Friday, March 29, 2013

I swear....

I don't recall blogging about this, but a funny thought recently occurred to me. I blog all about how the kids swear, or misbehave, but what happens if it is the DRIVER that cusses?

Well, I admit... I have cussed on the bus. Truth be told, I am human, and my reaction to a situation was one that was fairly normal given the situation at hand. I have uttered a few choice swear words (usually under my breath and inaudible to passengers) when I've had a close call while driving, or witness something that is completely insane, like someone deciding to nearly sideswipe me while trying their best to get around me in heavy oncoming traffic, but this particular situation was unique.

I cussed loud enough for ALL the kids to hear, moreover, I actually SHOUTED this cuss word. I didn't get fired, though I'm sure I caused my boss some gray hairs afterwards given that the bus that I slipped up on, is known for doing everything under the sun to get bus drivers fired. This particular bus has a rough bunch of children whose parents NEVER take any responsibility for, and when it comes to their children they actively DENY any involvement of said children in questionable activities. Let alone the child in question is WEARING the same thing that the video tape shows!!!! But that's beside the point!


Driving down the road on the way to the single stop on this route (a low income apartment complex).

Kid - (stands up and yells at the top of his lungs)... SH*T!!!

Me - (reacting to his obscenity)... WHOA!! I had better NOT hear those words come out of your mouth again or I will take your A$$ - BUTT! back to school.

Whole bus - ooooooooooooohhhhhhhh the bus driver SWORE!!!!!

Me - (still looking at the kid in my rearview) - You got a PASS this time boy!

Even though the kid swore first, and my first reaction was to yell at him for it, in turn, uttering my own swear, I can still get in trouble for it. As luck would have it, I did tell my boss, but he was understanding, and I'm sure fielded a lot of phone calls from parents whose kids went home and said "The bus driver swore at us today"... let alone what those kids actually SAY when they get on the bus. Those kids have a more colorful vocabulary than my own!!!

Cuss Free,

The Bus Driver

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


I've been in a blogging mood lately which has been largely refreshing given the fact that I have not blogged a bunch in a good long while. I got to thinking, why had my desire to blog disappeared? Then it struck me. I was burnt out. Not from blogging itself, but my jobs were wreaking havoc on my nervous system that I basically shut down anything that I had been doing as a past time. I didn't even leave my little apartment except for work.

I was working 7 days a week, often up to 60 hours a week depending on whether I had field trips. By the time I got home, my energy was just so zapped, I had absolutely no desire to do anything else. The reality was, Transit was sucking the life out of me. I worked there for 4 and a half years, the cards stacked against me from day 1, which became apparent as the years wore on, but slowly and surely my resistance wore down. Things became a chore. I hated going to work at Transit because I knew there would be some problem or another with the way things were going or how I was performing the job. When I started school in the Fall of 2012 - my time at Transit was further limited due to my course schedule, which caused even more hardships and made my supervisor over there "C" try even harder to do what she could to get me to quit. Well she won. I quit. I don't regret it for a minute. I am finally pulling myself out of the blog "funk" I was in and I am rediscovering my love of blogging, even on days like today.

This morning went something like an Abbott and Costello sketch:

After my normal good morning call to the bus shop to ascertain that I am supposed to be driving bus 69, I drive to the shop to discover that 69 is missing from the parking lot. I circle the parking lot a couple times, and look at a couple of spare buses to see if maybe someone had placed numbers on the side. Having found none, I called the bus shop and the exchange went something like this....

Bus Shop (BS) - Bus shop how can I help you?

Me - Hi, Mr. Mechanic, its The Bus Driver, what bus did you want me to drive on 69's route? Old 14?

BS - No, bus 69

Me - Its not here

BS - Yes it is

Me - No it's not

BS - YES it is, I saw it this morning

Me - Its not here....

BS - Is bus 44 on the yard?

Me - No bus 44 left already... so do you want me to use old 14?

BS - Use bus 69

Me - ITS NOT HERE... I circled the parking lot three times looking for it!

BS - Oh um, BS to 69....... <---long pause.... bus 69 go ahead BS.....

Apparently the regular driver had come and gotten her bus and was already on-route. I went and drove a different bus instead, and managed to get cussed out by middle school and elementary kids - one as young as 5 years old!!! It will be so much fun confronting the parent tomorrow morning about their children's potty mouth.

Whose On First?

The Bus Driver

Friday, March 1, 2013

Bus Accident


The word strikes fear into everyone who hears it. Who is it? What happened? Is everyone okay? The fear seems to double when there is a school bus involved. Bus accidents are scary things, though sometimes the accident can be something as simple as the bus driver hitting a stop sign, getting stuck in the mud, or getting the bus hung up on a fire hydrant (true story!). The accident could be as severe as a roll over or head on collision. These accidents can be caused by the bus drivers, other motorists, and that random garbage can that attacks the bus (they're vicious!!).

The question then becomes, "What to do in the case of an emergency involving a school bus?"

1. Don't panic. - This applies to school bus drivers as well as parents. Assess the situation. Find out what happened and then formulate a plan. If the bus is simply stuck in the mud, and there are no injuries, simply come and pick up your child from the bus or wait for the bus to get pulled out of the mud and resume regular route. The bus driver is trained to do everything in his/her power to ensure the safety of your child, even in the most extreme circumstances.

2. Injuries? If there are injuries, we call the appropriate medical personnel to come and assess your child and let them take the appropriate action necessary to ensure the safety of your child. We already do this for children that have asthma attacks, seizures, and other medical conditions on the bus that may require attention, though those are categorized as medical emergencies.

3. Supply information. Before your child starts riding the bus, we ask that you fill out an information form. This includes your child's name, address, parent's names, phone number, grade level, school, medical conditions, and who to contact in the case of an emergency. Please ensure that all bus drivers that transport your child have this information and that you keep it updated. There is nothing worse than trying to call you to notify you about a problem your child is having and finding out the phone number has been disconnected, or worse, that the school does not have updated information for your child. *** For younger children, writing in a sharpie permanent marker on the inside of their school bag with their name, and phone number, is helpful in helping me identify your child.***

4. Teach your child the basics. One of the best things for a child to know is the basics of name, phone number, parent name, and address. I once had a child who accidentally got on my bus and then realized that she should have boarded a completely different bus. She was in kindergarten and she came up to me and said, "My name is X, My moms name is X, I live at XXXXXXX, my phone number is 555-1234, can you call my mom and tell her where I am?" I contacted the bus shop, they contacted the mother (who as it turned out is also a bus driver) and the situation was resolved.

5. Severity - If the accident is more severe, such as a head on collision or the bus got rear-ended, find out if your child is going to the hospital, and then meet your child at the hospital or come pick your child up at either the accident site or a central location such as a school. Be aware that emotions will be running high as your child is understandably scared. In most cases where the accident was not severe enough to warrant all children going to the hospital, the bus shop will send a spare bus to pick up the children who are fine and just shaken up to either bring back home, or on to school, depending on the time of day. You, as a parent, do have the right to decide whether your child will just get on the other bus, or if you will come pick him/her up at the scene. Often times, we try to remove the children from the scene as fast as possible (once released by medical personnel) as we do not want to frighten them any more than they already are. Additionally for something such as the bus getting stuck in the mud, or a minor fender bender where there were no injuries at all, we will notify you as soon as possible, but rest assured your child will be taken care of and transported to the appropriate place.

Accident free!

The Bus Driver