Kayak is one of many search tools that help one find a flight, right next to the more hackerish Skiplag, the options-filled ITA Matrix , and many others. There is a host of long distance travel options that aren’t covered by such searches.
How To Find Awesome “Underground” Bus Lines
A similar concept without TSA trying to inspect your body and possessions, Wanderu is a great search engine for surface transport between two cities.
There are bus lines that you would previously only have access to 1.) Through being part of an isolated community, 2.) By word of mouth, 3.) By coming across a schedule passed out on a flyer, or 4.) Posted up on a sticker somewhere like the side of a building or a streetlight pole.
Wanderu taps into some of the college-town-to-suburban-mall-parking-lot bus lines, the Miami-to-Guadalajara-type bus lines that line the American south, or the extensive network of “Chinatown express” lines that, in abundant quantity, once formed a vast network across the northeast before they were targeted for termination by nanny state “do-gooders.” Such do-gooders remind us why such bus lines are underground to begin with.
This is especially true of immigrant owned and operated lines. Owners and operators of lines like those fled to the United States precisely for the purpose of avoiding the insistent “help” of people who know not how irrelevant the help that they dedicate their life to providing is, and who also seem not to know how rapey are their repeated attempts to persist long after the word “No!” has been spoken.
That is the political left, the public health profession, the technocrats, the corona communists of 2020-2021, and all other nanny state do-gooders. There’s a special spot for them in the old country. The only difference is that the do-gooders wouldn’t last ten minutes there, some would contend that makes it all the more perfect for them.
But I digress. I am not here to harp on the hyenas. I am here to fawn over the lions, because when lions arise, and step into their God-given freedom, their right that some contemptuously call “privilege,” and which lions gleefully bask in the glow of, those lions just by being themselves make the space around then a little less hospitable for a hyena. And the hyenas know that. How little a hyena ultimately matters when a lion is in the room. Twain estimated a lion could handle 10,000 hyenas, not with fists, not with quarrels, but merely with the certainty of his voice.
A Note On Harassing An Immigrant Bus Company Owner Who Just Wants His Private Property Rights To Be Honored And Just Wants To Be Left Alone
The face masks are utter stupidity. They don’t work. They are dangerous. The only reason they are being worn everywhere is because of the threat of government.
If your bus company owner has protected his slice of paradise from that stupidity, great. Leave the guy alone. They have a-wink-and-a-nod operation and will leave you alone. If your bus company has onboarded the policies of the state and has made himself into an agent of the state by enforcing the asinine mask policy, then he is fair game.
I don’t think too many of the former exist. An awful lot of the latter exist.
Though, bus drivers are different. For a stealthily gifted $20 gratuity, and a quick, quiet, private, friendly explanation about how much you are looking forward to an unmasked journey since you aren’t able to wear one safely, and how you don’t want to cause him any trouble, there is hardly a private bus driver on the planet who will not happily leave you alone about the mask.
The Miserable Task Of Trying To Communicate Over The Phone With A Bus Line
Sometimes small bus lines have challenging customer service to deal with. They may have no phone number to call, which can be infuriating, or even more difficult for some individuals: they may have Spanish-speaking or Chinese-speaking staff that have a very difficult time communicating in English.
There is a designation used in language learning referred to as “native speaker” to refer to a high level of ability based on one’s speaking of a language from birth. Two non-native speakers may have a hard time communicating in the common language.
However, language may also be a barrier when English is a common native language. Two native speakers may also have a difficult time communicating from birth. Though we speak the same language, I can tell you I have no clue what comes out of the mouths of a-third of Scottish people, a third of Nigerians, and about half of Jamaicans.
Sometimes the native English speaker working customer service at bus lines can also be quite difficult to communicate with verbally, even if they are from the United States. Seeking exemptions over the telephone is not useful in such moments. It’s really, really a pain over the phone with most bus lines.
Email can be the simple way to handle this. If you are going to travel on a bus line, use this letter. Just copy and paste it and fill in the blank:
Dear Sir or Madam,
I would like to ride your bus line on Monday, June 7 and Tuesday, June 8.
I see that you have a face mask policy. Would you be able to send me a written copy of that policy?
I ask this because I am unable to wear a face mask safely.
Usually corporate policies have an exemption for those who are unable to wear a face mask safely. The federal government and state governments of the states I will pass through all have policies that include exemptions for those unable to wear a face mask safely.
Before I purchase a ticket, I would like to make sure that I will not have any trouble from the driver or other staff and will be able to travel with your bus line on Monday, June 7 and Tuesday, June 8.
This letter worked like a charm, but I only turned to it after nearly three hours of sporadically speaking to customer service and getting hung up on failed.
While on hold, I began composing the letter and searching for key executives at the company along with their contact email.
