It’s 8:15am. You’re tired. You’re on a bus PACKED full of people. It smells like a mixture of spilled beer, fags and BO. In fact these odours have combined into one new, vile offensive smell that is making you feel dizzy and nauseous. The school kids are being irritatingly loud on this grey cloudy morning, shouting obscenities out of the windows to innocent, unsuspecting victims. One of the little charmers has even drawn an oddly shaped …is that a banana?… on the condensation on the window for all to admire on the morning commute to work.
This is all a bit of an inconvenience, but you can deal with it. THEN… *RING RING*. The lovely young woman next to you dressed in a full pink Paul’s Boutique tracksuit, with her three scriking children in the buggy next to her answers her phone. (This next bit should be read in a generic – preferably Mancunion – chav accent.)
“Alriggghhhttt, Shanice. What you sayin’? Orrrr, are you f***ing kidding?! Nah, I told you… Why you being a b****?!”
This carries on until her effing and jeffing, which seems to be in some strange language vaguely reminiscent English, culminates to a chav-tastic crescendo and she slams the phone down. It’s over, but it’s too late. Your day has been ruined before it’s even started.
Does it sometimes seem to you like how well your day goes depends almost entirely on how it starts. If you wake up and it’s lovely and sunny, with birds chirping, your breakfast already made and somebody offering you a lift, you’ll probably be feeling positive about your day. On the other hand, waking up half an hour late to torrential rain, knowing you have to get on a bus to potentially sit next to angry chav lady, will probably set the mood for a below average day. Maybe even an AWFUL day. Ok, I’m not promising to offer the complete solution to having a better journey to work but there are certain things you can do to make it a bit less irksome.
This can take some trial and error, but consider getting a different bus or the same one but a bit earlier. For example, if I get the 8 o’clock bus to work, it is generally quite empty with plenty of spaces to sit and most people keeping to themselves. It makes me arrive at work quite early, but that’s okay: I take this opportunity to grab a bite to eat and even take a stroll round the city centre whilst I contemplate my plan for the day which helps put everything into perspective. *Good mood*
If I get the 8:15 bus to work it’s packed to the rafters with screaming school children and there’s a 5% chance I’ll find somewhere to sit. If I do, it’s normally next to the dirty smelly bloke that nobody else would sit next to, hence the extra seat. Most likely though, I’ll end up standing face to face with someone, which can be very awkward, or with the hairs of somebody’s armpits tickling my face as they hold on to the railing for dear life. Plus there’s only a 50/50 chance I’ll actually make it on time which adds to the stress levels. *Bad mood*
So you’ve peeled yourself out of bed a good 20 minutes earlier (I know it’s hard but seriously it’s worth it, the snooze button is your enemy) and you’re on a bus uninhabited by the devils minions (school kids). But just your luck, the local drunken lunatic decides he’s sitting next to you. Do you:
a) Engage in his nonsensical conversation about a wide variety of things he is very passionate about, looking captivated and interested in the hopes he will take a liking to you and not smash his can of kestrel over your head
b) Put in a pair of earphones and zone out of the situation, listening to some beautiful symphonies as you envision yourself on a beach in Hawaii
c) Move seats
The correct answer is: B! He will feel less inclined to talk to you with your music blasting and your head elsewhere and instead invest his energy on traumatizing someone else. You can’t feel sorry for this person: it’s a dog eat dog world in the realms of public transport… every man for himself.
Even if this isn’t the case, listening to music can raise your mood significantly and even WAKE YOU UP which is helpful for you on the way to work. I enjoy my day much more when I listen to some upbeat music in the morning. It can put you in a positive mindset which will make you feel more motivated, and could even make you have a better performance in the workplace! *Good mood*
It seriously works: before I started writing this I had a general outline of what I wanted to say but with no will to start it, I put on one of my favourite feel good mixes (Andre Crom 95# Podcast for you house music lovers) and bam, I had a massive surge of energy. But I digress.
One thing you shouldn’t do is have a cheeky nap. I know it’s tempting as I’ve often found myself guilty of this, but it will only make you feel worse when you wake up confused and more exhausted than when you got on the bus, with a possibility you’ve missed your stop… or had paper flicked at you by the school children. Don’t do it. *Bad mood*
Public transport in the morning is hardly ever going to be a riveting, exciting experience, but it is survivable….honestly!