Things I definitely won’t be giving up for Lent

– Meat
– Carbs
– TV
– Facebook
– Twitter
– Blogging
– Texting
– Complaining
– Being sarcastic
– Procrastinating
– Overthinking
– Spending money
– Wasting time
– Making bad decisions

At least I know my limitations.

That one good morning

So I’m constantly complaining about Translink. And rightly so. The other day two of my buses didn’t come and they assured me that the one I asked about was running on time and was right where it was supposed to be. I informed them that it never came to my stop but they just continually said there had been no reports. Then they finally said that it had been running late and had skipped my stop to compensate.

I constantly deal with these types of problems, as well as the crowds of people that surround and annoy me during my commutes. Like the throat clearer this morning who would alternate between the throat clearing and deep breathing for no apparent reason. And the even worse guy standing between us who made noises with his mouth as if he was chewing when really he wasn’t. I don’t know how to describe the sound in words, other than that it was annoying and unnecessary.

But yesterday was a good morning. A key part of it anyway. The part when I was on the 43 bus. Why? Because not only was the bus on time, but it was almost completely empty. There were maybe five other people on it. But they sat away from me. I had pretty much the whole back of the bus to myself. It was so nice and spacious. Not that I made use of the space or anything, I only took up one seat. But it was nice to be able to look up and not have to bear witness to any annoying habits that I otherwise would have.

It was odd. It was like a miracle. I began to wonder why it was so empty. I almost felt like tweeting translink to ask them why my bus was empty and what they did with the people. Were they gone for my benefit? I remember this Twilight Zone episode where for some reason this kid has power over this small town and when people think bad thoughts about him he can wish them away. At one point he complains to his dad that there aren’t any other children there for him to play with and his dad explains to him that it’s because he had wished all the other children away. He was an annoying kid. But yeah, maybe I had somehow subconsciously wished away the annoying people on the bus, before the bus even arrived at my stop. Although why I’d want to compare myself to an evil and disturbed little kid, I don’t know.

But clearly that wasn’t the case. Because I’m on the bus this morning and there are people on it. Unless they’re still gone and now I’m just hallucinating. Maybe I’m not even on a bus right now? Am I dreaming? Whatever the case, it’s not so bad. The bus isn’t completely full and the people on this bus are far less annoying than the ones on the Canada Line. If only I could have wished away some of those people. Particularly the throat clearer and the fake chewer. But alas this is real life and not the Twilight Zone. But still, a girl can dream.

Picking up the couches, Part 1: Why I hate Translink

So on Wednesday, I went with my dad to my grandma’s apartment in Coquitlam to pick up some couches.  She’s moving, and she’s giving us her couches because she doesn’t need them anymore and they’re nicer than the ones we currently have.  But we had to rent a van in order to fit them in.  So we went down to Budget to rent one.  We were going to take the bus down there, since there wasn’t really any parking room for us to leave our van while renting theirs.

And so we went to the bus stop.  And waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Did I ever mention how terrible the 401 bus service is?  I’m sure I have.  And that’s an understatement.  But yes.  The bus was supposed to come at 2:35pm.  But it didn’t.  The next one was scheduled for 2:49pm.  Also it was raining.  And my grandma was expecting us.

When the first one didn’t show up, I tweeted Translink to ask them if it was delayed.  Because one time I updated my status to “That awkward moment when even translink won’t reply your text messages”.  Because normally you’d text 33333 with your stop number and then receive an instant reply of when your bus is coming.  Translink had sent me a tweet in response to my “That awkward moment..” tweet saying “But we always respond to your tweets!”.  Which isn’t actually true.  But nevertheless, I took them on their word and decided to tweet them.  Besides, if I were to text them, it would tell me the scheduled time, but wouldn’t be able to confirm whether or not it was running on schedule.

Eventually, they replied my tweet and informed me that the bus was running about 12 minuted behind schedule.  I replied them and told them that it had been 20 minutes.  And then we saw the bus turn the corner.  And it spent forever at the stop prior to ours.  Never take the bus when it’s around 3pm.  It will be filled with school kids.  And it will be delayed because of the school kids.  It’s worth rescheduling everything just to avoid this.  Trust me.

And so finally, the bus pulled up to our stop.  And the driver opened the back door and let two passengers off.  But he refused to open the front door.  It was only me and my dad at that stop.  But he wouldn’t let us on.  We were standing right next to the front doors.  I could see there was room inside the bus, especially since he had just let off two people.  I tapped on the door to get his attention.  He just looked at us and gave a sort of wave of his hand before driving off, leaving us there.  I think I yelled “We’ve been waiting 30 minutes!” as he drove away, not giving a shit.

