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Bus Story: A Measure of Risk

January 31, 2011

The Mondayness of this Monday has not yet made itself known. Meantime, the air is chilled and the sky is a slate blue, with light brush-strokes of orange and peach colored light. I have new glasses. Not story-worthy in itself, but they are my first foray into progressive lenses and it was while I was experimenting with how to use them best that I saw something I thought to share with you. Turning my head to look outside the bus to find the best way to move from reading my iPhone screen to looking at something far away, I noticed a young woman across the street. Standing at a red light, she clearly is late to catch our bus. She’s practically hopping up and down. The bus pulls over at our stop, and, despite traffic coming from both directions, she makes a decision and scampers into the street. Fortune for all, the cars were going about 30mph, and were able to slow further to avoid her; the roads were dry, and visibility was very good. No screeching tires and no horrific accident. She leapt onto the opposite sidewalk with a big grin, and then…got in line behind the eight other people waiting to board. By the time she stepped up to Driver Dude, the cross-light she was waiting for had been green for several minutes. So I’m thinking; what is that trigger, that decision-making process which clicked in her head that said the reward is worth the risk? At this time of day, buses come every 10 minutes, at the longest. Yet, rather than waiting, she decided that stepping into traffic was the best possible option. I know that I am a more risk-averse person than most, so my view is tinged, but it still makes me wonder. What is each person’s measure of risk? And, particularly for those who make decisions that may affect others, can it be tweaked or adjusted like tuning an engine? A little Monday psychosocial puzzle for you, gentle reader. And look both ways when you cross the street please.


From → Bus Stories

One Comment
  1. Jennifer permalink

    I often think of this when I see someone driving while texting. Was that ‘LOL’ worth your life?

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