As I was patiently awaiting my stop on the bus this week, I noticed that several people as they got off thanked the bus driver. Usually with a simple “Thanks”, or “Thank you.” I even heard on guy say, “Thanks for the ride, man.” At first I wrote is off as a one time thing thinking, “Huh, that’s kinda weird.” But, as I paid more attention, it became more and more common.
So then, I started thinking maybe it’s just a Minnesota nice thing. Just like honking. Nobody ever honks in Minnesota. And when they do, it is incredibly justified and it’s a short little toot at the last second. Regardless, when I hear someone honk, my initial reaction is, they must not be from around here. Now although, I’m a born and breed Minnesotan, I couldn’t get past how strange this was to me. I kept thinking, “Why are all there people thanking a person for doing their job.”
A few days later I was on a very crowded bus, listening to people get off, and the first several people got off without saying anything, but then a girl thanked the driver as she exited, and so did everyone after her. I was about to get off, and someone thanked the driver, the people following him did as well. When it was my turn, I had a battle in my head, “Should I, should I not, all these other people did, it would be rude if I didn’t.” In that split second I succumbed to this unintentional pressure by all these strangers and thanked the driver. And to my surprise, he seemed to genuinely appreciate this interaction. He really seemed to appreciate my gratitude towards him.