Bus Driving . . . and why it requires insanity.
No, no – seriously. I mean, my current M-F job (plus some weekends, when my mouth turns mutinous and blurts out, “Yeah – I’ll drive the team!”) is as a school bus driver. No, not the small suckers that had the butt bitten off by the T-Rex from Jurassic Park, or the 15 passenger vans with the cute little lights on top that look like ET landed.
We are talking SCHOOL BUS. Big sucker, filled with screaming, occasionally cursing, kids.
The yellow banana of the road that every driver on the planet will try to get past because, obviously, the bus is a ticking time bomb.
Tick . . . tick . . . STOP SIGN! Wait . . . wait . . .wait some more.
It moves until . . . STOP SIGN! Wait . . . Wait . . .
Come on!! You know the sight of one makes your eye twitch. Makes my eye twitch too! Which begs the bigger question: WHY THE HELL DRIVE ONE? Well . . . for the same reason above. I am stupid.
Driving is a fun fest (*snort*) especially when someone in a Pinto cuts me off. Then I just want to crush their little fastback into the guardrail and turn them into a clown car. Don’t cut off bus drivers. We are MANIACS.
Oh yes – and the words, “I think I am gonna throw up,” literally send chills down our bright yellow vested-backs. Frigid cold mornings, when we are forbidden to idle, also rank high on the Suck-O-Meter, as do enraged parents, sneaky kids, and the most dreaded TRAFFIC. A couple of our drivers even managed to add “Oh s**t, the engine is on fire!” to the dreaded list.
But for sheer torture, and ranking NUMBER 1 on the most dreaded aspects of bus driving, is without fail THE CHILD CHECKMATE SYSTEM. Also known as the Psycho Female Voice that demands I run to the back of the bus 64 times a day. She is also known to be an unpredictable witch and hurl random demands at the most inopportune times, such as telling a driver to walk to the back of the bus and check for sleeping kids WHILE THE BUS IS BEING DRIVEN. HELLO???? THE FREAKIN’ KIDS ARE ON THE BUS! Here – let me just send my SHADOW to the back while I navigate the HIGHWAY at 50!
We are given a hefty 30 seconds to run to the back of the bus (dodging legs, instruments, and backpacks stuffed so huge that they’ve GOT to contain a family of elves) and press a button AND lift a handle. If you don’t make the finish line in 30 seconds? HORNS! LIGHTS! KIDS GET EJECTED THROUGH THE ROOF HATCH! Well . . . okay, the last one is more of a wish.
So yeah – the job can truly suck, but hey – it’s a paycheck and lets me write about dark, killer teens between my runs. Can’t imagine where I get the character ideas from . . .
Oh and FYI – We are ALWAYS looking for more DRIVERS. Care to be stupid? ;)