When I was eighteen, I was going to school in Chicago. I didn't have a car, so when it came time to go home over Christmas, my parents sent me tickets for Greyhound to get back home to Dayton Ohio. I was slightly nervous with it being my first time traveling alone. My day from hell has a number of chapters, spanning a number of locations. It started easily enough when I arrived over an hour early at the bus station. I just wanted to get myself situated, and make sure I was in the right place. Went and checked in with an agent, and she wrote the number of my "gate" on the back of pamphlet so that I would end up in the right place.
I was the first person at my "gate" (really just one of several doors leading to the outside) and sat down to wait in line. As the hour progressed, more and more people lined up behind me, and the lines at the gates on either side of me increased as well.
They started to announce the arrivals of the buses, and imagine my surprise when I hear that the bus I need is not leaving from MY gate, but the one to the right of me! I went immediately to an agent who was directing traffic, and showed him the fact the other agent had written down the wrong gate. He merely told me to get to the back of the line. I went to another agent, who allowed me to get to a proper place in the line, since I had been there before ANYONE else.
Because it was the holidays and Greyhound doesn't really "reserve" enough places on their buses, they'd had to call in buses from other companies to help carry their load. I ended up on one of the rentals, and settled in for the trip to Indianapolis, where I was supposed to switch buses.
In Indianapolis, everything literally fell apart. Greyhound was so overbooked, we were told flat out that there was not even close to enough room on the bus that we were supposed to be switching to. As my busload had come inside to check back in (like you're SUPPOSED to) and waiting in line again, other customers who were just arriving outside began making a mad dash to the bus that was ALREADY almost full. All we could do was WATCH.
I was talking with a ticket agent, who assured me she would find me a place on that bus, because hardly any of the lines were literally going through Dayton. As she's talking to me...the bus pulls away. At that point we were informed that we had two options -
1.Wait five hours in Indianapolis for another bus.
2.Take another bus immediately to Cincinnati, where we we could switch once more.
Cincinnati is only about an hour from Dayton, so I decided to take my chances with getting a bus out of there, rather than sit in Indianapolis for several hours. Everything was happening so fast - the bus for Cincinnati turned out to be the very rental bus we had all just gotten off of. So a large group of us are walking back outside to get BACK on the bus we'd gotten off of, and one of the workers begins throwing an ABSOLUTE fit, yelling and cursing at people, treating them like cattle, screaming at them to get on the bus.
Everything had happened so fast that I hadn't even got a chance to call my parents, and tell them what in the world was going on. I didn't have a cell-phone, so I had no way of letting them know where I was going, or when I would actually be home. They told me later on they had been in a near panic when I hadn't shown up when I was supposed to. They called Greyhound, but once again, Greyhound doesn't do "reservations", so they had literally no idea what bus I was on, or where in creation I was!
When we got to Cincinnati nobody could tell me anything. I went to the "gate" I was told to wait at, and proceeded to sit on the floor alone for 45 minutes, wondering if a bus for Dayton was even coming. When the bus DID arrive, I went out to meet the driver, and showed him my ticket. As I was trying to explain why it didn't match his route, he literally begins YELLING at me. "Just get on the bus! Just get on the bus!"
It might sound stupid, but just going back over it makes me want to cry. I could not BELIEVE the way people had acted that day. You know, I can understand being overbooked for the holidays. I can excuse the fact that I had to ride on a rental bus, and that passengers had to shout out directions to get to the Greyhound Station in Cincinnati because the driver didn't know where it was. What I CANNOT accept is the rude, unbelievable treatment we the customers were subjected to, because THEY Had overbooked. I'll never forget it. And to anyone thinking about taking Greyhound... seriously, think again.