It’s not as if there was another bus behind him.  There wasn’t.  And how can you not have room for two more people when you’ve just let two people off?  Also, it was not a matter of trying to save time, because in the time it took for the two people to get off, we could have gotten on.  He had to stop there anyway.  There was absolutely no reason for him to have not opened the doors to us.  It’s his job and it was incredibly frustrating, especially since we had been waiting for so long.

This happened at around 2:50 or so.  We ended up driving and parking and then having to take the Canada Line anyway to get down to Budget.  We just wasted a lot of time waiting for nothing.  I tweeted Translink again, informing them of what just happened, or trying to as best I could within a 140 character limit.  I don’t know if they really got the picture.  But they tweeted me back saying sorry that happened and giving me the customer service link.

I’ve been referred to the customer service link before.  And I’ve filled out the form.  And I’m pretty sure they haven’t done anything about it.  I think they have my name on file right now for complaints about the system, and likely just ignore anything I happen to say anymore.  I have yet to fill out the form.  I should go and do it, maybe after this blog post.  But I don’t even know if there’s any point.  I was able to get the bus number of the bus that he was driving.  It was R7103.  Maybe that way they can figure out which driver it was.  I would hate for the wrong person to get blamed.  If anyone even does get blamed to begin with.

Can anyone think of any possible reasonable explanation as to why the driver wouldn’t have let us on the bus?  You know, other than the fact that he’s an asshole?

Stay tuned for Part 2, if you care at all whether we managed to make it to pick up the couches…

Customer service complaint form that I've yet to fill out

Why I hate alphabetical order


My last name is Vaz.  Which starts with a V.  Anyone else who has a last name which starts with a letter near the end of the alphabet will probably share my dislike of alphabetical order.  We’re always last.  And it isn’t fair.  I was last in enough things in school, like 3 blocks runs and being picked for group projects.  Did I really need the additional misfortune of being last for things simply because of my last name?  Apparently.

I’m taking a class right now at UBC, which is what reminded me of this today.  At the end of class, our assignments were handed back.  And our names were called out so we could go get our assignments and then leave.  And of course they were called out in alphabetical order.  What else is new?  And so I sat there.  Wanting to leave.  But unable to.  Because the people with C last names were still being called.  It was going to be a long while…

I’ve had to go through this in all my years of education, ever since I can remember.  When lining up for things, we would do it alphabetically.  Which meant you were always stuck in between the same two people in the line up.  And if you didn’t like those people, well, that was just too bad.  And sometimes that would be how groups or partners were assigned.  So if I didn’t like the kid who’s last name started with T, or the other kid who’s last name started with V, it didn’t matter.  We were stuck together.

When tests and assignments were handed back, I would always have to wait, much like I had to wait today.  And yes, people say that sometimes the teachers would mix it up and go in reverse alphabetical order instead.  But I feel like that rarely happened, if ever.  I cannot recall a time when it did.  Maybe my childhood memories are just biased and blocking out the few good experiences that may have occurred?

So I had to wait a little longer for certain things, so what?  Would I have really done anything important with those extra minutes that I spent patiently waiting?  Probably not.  But that’s not the point.  It’s the principle of the matter.  And sometimes it wasn’t just time that I missed out on.

In elementary school, we would have “hot lunch” every so often, maybe once a month?  This was basically when the school allowed us to order food, since there was no cafeteria or place to buy food and we would always bring it from home.  For hot lunch, we would have to bring in money and check off what we wanted days in advance.  They would order from places like Subway or Pizza Hut, or sometimes it was just hot dogs, catered from I don’t know where.  When the lunches arrived, guess what order they called them out in?

So I had to wait longer before I could eat.  But that’s not all.  You would also have the option of ordering a drink and a donut.  You could specify what drink you wanted, but the donuts were just a first come, first served thing.  And everyone wanted the long johns.  But there weren’t enough long johns to go around.  So when it was finally time for the girl with the V last name to get her food, there were only jelly donuts left.  And I didn’t like jelly donuts.  It wasn’t fair.

I suppose things could have been worse.  There were always kids with last names that started with W and Y.  But were pretty much in the same boat.  But at least since they were there, I was never dead last.  I guess at least that was something.  I think if I were a teacher and I was handing back assignments, I would just mix them all up and read them out in a completely random order.  That way no one is at a disadvantage.  Although then you wouldn’t know when to listen for your name.  At least alphabetically, you knew when it was going to be your turn.  Damn, I guess it is the most efficient way.  But still.  It wasn’t fair.

The things I missed out on.