I’ve said it before, I ride public transit. Sure it’s not my favorite way to get around, but it saves me serious cash so I put up with the inconvenience.
If there is one thing you learn – and learn fast – about riding public transit, it’s how to identify the ‘creepers’. I know in 5 seconds flat who will give me grief.
This morning, I noticed a ‘Grade A Creeper’. ‘Grade A Creepers’ are the people you are willing to step back off the bus or train to avoid. He looked disoriented, disheveled, and up to no good. I nearly stepped back out, but I was in a rush to get to work and decided to take my chances.
As soon as we started moving, he stood to face us. There were four of us on board… all young women. A disgusting smile spread across his face as he slowly started walking toward us. He was, well, I’m not sure how to put this. He was, ‘pitching a tent’ in his pants.
He walked up to two of the women, blocked them in, and started groaning and moaning at them. His ‘tent’ only grew.
In a panic, I hurriedly dialed the emergency number for the train (I keep them on speed dial). Just so you know, in emergency situations, I am not the best person to help.
‘What direction are you headed?’
‘Northeasterly? Oh wait. No, Southwest?’
‘What is the man wearing?’
‘Purple? No. Green. Wait. Blue.’
Despite my poor directions, I apparently gave enough information for them to identify the guy and force him off the train to an awaiting group of officers. Maybe it was because he was the only guy on the train. Whatever.
I went up to the women, made sure they were OK, and gave them the security number in case they should ever need it.
That was it.
I didn’t singlehandedly wrestle him to the floor and punch him. I didn’t shout at him. In fact, I really think I could have done more. I was simply too terrified.
Turns out, one of those folks onboard sent an e-mail to a clerk in HR and titled it ‘EMPLOYEE DESERVES TO BE COMMENDED’ (my company ID badge was pinned at my waist). The person identified what I was wearing, what I did, and what I said. It was an incredibly kind e-mail. The HR clerk identified me and forwarded the e-mail to the head of HR. The head of HR forwarded the e-mail to me, the CEO, the CFO, the head of legal counsel, and to my direct boss.
The CEO, who I’ve spoken with once in my whole career, personally came down to thank me for helping others. My boss and the head of HR also came to congratulate me.
I was stunned. I kept trying to say, ‘I didn’t DO anything!’ but they didn’t seem to listen.
So, I can keep fighting, keep saying how much I didn’t do, OR, I can smile, say thank you, hope they remember this when promotions are announced, and get back to work.
I choose option B.
What a weird, weird, weird day.