The week started out pretty typically. The usual announcements to the SAME people who NEVER turn in their paperwork were, again, announced over the radio to everybody. I mean come on people; we are NOT children anymore who do not do our homework. Please just complete your paperwork for the Love of God! Then, in the same breath, the secretary announces that there is a meeting for all Field Trip Drivers.
Oh goody, WHAT do we have to do now? The last meeting was just them adding MORE paperwork onto our payroll sheets. First it was adding a long 27 digit number to the payroll sheets, then it was attaching the field trip FORM to the payroll sheets, then we have to do our fire and evacuation drill on EVERY field trip AND get a roster of students from all coaches/teachers. So, when this announcement happened, the first thought to my mind was what next? Are we going to have to stand on our heads and recite the ABC’s backwards?!
I dutifully go into the bus shop and wait for the meeting to begin. The Bossman comes in and proceeds to chew us out for speeding and for showing up late to field trips. It is already required that we show up 15 minutes prior to the departure time on our field trip sheets, now its required that we show up 20 minutes prior to the departure time. Speeding is a whole different ball game though.
The federal law mandates that a school bus cannot exceed 55 mph when traveling at “highway speeds.” If a bus is traveling within a town, the bus cannot exceed 45 mph, keeping in mind all speed limits in between. Years ago our buses were set (governed) at 55 mph exactly. That means the bus could not go past 55 mph. They changed it to 60 mph to allow buses to pass motorists going slower than 55 mph. As the newer buses kept coming in, they governed the speed at 65 mph, to compare with some of the fast 70 mph highway speeds we have here as well as giving buses extra “oomph.” Apparently the Bossman had been getting a few too many phone calls of drivers speeding and being unsafe. Instead of reprimanding just those FEW drivers who break the rules, the Bossman reprimands ALL of us. He set the gauntlet and told us if he had one more call or saw another driver speeding, that he would have all the maintenance guys govern the buses down to 55 mph again. Guess what happened on Thursday? Bossman got passed by one of our bus drivers doing over 65 mph. NOW our buses are governed at 55 mph. In my opinion, they SHOULD have been governed at 55 mph in the FIRST place. Again common sense is NOT present.
However, it was NOT me who was speeding on Thursday. Where was I? I was on a spontaneous insane excursion with my best friend. She called me up Thursday morning and asked me if I wanted to come along to a nearby big city (about 2 hrs away) and go pick up some items with her. I said sure, I’ll drive, you pay the gas and off we went. Sketchy parts of town with construction areas are definitely my idea of a good time. So is a jewelry store that looks like a pawnshop on the outside. We also almost got put on a local radio network when we got lost and turned around. It was nearing 12:30, and we knew it was going to be difficult to get back in town to get to work on time, so we devised a plan that we would try to call out separately for different reasons at different times and then plan to spend the rest of the afternoon goofing off and having fun. I went first as I had the earlier start time. I have to be at work for 2 pm and she has a 3rd wave bus that doesn’t begin until after 2:45 pm. I played sick and got the afternoon off. She couldn’t because there were already too many drivers out. Apparently I was the last one who could be out. DAMN, foiled! Anyhow, such began our RACE back to town so SHE could be on time. We literally pulled 80 mph going down the highway trying to get back to town after sitting in construction and dealing with idiot people all day. We cut it close because we stopped to see her husband on the way down. Her husband works for a big soda company driving one of their trucks. We left the big city somewhere between 12:45 and 1, and we somehow made it back into town by 2:10 pm, drove through Mc Donald’s for lunch, and then dropped her off at her bus so she could go to work. She barely made it. I had the rest of the afternoon off. The best part about this day is that I learned that my best friend is absolutely insane. She kept me in stitches with her stories about her rebel teen years including her near death experience with a snowplow.
We've also decided that one day we both need to just take the afternoon off and just hang out together.
The Bus Driver