A man who moved to Luxembourg four years ago has confirmed that being safely chauffeured around the country for free is not enough for him, and that bus drivers should also be required to “provide passengers with warmth and positive energy.”
For years, Gus Brikker has complained that bus drivers are too impersonal, too cold, and that they see him only as a passenger on his way to work and not as an individual deserving of attention and care, much like an orchid or a puppy.
“I’m not asking for a handshake or a how-do-you-do, just a smile and a wink each time I step onto the bus,” Brikker said. “And if the driver does want to offer a genuine how-do-you-do, I’ll respond with a hearty fine-thank-you-and-how-do-you-do?”
Brikker says that far too often he’s travelled on buses in which the drivers seem blasé and only concerned with staying on schedule, stopping at stops, opening the doors, making sure passengers are out before closing the doors and departing, picking people up, navigating traffic jams, and looking out for mad pedestrians, children darting into the street, reckless cyclists, bad drivers, and insane electric scooterists who believe they can compete with a 15,000 kg bus.
“Worst of all, they often don’t respond when I wave thanks and say äddi,” Brikker said. “Not so long ago, bus drivers abided by a sacred rule, which is to make sure that every passenger exits the bus feeling better than when they got on.”
“If they can’t provide a little positive energy to everyone while doing their job, maybe they’re in the wrong line of work,” he added.
Brikker says he understands that bus drivers encounter hundreds of passengers every day, and he realizes that they cannot learn every passenger’s first name – even if that person has been catching the same bus at 7:37 a.m. every day for four years.
“But it would be nice if they at least tried,” he said.