Tuesday, May 31, 2011

End of Year Celebration

Our last day was May 20 and it was a fairly awesome day. The last week of school is usually the most hectic on the bus because the kids are ramping up for their end of the year festivities, they are excited for the summer, and they always conveniently forget how to ride a bus properly. Of course this leads to several write up's and flustered bus drivers, but in the end it all works out.

Luckily, in my 5 years of driving a bus, I have learned to just roll with the punches. I don't sweat the petty stuff and don't bother to engage the kids in a power struggle, its simply not worth it. After a whole year of kids acting like twits, causing trouble for the sake of causing trouble, and basically deciding to do everything in their power to NOT follow the rules, one local middle school had the BEST way of "getting back" at the hormonal pre-teen/teens.

Water guns.

Everyone from the teachers, to the principal, to the coaches, to the janitors all came armed to school with super soaker water guns. They pre-filled them and set up buckets of water out in the bus loop for maximum enjoyment. Then, when school was dismissed for the summer and all the wonderful cherubs were orderly and quickly filing out of the school to get on the buses, they opened FIRE!

Mass chaos, girls screeching, guys yelping as the cold water hit them full force from all those folks who put up with them all year.

Revenge is best served cold!

The Bus Driver

Friday, May 13, 2011


Bullies come in all shapes and sizes. They can be the smallest child, or your boss at work. Bullying should not be tolerated in any shape or form whether it be in the workplace, at school, or at home. As a bus driver, I look out for bullies. I put a stop to bullying on any bus that I drive immediately.

Sometimes I am the one bullied by the students. Or, at least they try to bully me. It doesn't work the way they plan because I typically go toe to toe, nose to nose with them and let them know that they do not intimidate me. Often, bullies are simply looking for the attention of the victim and other students.

This week, I experienced a high schooler who tried to push my buttons by telling other students around him lies about me. He deliberately sat 3 seats behind me so that he would be close enough to the front so that I could hear his obnoxious comments. In this case, he was looking for a reaction. I wasn't going to give him the satisfaction. He wanted me to get in a confrontation with him because he kept saying he would "cuss" me out. Funny enough, his beef with me spanned back 4-5 months when I last drove that bus. I couldn't figure out why he was so upset with me as a driver, but apparently I did something that made him angry enough to be as obnoxious as he was. I let him off and didn't let it worry me, but I did notify my boss and pulled the tape.

Later that afternoon, he continued his taunting, but not until we were almost to his stop. Then it hit me. The route is located in an area that has one road that is paved with dead end roads jutting out from it. The route, as I learned it, dropped the last stop off at the intersection of two of these dead end roads and the main road. It has always been this way, and I had not been notified of any changes. The last time I was on the bus, the kids tried to tell me that the driver now went down the dead end roads. The truth is, we only go down the dead end roads when it is raining.

The boy who was taunting me got off at the last stop in the afternoon.

He simply did not want to walk down the road. It only hit me when I pulled up to the last stop and opened the door and said politely, "Have a nice day." The boy got so angry and upset and started running his mouth while he got off the bus. He happened to get on at a different stop in the morning, so the location of the stop confused me. In the end, I got him back, because he had to walk anyways.

I found out later, that the new bus driver had changed the route around and hadn't told anyone or cleared it with the bossman. So as a result, I legitimately did not know about any changes in the route. In the end, I got back at the boy. He deserved it!

Bouncing down the road!

The Bus Driver

Monday, May 9, 2011

Snobby Old Ladies

I was driving for transit today when I had a pick up at a local Dollar Store. My client stated she needed to run to Walmart briefly. Since it was next door and I was 15 minutes early, I didn't mind waiting extra. I circled the parking lot a couple of times and then pulled down into the parking lot. The bus is a handicap accessible bus and has privileges to park in handicap spots. I pulled into one of the spots close to the front, but since Walmart parking lot was mobbed, I didn't feel comfortable leaving a little bit of the bus out in the way of traffic. The parking lot has all diagonal parking spaces instead of straight spaces.

The person in the spot next to the one I had pulled had vacated the spot. I quickly backed out and then pulled up out of the way of traffic and covering two spaces. I flipped my hazard lights on, knowing I would be gone within the next 15 minutes. I even pulled up far enough that people had plenty of space to get around me. Thats when Chihuahua Lady decides to pull up at my rear end and HONK her horn LOUDLY. She honks twice more, and when its clear I'm not moving, she flips her blinker on and pulls LEFT almost into my bus, trying to edge me out. Now I'm parked, not moving. She honks her horn again and I see her get agitated more and she is blocking traffic waiting on me to move.

I watch her pull up to my passenger door. I open the door and she rolls down her window, revealing her and her little pet chihuahua. I explain that I am waiting for someone. She remarks quite rudely "WELL, THATS NO WAY TO PARK!" Her chihuahua is yapping at me through the window. I apologize again and she remarks "Well, the POLICE will come and tell you." I just shut the door and she drives off in a huff all angry.

Apparently it seems I was in HER parking space. The one SHE wanted. Yep, I inconvenienced HER. In the end, I left within 15 minutes, and the police were not called to fix her civil dispute with me. I'm sorry if my parking the bus inconvenienced you, but your car is NOT the only car in this parking lot. The ironic thing is, to the right was a space RIGHT in front. But she decided to pick a dispute with me over the way I parked.

Parking Wars,

The Bus Driver

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Exspomation and Snobby Teachers

Recently, the neighbor and I got into a conversation about school. Her son is graduating from pre-k and advancing onto kindergarten. She related a story about "exspomation". Her son told her one morning that he needed an object to exspomate at school. He had to bring it in. He finally selected a stuffed leopard and when he held it up for the teacher, proudly saying, "Ms Teacher! I brought my leopard to exspomate!!!" His teacher knowingly said, "Oh!, I don't know if I can ESTIMATE that many spots!" His mother laughed.

The last 3 weeks have been filled with non-stop field trips. I've been to the bowling alley, the museum of science,and various other locations. We are closing in on the last week of school with the speed of a freight train. As we near the end of school and summer starting, I hope that folks will take caution in driving around the streets during the next three months because of all the children who will be out and about.

The bowling alley provided lots of entertainment with a pre-k class. Those children prefer the "zig zag" method of bowling which basically involves throwing the ball at a hap hazard angle, and watching it bounce perilously against the side bumpers back and forth. Its cute to watch them celebrate knocking down just one pin.

My trip to the museum was equally as interesting. I experienced the snobbiest teachers I've ever come across. Teachers, if you take a field trip, please speak to the bus driver and at least make some polite conversation. Also, if you have directions to the place, please just hand the paper to the bus driver and let the bus driver utilize the directions to the best of their ability. Most of the time, I get along with teachers just fine. I've taken this group on field trips before and the teachers were exactly the same. I thought the first time was just a fluke, and that maybe I was imagining that they were snobby. They were actually snobby. One teacher actually physically turned her head away from me whenever I even asked a simple question, and refused to even look at me. She also acted annoyed. On the plus side, I got to drive the brand new bus (less than 500 miles on it) to the museum. The bus had an air ride drivers seat that was really comfortable!!!!

My last field trip of the season was a pre-k class to a teachers house for a "water day". Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate and the children, who were told to only put their feet in the water, were soaked. They had fun anyways. Besides, you cannot simply tell a pre-k child to NOT get wet... on a WATER day... yeah.

Waiting for Summer (10 days!)

The Bus Driver