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Riding the Mills Shuttle: A Portrait

Students exiting the Mills shuttle. (Photo by Amber Mendoza)
Students exiting the Mills shuttle. (Photo by Amber Mendoza)

Hi, can I see your ID please? What? Oh, you’re not a Mills student? Okay, what you’re gonna have to do is purchase a one-way shuttle ticket for $3 at the cashier office, which is located in Sage Hall. You’re gonna go onto the third floor on the second wing in the corridor to your left through the second door on your right and then down a flight of stairs, turn three times in a clockwise rotation and the cashier office will be located in the third closet on your left. The cashier office is not open until Monday, so fortunately you have three days to find it.

Sorry, since the big shuttle isn’t working, the tiny shuttle is being used and we have reached maximum capacity in this soccer-mom van and can no longer take any more students. No, you cannot “squeeze into the trunk”— can’t you see there are already three students sitting back there on an empty guitar case?

You there, I am about to start driving! Why are you not sitting in your seat? What are you doing with the windows? Yes, I know the AC is not working in this shuttle. It hasn’t worked since 1997, but Public Safety tells me it should be fixed soon. Oh, you’re trying to open a window because the shuttle is like a stifling sauna? Ok, I suppose that’s fine, but please do not slide the windows more than three inches open. Any wider than three inches, students might be tempted to extend their hands or other body appendages outside of the window. For the safety of yourself and others, please respect the barrier between the interior and exterior of the shuttle.

Excuse me, can your please turn your music down? I can faintly hear the whisper of indie rock blasting from your tiny ear buds. Music on iPods, MP3s, or other electronic devices cannot be listened to at a volume higher than 25 decibels, which is approximately as loud as the crunch of a single leaf on the sidewalk. If you can hear your music, I can hear your music. The only volume at which I can’t hear your music is the volume at which you can’t hear your music. Capiche?

Uh, you two ladies talking in a normal conversational tone, can you please tone it down? Conversation between passengers is not allowed to exceed 30 decibels, which is approximately as loud as the sound of a goldfish blowing a bubble underwater. If I have to ask you again to stop talking, you will be forced to assume your conversation in sign language.

Ahem, your sign language is still too loud! Please refer to the “Shuttle Rule #3” posted, which clearly states “unruly passengers will not be allowed to ride the shuttle.” Your hand gesticulations are loud and causing a rowdy environment within the shuttle.

Whoever is breathing is breathing too loudly! I can hear you! Such unruly behavior is unacceptable!

What do you mean when you ask me “Can you wait for my friend who just finished purchasing her groceries at Trader Joe’s and is on her way to the stop?” Is your friend here or is she not here on this shuttle right now? No, I cannot wait for her. No, I do not care that she is “right across the street.” I would not care if she just purchased George Clooney from the frozen food aisle and is hauling him back to this shuttle with her own reusable bag. This shuttle waits for no one!

Excuse me, this shuttle is for Mills students only. I’m going to need to see your student ID.