It can be very hard to find the direct email address of executives at small bus companies. It can be hard to get a useful email address from customer service as well. However, if you have a handful of key executives you are looking for, usually someone in customer service, if you ask enough people, can and will give you that information.
You could also just use their general customer service email address, but if you do, follow up by phone and email at least twice a day so that your unusual request can’t get ignored.
After three hours of trying every verbal technique that I know for breaking through this mess, I acknowledged that the phone was a lost cause with this company and sending the above email to three key executives, suddenly, worked.
I received the following response:
We are under a TSA directive until September the 13th 2021 where our customers have to wear a face mask when traveling. I’ve attached a document where it lists exemptions, if you meet any of those exemptions you do not have to wear a mask when purchasing your ticket if you can make the customer service representative aware of your exemption and we will notify the driver(s). If any questions please let me know.
In Response To A “Yes,” I Recommend Asking For Clarification In Order To Make Your Experience Easier
Any time a person has permission to cross a compliance checkpoint it’s helpful to be armed with the answers to two questions “Who has given permission?” and “What do I do when someone confronts me about the policy?” Effectively these are both an answer to the question “How do I make sure I don’t encounter immovable resistance along the way, and correspondingly how do I comfortably make this experience as devoid of conflict as possible?”
Dear Veronica Rodriquez,
Thank you for your email. I had a feeling your bus line was following the law on this matter. I am very happy to hear that my presumptions were true.
One of the exemptions does apply to me. I will not be wearing a mask. I will do my best to explain this exemption to the customer service person and to the drivers on my route.
I get the feeling some members of the team are not well trained on the topic of mask exemptions. I had a little bit of difficulty on this topic today expressing my need to invoke an exemption.
I do not want to cause stress for myself on the travels or to any members of you team.
Do you have any suggestions for me that will make this easier and avoid any potential conflict as I travel on your bus line?
This is a private bus company. It wasn’t bad. If I wouldn’t have been so insistent about exhausting all verbal options over the phone for the imagined benefit of my dearly beloved readership, it would have been simple in fact. Surprisingly to some, how much easier it tends to be to deal with a governmental entity.
Riding Maskless On Amtrak Is VERY Easy If…You Invoke An Exemption
Amtrak is an easy one. Their customer service is all relatively well-educated, well-trained, and well-spoken.
After running several trials with their customer service team, it became obvious that every customer service team member was trained on handling exemptions to the face mask policy.
This is no surprise to me. Though I think the Americans with Disabilities Act has done great harm, it has left a legacy that government has extensive mechanisms for accommodating. Because of it, it is much harder for government to bully people who understand the workings of that law.
The same is true with municipal transportation. They have a long history of ADA accommodation and rather than being laughed at, you are likely to be accommodated if you can just motivate someone to explain the process to you.
Riding Maskless With Any Government Entity
As with any other entity telling you that you must wear a face mask, I recommend this approach.
1.) Look at the policy
Someone can provide you with the organization’s face mask policy. Try to get it in writing from that person.
2.) Identify the exemptions
Read the entire policy understand it. If you really can’t be bothered to read it, then skim it. If you can’t be bothered to skim it, then CTRL+F for “exemption.” If that doesn’t work, then try “exception.” If that doesn’t work, then try “children.” One of those three should bring you to the exemption portion. There should be exemptions in there somewhere. If there aren’t, write back looking for the exemptions. Something like this could do the job:
Thank you for your face mask policy.
I didn’t notice the exemptions policy attached.
Please send that over to me when you have a chance.
3.) Invoke the exemptions
After reading the exemptions, the phrase “I’m unable to wear a face mask safely,” is a useful one if it applies to you. It applies to many millions of Americans. After some of the studies of the past year, I’d be surprised if anyone can wear a face mask safely. The measurable biological, psychological, and sociological effects on the individual are enormous.
4.) Confirm the exemptions
After you have invoked the exemptions, I always find it a good idea not to leave well enough alone, but to strive for excellence. In your own polite way, try to get questions answered like “Who do I ask for?” “What do you want me to do if I encounter resistance from an employee?” “What is your personal cell phone number in the event that I encounter resistance?” “How do I make sure I’m not harassed by a member of your team.”
Most people in that customer service situation think it is not a busybody team member who will cause a problem, but an irascible customer. No, I know how to handle irascible people just fine, we all do, we’ve been doing it our entire lives. What most people don’t know how to handle is a common scrub on a power trip in the USA, land of the free and home of the brave, thinking that the illegitimate stolen election fake president has recruited him as a member of the Stasi.
The outcome of that delusion is what most people have a hard time handling.
Fight the Stasi! Never wear that mask!
For more tips like this and writing that will prep you for any battle Read Allan’s “Face Masks in One Lesson”, his pieces LewRockwell.com writing, and sign up for the email newsletter at RealStevo.com for videos, classes, and activism opportunities.