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

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What’s the point of Twitter?

When I first joined Twitter, I didn’t understand it.  At all.  It took me a while before I even signed up.  I remember seeing the weird commercial where some guy with an accent was talking about “tweeting” and I thought “what the hell is that all about?”  I was very content with Facebook at the time and saw no need for Twitter.  It was just an unnecessary social media platform that I did not need in my life.  There was no point.

I’m not sure why I finally caved and decided to start a Twitter account.  I don’t remember when I started it.  Two years ago?  Something like that.  I didn’t really use it for the first while that I had it.  I thought it was stupid.  It was basically like Facebook, but with only status updates.  And nothing else.  And you couldn’t even like the statuses, you had to retweet or favourite them.  I couldn’t be bothered with that.  And I wasn’t very good at obtaining followers.  Probably because I didn’t tweet enough to be deemed worthy of following.

I also didn’t like the fact that I was limited to only using 140 characters.  What if I had more to say?  What then?  I hate limitations.  And having to shorten my words.  I try as hard as I possibly can to have proper grammatical sentences, even when using Twitter.  But I found myself having to use “b” instead of “be”, “2day” instead of “today” and “u” instead of “you”.  And sometimes even then, I was over the limit.  I hated it.

Somewhere, somehow, my opinion drastically changed.  I don’t know how or when this happened.  But today, I tweet all the time.  ALL the time.  Maybe it happened about the same time when I began to generate more and more Facebook statuses, more than the average person.  I suppose I then decided that I may as well use those statuses on Twitter as well.  Why not?

It took me a while to figure everything out.  It wasn’t until last year that I finally learned the concept of a hashtag.  And then I went overboard with it.  I didn’t fully understand it.  A few people have mentioned how odd or long my hashtags were at times.  I would just run together a bunch of words at the end of my tweets #whywouldinotdothatitmakesperfectsensetome.

When I first set up the account, my username was @frosty_rain.  Which is lame, I know.  It was based on my email address that I set up back in Grade 8.  When I was lame.  I have since changed it to @d_vaz, because that at least incorporates my initial and last name.  Not that anyone cares either way.  Should I change it again?  Would that confuse people?  It’s better than using my whole name.  Because if I were to make it @dominiquevaz, if someone were to reply to my tweets, they would use up precious characters just typing it in.  Best to keep it short.

I recently wondered whether I should have multiple twitter accounts.  Which I now do.  My main one, and now one for this blog, and one for my other blog.  Which I haven’t really done much with yet.  But @randomandunnews and @whatarewewatch now exist in addition to @d_vaz.  Whether I will do anything with them, is another question.

I still hate the limitations that Twitter has.  I refuse to link my Twitter and my Facebook.  Because I often need to modify my Facebook statuses in order to allow them to fit the 140 character limit on Twitter.  And I don’t want Twitter’s strict character count rule to influence the length of my Facebook updates.  Not going to happen.  But I have learned to deal with the limitation on Twitter.  Because now that I have a blog, I can write however the hell much I want.