Friday, October 19, 2012

If Only Every Job was as Great as Mine.

As many of you know, I have three jobs. I am also sure that all three of my regular readers know that one of those jobs is as a substitute bus driver in a local school district. The following narrative occurred just the other day as I filled in on a bus run. Unlike my usual posts, everything here is mostly the factual, unadulterated truth. I promise.

When I first started training to be a school bus driver, I was in a group of somewhere between 4 and a bazillion people. When we finished there were two of us; Steve and me. Steve took a regular run and I opted to stay a sub. The other day, I got to drive Steve’s route.

He drives a handful of students across the county to a small school. When I stopped at the first stop, three girls came out to get on the bus; they were not excited to see me.

“You’re not Mr. Steve. Where is Mr. Steve? Is this the right bus? Why isn’t Mr. Steve here?”

After they finally stopped peppering me with questions, I was able to answer, “Mr. Steve isn’t here today. He asked me to drive for him, is that ok?”

The three girls looked at each other, while making all sorts of girlie noises. Finally a spokesgirl asked, “Do you know how to go?” I showed them the directions and responded, “Yeppers, he gave me directions.” The spokesgirl announced that everything seemed to be in order and we could continue our trip.

The next stop was for one little young gentleman. As soon as he saw me, he turned around and walked away from the door. The adult that was with him said, “Jimmy, you have to go to school.”

“But it isn’t Mr Steve!” he wailed, drawing out the Steve part to a long deep drawl.

I comforted him, as only a bus driver can comfort a forlorn student. “It is ok Jimmy; Mr. Steve and I learned to drive bus together.”

“You did?” He walked back to the door of the bus, sized me up, and decided it might be acceptable to ride on the bus. He got on, found his seat and we started on.

Everything was going fine until I turned left instead of right, or was it right instead of left? It really doesn’t matter, I got lost. Not really lost, just kind of going the wrong direction lost. Very soon the students on the bus realized I was not going the right direction and they began to riot. One girl clapped her hands over her face and squealed in terror. “Oh No! We are lost! Mr. Steve never gets lost. Take me home! I can’t take this, we are all going to die of hunger, or end up in Texas.”

I assured them we would neither die nor end up in Texas. Soon, after I got the bus turned around, they started to recognize landmarks and they were once again calm. That is until we got on the expressway to zip to the other side of town. One of the sweet first grade juvenile female life forms announced loudly, “Mr. Rob, you are a good driver. You are speeding, Mr. Steve never speeds.”

Let me assure you, gentle reader, school bus drivers never speed, that includes me. It is one of the 300 cardinal sins of school bus driving. We do not speed, ever.

Nonetheless, the sweet urchin boisterously announced, “Mr. Rob is speeding.” She boldly emphasized speeding. All of the other children were aghast. Until the girl said, “Just kidding, I don’t even know what speeding means.”

I. Love. My. Job.

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