Greyhound buses: featuring comfy seating, roomy leg space with an added bonus of unexpectedly extending your planned trip 5 whole hours. Note: sarcasm.
My first experience riding the Greyhound buses occurred over Easter weekend and boy was it an unforgettable experience. I had heard some nasty rumors floating around regarding the reputation that Greyhound holds, but what I experienced seemed to take the cake compared to other unexpected trips.
As I boarded the massive bus back to Pitt after a pleasant Easter weekend spent with family and loved ones, I found myself getting more and more excited to see my friends back on campus. Maybe it was my enlightened mood that turned my soon to be bad experience into a positive one, but what happened later on could have easily been taken as the worst experience ever for some people.
The first thing I did when I boarded the bus was start up some friendly conversation with a girl who looked around my age, just for kicks and giggles. Little did we know we’d be spending the next 11 hours together stuck on a crowded bus among strangers.
As our bus just sat there idling for 45 minutes, with the grouchy driver nowhere in sight, we began to wonder if it was possible to make our transfer bus directly to Pittsburgh in time. Sure enough, we didn’t. The driver caused us to miss the transfer bus completely. We were forced to keep riding the bus from Erie to Cleveland, a completely useless route to get back to our comfy dorm rooms. Not to mention the random stops the driver took, one just so she could buy fried chicken at an off-course gas station that took about 40 minutes. Sitting and waiting: the two things that basically took over our entire day.
Frustration started to break out throughout the bus. People were making calls to the Greyhound headquarters, only to be put on hold for 3 hours and 49 minutes and to find that we could not get our money back. Clearly this organization takes customer service very seriously…
Yet, my new buddy and I stayed strong and decided to focus on the brighter side. We talked all throughout the trip and even came to realize how many other students were among us as well that attended colleges scattered around Pittsburgh. About seven of us stayed together the entire ride, and we ended up making the trip fly by.
“There’s nothing you can do but laugh about this whole situation,” one of the girls emphasized as we were all joking about how wonderful of a day it’s been. We did find ourselves laughing and just simply being friendly towards one another throughout the entire ride.
Not only did us students pull together and make the best of the situation, but another man kept our spirits up by talking with us, trying to keep us all calm, not to mention one the of the funniest people I have ever met. His jokes and stories had us all cracking up, which helped us get through the long day.
The students particularly at Pitt and other close campuses never disappoint me in showing how much they really do care for each other and want to always look on the bright side of things, no matter how bad a situation can be.
So keep in mind that no matter how hard something can be, surrounding yourself with good company and holding a smile to brighten someone else’s day can go a long way – or a long bus ride. One of my favorite quotes I’ve stumbled upon really wraps up how I want my attitude to be portrayed. “A cloudy day is no match for a sunny disposition.”