You know what really grinds my gears? SCJ trip edition

Matthew Merlino

I never realized how much people actually enjoyed reading this column. I also know that some of you do not, but why would that ever stop me? So back by popular demand is a new, special edition of What Grinds My Gears.

So here’s a little backstory for what to expect from this special edition.

The Society for Collegiate Journalists (SCJ), a service-based journalism organization in which I am the President (yes, the graphic designer leads a club of journalists), often takes trips in order to network with professionals in the fields of journalism and multimedia. This past weekend SCJ embarked on a journey to the Nation’s capital. As you could have expected, a lot of things really got under my skin along the way. So strap in, we’ve got a long ride ahead of us.

You know what really grinds my gears? Bus drivers who think they are pilots.

Never have I had a bad Megabus experience, but there’s a first time for everything. Unfortunately that time came on our ride down to the capital.

For some reason, our “captain” decided to come onto the loudspeaker to repeat the same things over and over again, pausing for a good five or six seconds between each sentence.

“Ladies and gentlemen… please remember if you have to use the restroom… Please shut the door firmly (pronounced FIRM-lay)… Again, please close the door all the way… And on your way out do not close your fingers in the door… It has happened before, so please ladies and gentlemen… Do not close the door on your fingers… It will hurt… And we don’t want that.”

No, this isn’t an exaggeration, it actually happened. CONSTANTLY. Throw in the horrific instrumental smooth jazz and it was annoying as all H-E-Double hockey sticks.

Look dude, we get it; you wanted to be a pilot (or an awful DJ) and you just couldn’t make it in the industry. No need to carry it over into a significantly lesser profession.

I’m perfectly fine with a bus driver that simply asks if everyone is on the bus. Good, great, grand, wonderful. No yelling on the bus!

You know what really grinds my gears… Sick people who still choose to travel.

If someone gets on a bus wearing latex gloves and a doctor’s mask that’s always a head scratcher in the first place, but when she asks the bus driver if she can sit in a reserved seat up front because “she doesn’t know if she can make it up and down the steps” then we are going to have a problem. And we did.

She was constantly up and down, hurling into the toilet located directly behind my handicap seat (I’m special). Thanks lady, love those sounds, let me tell you.

As the bus stopped in Morgantown, WV, the appropriate people departed while others stayed on the bus for DC. We left the stop with no problem, though ten minutes down the road the Walking Germ headed up and asked Captain Smooth Jazz (see above) if she could get off the bus.

WE JUST STOPPED TEN MINUTES AGO. Why could she not have decided to get off then?

Lady, if you’re reading this, you’re more of an inconvenient truth than Al Gore’s global warming documentary.

You know what really grinds my gears? Uber.

Now some people are going to really disagree with this one. Uber can be great, don’t’ get me wrong, but when you have bad experiences each of the first few times using the service it can get a bit annoying.

This becomes especially true when you are forced to wait for a half hour because your driver cannot locate you. If you’re a local and driving for Uber, you darn-well better know where things are without a GPS. And you better not ask your customers to come to you. That’s not what your service is about.

Unfortunately that isn’t usually the case.

You know what really grinds my gears… Immature middle school kids.

You almost had to expect something regarding snotty kids to show up here. While we were in the Holocaust Museum, there was a field trip with about 60 middle schoolers.

First off, what school takes a field trip on a Saturday? Isn’t the point of a field trip to get out of class? That just seems senseless.

Second, the Holocaust Museum is an awful place for middle schoolers to go on a field trip. I know that I was (and many would say still am) insensitive when it comes to certain things, but these kids were just awful.

Not only did they hold up the line because they read and watched everything, but they laughed at the worst things. I’m all about that sort of humor while watching Family Guy or movies, but when you see the door to a concentration camp gas chamber or the thousands of shoes of people who were murdered in real life it is not a time to burst into hysterics.

I never thought I would be calling anyone out for being insensitive. This is weird.

You know what really grinds my gears? Disgusting people.

There was a puddle of urine in a Metro station elevator. For real though, come on people. That’s really all I need to say about that.

You know what really grinds my gears? Impatient drivers.

Whether you are riding in a cab or an Uber, in DC no driver is patient. It’s not nearly as bad as New York City, but the drivers still aren’t great. Just to put it into perspective, we had one driver in particular that pulled onto a curb when there was no parking because he was in such a rush for us to get out of the car.

Wow. That was a lot. Until next time, this has been What Grinds My Gears.