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Hop On The Bus, Gus

Megabus_double_decker_frontviewOn my trip to Chicago last weekend, I decided to try something different for transportation. I'm not a fan of air travel for shorter distances, and driving seemed a ridiculous option since parking my car would have cost a prohibitive amount just to let it sit there for three days. My wife suggested I try the Megabus, and since the tickets were pretty inexpensive and it had free Wifi, I figured, "Why not?"

Because I could access my online community during the ride, I decided to have a little fun with the whole experiment, so I began a "log" of my travels on Facebook:

Hour one of my captivity on the Megabus. My captor is friendly enough and the other prisoners are empathetic. The cabin vibrates like a cheap motel room bed with a roll of quarters at the ready. Slow going. Must stay strong.

Hour three of captivity on the Megabus. Stopped in Iowa City to take on more prisoners... er... passengers. Now a VERY FULL bus.

Hour four on the Megabus: instead of taking the more streamlined I88 toll road, they are prolonging the experience for us. The college girl in front of me burst into unexplained maniacal laughter. The pressure must be getting to her, poor thing. They won't crack me that easily.

Hour five in my Megabus Purgatory: for the first time I truly feared for my life. I used the "facilities" in an experience best described as imagining one's toilet mounted on the chassis of a 72 Chevelle going 70 MPH with no shock absorbers There were illegible etchings on the mirror, no doubt the warnings of terror scrawled by the weak.

Entering hour #7 and the prisoners are restless. We've hit the snail traffic on I55 which plagues all equally. It is a cruel Chicago trick to be this close and yet so far. Must hang on to the end of my sentence... trip, I mean.

At first blush, someone from Megabus would probably cringe over this commentary; however, the discussion generated from my friends and colleagues was priceless. For some, they had never heard of the Megabus. For others, they knew my penchant for overexaggeration in these circumstances and enjoyed the humor.

The bottom line: I got people to START TALKING about the Megabus. Some even told me they'd never considered it before, and said they'd be willing to try it. Overall, the experience was pretty simple (especially compared to air travel) and, while a bit slower than driving, allowed me to get a lot of things done in six hours I couldn't have completed with both hands on the wheel.

My question to you in your quest to accomplish great things: what are YOU doing to compel people to START TALKING about your accomplishments? Positive or negative, the communication is important... to you and to them. But the trick is to motivate people to START TALKING. From there, you can manage the conversation, but there's nothing to manage if they don't start.

(On a very positive note about the customer service of Megabus, they responded to my Tweets very promptly. I was highly impressed, and I even downloaded the Megabus app to my mobile. I will definitely consider it for further Chicago travel.)

And for the record, my Facebook post on the way home:

I will behave on the Megabus. 
I will behave on the Megabus. 
I will behave on the Megabus. 
I will behave on the Megabus. 
I will behave on the Megabus.


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