Bhagavad-Gita Discussion Group Absentee Topic: Patronizing Adharma

by Aranyakananda

Because of a Christmas-time “calamity”, until March I will need to take accessible busing rather than ride to work with my wife in our car. I have used this service from time to time throughout the last decade with varying degrees of satisfaction with their service.

I myself have had a very frustrating time getting to work on time even though I have a standing pickup scheduled daily 45 minutes before I am due at work. With the distance from my home to my work, this should not be an issue, but daily I find it is. This has had me on the edge of discontinuing my use of their service, and somehow just finding a way to cram myself into my car day in and day out. But I keep coming back because I don’t, nor does my wife want me to do that.

In my repeated talks with dispatchers and drivers something infinitely more unnerving has come to my attention. A little background:

The local accessible bus service is small and so it has a contract with a larger regional service which runs many of its day to day operations, most important of which is dispatch. One of the drivers of the local service has told me that another one of their customers was having trouble getting picked up and getting to work on time so she (the other customer) wrote a letter about it. When the dispatch service found out, the head honcho over there was heard over the radio by the local drivers to say “We’re going to stick it to her.”

Yeah. Just for issuing a complaint. For standing up for herself. For being a self-advocate.

We who patronize this service are, lets face it, in many ways “vulnerable adults” as for many of us this is our only way to get around. Right now I am amongst their numbers. I have been keeping up with this woman’s story and as far as I have heard, she has had nothing “stuck” to her as yet. But you know, devious people bide their time.

That’s what they do. They bide their time.

So here is the part which is very much like the day-to-day dilemmas which we discuss at my Bhagavad-Gita discussion group. It is an open ended question, the answer of which I kind of already know, but I still would like to hear what others have to say on the subject.

Knowing what I know about the people in charge of this company can I, in good conscience, go about patronizing this business? To me it seems to violate ahimsa, the vow to do no harm. It is my only reasonable mode of transportation. And I do have to work. I have let the appropriate authorities know what my own personal negative experiences have been. I cannot go off all half-cocked to the people in charge with some hearsay about this other customer’s impending stick-it-to-ing just because it enrages me. The client involved in that incident has issued her own complaint. How does one find peace in, as I said, continuing to patronize this company?

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2 Responses to Bhagavad-Gita Discussion Group Absentee Topic: Patronizing Adharma

  1. Dhrishti says:

    Bhai,

    I’d say if I were in your shoes I’d abandon this service – if there’s ANY practical way to get around apart from them. Either discontinue your use of that service, or file the strongest complaint you’re able. Is it possible that the hearsay is meant to deter you?

    Locally, we have a known news channel that people call ins situations like this. “Call 6 News for Help” with somebody like Ralphael Sanchez… or something like that. When they get a call, they usually start investigating to root out the truth of any accusations, and then depending on the severity make a story out of it – which the company/organization in question usually hopes to avoid at all costs.

    I feel like you’re a bit scared of what filing a complaint might bring, and the message of the Gita is to have no fear. If I were you, I would absolutely file a complaint – pertaining to your own experience – but also mention the hearsay. They need to be aware of, and given the chance to correct, their failings and they need to be aware of the image they’re creating.

    • treadmarkz says:

      Thank you! I am thinking that the hearsay was not meant to deter me as the local service was previously over-seen by a local taxi company and they were having the same problems with the taxi service and they kicked them to the curb. So I don’t feel like the driver I heard this from was in any way in cahoots with the current overlords or whatever you wanna call ’em.
      You are right that I should tell them in the strongest way possible what is going on. My whole point in not mentioning “the hearsay” was that the person directly involved had already told her story to them, so why bring it up secondhand?
      Either way you’ve given me loads to think about. As always.

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