Saturday, September 13, 2008

Of Backing, Eccentricity, and Precautions

So it’s been a while since I’ve blogged and we’ve been in school for just about a month. I couldn’t blog much last week due to a situation at work that had me all nervous about losing my job. However, I’m still here and still a bus driver. I’ve learned several things in the last few weeks.

1. No matter how bad something is, there is always someone who has done worse and still lived to tell the tale.

2. One might meet the strangest people in the most unlikely places.

3. Lock your shit up.

The first lesson came while driving some children home one afternoon. I pulled up to a stop, let the children out, and then went to back up into a nearby driveway/trailer park entrance. I had checked my mirrors and did not see the car behind me, which I promptly had a fender bender with. Things turned out in my favor with the driver of the other vehicle getting arrested for no insurance, and luckily there was minimal damage to either vehicle. After that, folks at my workplace were calling me crash and joking with me about my backing skills. I also got told several stories of fellow bus drivers who have done way worse to buses, including one who bent an entire front fender off a brand new bus while backing. Yes, maybe we shouldn’t back up as often as we do and that person is still a bus driver too.

The second lesson came while I was on a field trip approximately an hour away. I had dropped off the team for their game and went and dined at a local Chinese place. I usually run into some of the most interesting people on field trips. I had chosen the Chinese place to get out of the heat and humidity that was widespread that day. I settled in and opened my book. This eccentric lady, dressed in black walks in and orders her food. While she is waiting, she jabbers away at the waitress about how her friend is so sick and has been in the hospital, but it keeps going around the Huddle House (local food joint) and how the management there doesn’t understand about people needing to stay home and do nothing but get better from illness and on and on and on. The waitress looked at her wits end with the woman and was only nodding and responding to be polite. I was thinking, the woman is probably lonely and is a little crazy in the head, so best not to interfere. She sneezed, and I naturally said “God bless you” and that was how our conversation started. The waitress looked relieved. “Bon Bon” as she likes to be called started telling me how she was so far away from home, so naturally I asked where home was for her, and she stated “New York”. I related I grew up in the northeast and we talked a little bit about the weather. Eventually the conversation came back to where we both live and where she grew up. It turns out, she grew up down the street from where I live today. She remembers when the apartment building I live in presently was built in the 60’s. She remembers how it was “furnished in 60’s style metal furniture, and of course you couldn’t break the furniture as the 60’s made good furniture”. I asked her about the gentleman downstairs who has lived in these apartments for approximately 27 years. She became so excited that I knew him and then she told me of her trip to Peru with him and her girlfriend. She was tickled pink that I was a friend with him and that he was still alive after all these years. So now I’ve got to ask my neighbor about “Bon Bon”, Renee, and Peru.

The third lesson was a little hard to swallow. I had my GPS unit stolen on Friday night and disappointingly; I believe it’s as good as gone.

Life is going to fast.

The Bus Driver


Edna Lee said...

Sometimes the eccentric people are the most interesting people around. It's also amazing what a small world it can be. What are the chances you're going to meet someone who knows your friend from your building? Very small, I would suspect.

Good for you for being so willing to meet new people. I can work out so nicely!

ChiTown Girl said...

I stumbled across your blog through another, and I just wanted to say how great I think it is! I shouldn't even admit this, but I went back and read every post, and I love that you're blogging about being a driver. I often wonder what our bus driver must be thinking when we're on a field trip, and my kids are acting like maniacs, etc. I plan to check back often :)