Thursday, May 29, 2014

Do You Know the Look?

Last week I wrote about some training a Registered Dietitian presented at my full-time job. For those of you who have followed this blog for a while, you know that I work more than one job. In fact I work three. When referring to each job, I try to avoid saying, “My second job.” This is because I do not prioritize any job as more important than another by assigning it an arbitrary number.

Let me share with you about my job as a school bus driver. I am not just a school bus driver, but a substitute school bus driver. Consider that fact for a moment. Remember back to your days in school. Remember two important facts. First, the class always took advantage of the substitute teacher. Second, students were always livelier on the bus than they were in the class room.

Now consider the fact again: I am a substitute bus driver.

Thankfully, most of the students I have encountered are very well mannered. However, I have had to speak to the students on occasion.

Allow me to also interject that if you combine all the years my daughters have graced this planet, I have well over 50 years of parenting experience, and that is notable for a 25 year old guy like me.

Consequently, I have mastered the look and growl of a father. It is a skill passed to me from my father, who received it from his father, and so on.

When students are misbehaving, I will pull the bus over and park safely. Then I will unbuckle my seat belt, get out of my seat, stand and turn to face the students. I give them the look, and then growl softly, “Ladies and Gentleman” and a quiet hush spreads across the entire bus.

Normally, I don’t need to get that drastic. In fact, normally, the students are quite helpful. I once had a route that had changed since the directions and a young lady assured me she would help me through the changes. I told her she had to be up to the task, because I didn’t want to get lost. She gave me her assurance that she would be with me every step of the way, and then she told me to turn right; I did. Another student said, “This is my stop,” so I let that student off at a corner.

As I pulled away from the stop, the entire bus called out my recently appointed navigator’s name. She looked up from her phone, startled, and stammered, “oh, you were supposed to turn back there.”

I started to give her the look, but the look on her face stopped me. She looked at me with a mixture of horror over making a mistake and that nervous laughter that comes along with it. It is a look I have seen my daughters use quite often, and it always makes me laugh. Apparently, it is not only Father’s who pass down looks to their sons, but Mother’s pass down looks to their daughters too.


  1. Mastering the look is the key to success!!

  2. Very enjoyable blog, Rob. And yes, I remember the substitute teachers well. I don't think I envied them. :)