The Visit that Suddenly Wasn’t

On the American television comedy Scrubs, a surly character points out that sometimes the word ‘hate’ isn’t strong enough.  In response, he creates the word ‘mega-loathe.’

I mega-loathe Greyhound bus lines.

A bit over three months ago, I bought my bus tickets for the 1000 mile journey to see my FOC.  This is an annual visit and has been for roughly a decade.  Being unable to find a ride to the nearest large Greyhound station (2.5 hours away), I had to leave from a tiny local station.  The fun ensued from there.

Greyhound is not known for punctuality.  In fact, one can almost count on buses being late.  I try to choose routes with that in mind and schedule transfers with at least a half hour’s lee-way.  The bus leaving the small station was roughly a half hour late, and the driver spent another fifteen minutes talking pointlessly with the ticket person.  By the time we reached the larger station, my bus had already left.  Mind you, if I *had* been able to find a ride to the larger station, I’d be spending time with the FOC at this moment.

Somewhat undeterred, I went to the ticket counter in the large station and asked what I should do now.  The nice lady behind the counter re-routed me, and I thought things were solved.  Upon reaching a seat in the station and reviewing the tickets, however, I noticed that the ticket up left me stranded half way on my journey.  How on Earth does one confuse ’round trip’ with ‘stop in the middle’?  Yes, the ticket lady reprinted tickets again.  After I signed a form saying I’d given her incorrect information.

Returning to my seat in the station even more tentatively hopeful and reviewing the tickets again, I noticed that my checked luggage was, in fact, scheduled for a different route than mine.  It was even making a stop in a city without me!  Being angry that the luggage was having more fun than me, I continued checking through the tickets and found an 11 hour layover scheduled in a city two hours from the next destination.  At that point, it was 2:00 AM, I’d been awake for 20+ hours, and I had had enough of the bloody bus line.  I marched back up to the ticket counter and demanded that the route be rescheduled.  Preferably so that my bag and I would travel together.

As it turns out, Greyhound wanted another $75 to place me on a schedule to my destination, but only $20 to send me back home.  This left me somewhat stranded, as I only had $30.  My trip to see the FOC ended very abruptly just then, and I found myself emailing my brother-of-choice from a bus travelling back to the small station so near my home.  We are all heartbroken about not having had the chance to see each other, and I am still furious with Greyhound.  The mistake was theirs, not mine, and three people ended up being hurt by it.  Unless Greyhound honours these tickets and actually works out the schedules, I will not be riding again.  And I don’t see them caring enough to even try.

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