree, and it was a good meeting for which she was totally prepared. I think there's probably a direct correlation between the level of preparedness and the quality of the meeting.
During lunch time, I sent this e-mail to the Capital Area Transit people. I have zero confidence that: 1) It'll make a difference, and 2) That I'll even get a response from it for at least two days. We'll see.
Subject: #12 Method route
Dear Sir or Madam:
For about a year now, the #12 Method bus has been detoured from turning left off Clark Avenue onto Enterprise then right onto Hillsborough Street, and instead goes up Clark Avenue then turns left onto Brooks Avenue to get back to Hillsborough Street, where it turns right back on Hillsborough to continue its original route.
When this detour first went into effect, the reason given for the detour was that the bus couldn't turn right onto Hillsborough Street from Enterprise Street because of the road work, but that intersection has long been taken care of, so I'm not quite sure why the bus can't return to its original route now. The #4 bus comes all the way up Hillsborough Street, so it's definitely passable.
Also, before this detour went into effect, I used to pick up the outbound #12 at the corner of Gardner and Hillsborough, and I was told that for the detoured route, I would pick it up at the corner of Brooks and Hillsborough, so right in front of (for the outbound) or across from (for the inbound) the State Employees Credit Union, which is where I have been picking it up all this time, although a bus stop sign has never been erected for that stop.
For the second time in two weeks now, the #12 Outbound has passed me standing at the Credit Union and I've had to run up to the Brooks/Hillsborough intersection waving my hands at the bus as it's stopped at the light waiting to turn right onto Hillsborough.
Both times the drivers have told me that they're not supposed to pick up passengers between stops, that there is no stop there, and when I've told them I've been picking the bus up there ever since the detour started almost a year ago, they just repeat that it's not a stop and that they're not supposed to stop between stops to pick up passengers. Needless to say it is frustrating and embarrassing arguing with the bus driver with all of the passengers watching and listening.
Is it my job as the customer to get a sign erected at this stop or to educate the drivers on what is and what is not a stop? Why is that all of a sudden some drivers do not recognize this stop as a valid bus stop? Are there any plans to erect a bus stop sign there?
I understand that the Hillsborough Street project is supposed to end on July 17; is the route going to return to its original one then? If not, I would like to request that someone come out and erect bus stop signs on both sides of Brooks Avenue near the Hillsborough street intersection, so that I don't have to continue to flag down the bus and then argue with the drivers.
I look forward to your reply.
At a little after 4:00, I remembered that I had two cards I wanted to mail today, and a walk to the post office two blocks down the road in the near-100° heat netted a similar walk back and that's about it, since the post office closed at 4:00 today.
I read an article today that the U.S. Postal Service is requesting yet another rate hike (two more cents, to go in effect on January 1, 2011 if it passes) and are looking to stop service on Saturday, too. And all that would just cut their annual loss of $7 billion down to about $4.7 billion. Some day our children—well your children, I don't have any—will only read about post offices and newspapers in their history books.
I caught the 4:30 bus home, and when it arrived at the stop on Beryl road, which is a sync stop and right across from the Method Post Office, I ran across the street while the bus waited for its scheduled departure time. It was about 4:36, and I guess this post office closed at 4:30, as the clerk was locking the door when I walked up. To her credit, she opened the door to take my cards, but when I told her that they were right at the one-ounce mark on my home scale (which is actually a food scale for dieting) and I wanted to make sure it was enough.
She said, "Well, the service area is all closed up, so I can't weigh them now. You could just put an extra stamp on them to be sure."
Uhhh, that would be why I'm running around to post offices that are closing before I get there or right in front of my eyes—to avoid putting an extra stamp on them. Once home, I bit the bullet and put an extra $.44 stamp on each, when the most it would have been had I been able to weigh them was $.17 more instead of $.44 more, since the rate for two ounces is $.61. But I'm not bitter.
Speaking of bitter, that reminds me of butter, which reminds me of a new expression I learned last week working with my colleague at the New Student Orientation Info Fair: "She's a 'butter face.'" That means everything about her is hot, but her face.
I drove way up to North Raleigh, up past I-540 on Falls of Neuse to use a Groupon for a gift that I'm not going to talk about here until tomorrow's entry.
I ended up meeting Joe out at Flex at 9:30, where we played a couple of games of pool. Santiago and Cecil came in after a while, and after them watching us and commenting about our playing we stopped shortly afterwards. Joe's friend Zack came a little bit later, and the bartender's name was Zack, too. So many Zacks, so little time.
Tonight was "Idol Night" hosted by Mark K. Mart, and there were seven—a record number of—contestants. It ended up being a tie between Michael Lester and Jonathan Maynard, whose last name I know only because I saw it on Facebook. Michael did a Patsy Cline song, and Jonathan did a killer rap song.
We left there at around 12:30, no worse for the wear, I suppose.