After a year of unsuccessfully searching for a part-time job I could hold while attending my university, I finally managed to find a position at a phone-service company (detailed information omitted for anonymity’s sake) about five miles from my apartment and the campus. I don’t own a car (and parking is such a pain that this is not an unusual situation for a student) so I take the bus, about a half-hour each way. I’m fully aware that I will occasionally encounter annoying behavior on this journey, but this one takes the cake.
I was on my way home from a stressful evening at work, and I had put on my iPod and headphones to help myself relax. As I’m wont to do, I started lip-synching along to the music I was listening to. The bus wasn’t crowded, and in any case I was careful not to actually make any sound. All was well until a particular passenger boarded the bus. He was a man who looked to be about my age (I had not seen him before and have not seen him since, and that’s fine with me). Anyway, he decides he has a pressing need to know exactly what song I’m “singing” (again, I was not actually making any noise). He wasn’t even polite about it, just got in my face and basically demanded to know what I was singing.
I was annoyed, but decided answering was the best way to get him to leave me alone. I didn’t expect him to know the song (my musical tastes are rather obscure), so I replied, “You wouldn’t know it.” I should add here that I have a neurological disorder that makes it hard for me to speak sometimes, so I’m not positive whether I spoke aloud or just mouthed it. In any case, he wasn’t satisfied, so I started ignoring him. Rather than take the hint, he kept bugging me. He grabbed at my bag, I grabbed it back without looking in his direction.
Then he decided the best way to get my attention was to grab my arm. I wasn’t going to ignore that; I turned around and told him, loudly, to leave me alone.
“But I just want to know what you’re singing!”
By this point, the driver had become aware of the situation and ordered the other passenger to the front of the bus. (The incident took place near the back.) He finally complied, but not without protesting to the entire bus that, “She’s singing, it’s so weird!”, as if any level of oddity gave him the right to harass me. The driver, as politely as possible, basically told him to shut up.
I filed a service compliment with the bus department asking them to thank the driver for helping me out. I’ve yet to see the other passenger again, and that’s fine by me. 0121-13