Monday, September 13, 2010

Ricky Don't Lose That Number...

I've only had two bad days so far during my first year here at RTD.
The first day of "bad" was my first day - how stressful can it really be to be given a 33 ton vehicle, let loose all by yourself, with directions to a route you have no idea how to drive, in the dark when you can't see the street signs to know when/where to turn and a time table that is so tight that anything under 65 miles an hour will make you and your passengers late!

Passengers asking questions about connecting routes and directions, folks with fake passes and transfers from the wrong month, wrong directions and even the wrong color.
Guys opening their wallets in front of you saying all they have are 20's & 100's, asking if they can ride free.

Passengers all wanting the Lift and special stops.
"Driver, can you hurry up, we are behind schedule?"

Yeah, that was my first day.
I even told some poor little crying kiddo behind me that only the bus Driver was allowed to cry during the ride.
That got a laugh, finally.

I'm always asked how I like my job.
I always respond that I love it.
I'm told they can tell.

I do love my job.
As long as I'm driving.
I can work 12 hours a day 7 days a week - as long as I'm on the rode with Customers, I'm loving my job.
But as soon as I get back into that Garage, politics, drama, discrimination and what nots run rampant.
Drivers aren't quitting left and right because of the bus or the road.
It's the Garage.

The second day of "Bad" was this weekend.
My worse day ever.
Started by being harassed by another Driver.
Put me in a really bad mood.
Then the Driver I relieved for the second half of my day put me over the top.
The bus was a pig sty.
Trashed, stinky, no transfers cut, no schedules, trash all over the dash, mirrors looking out into space and the Driver wouldn't let me grab the bus until a normal stop where all I'm able to do is jump in the seat and take off.
We have layovers when the bus sits for ten or more minutes until taking off for the next run.
Those are the perfect times to adjust the mirrors, clean the bus, cut transfers, get ready for the next run.
It's called, "Recovery"
With the other Driver not letting me get ready for my run, I had to go for another hour and a half without being able to see out of my right side mirrors or see passengers through those big mirrors inside.
And to make it even worse, the day was sooooo busy that I had to drive THROUGH those recovery layovers at each end of the route to stay only a few minutes late each way.
That meant no clean up, no Lysol/air freshener, no mirrors and I had to punch transfers at red lights.
And no bathroom breaks all day.
Which meant no drinking all day so I didn't have't stop, which I couldn't have anyway.
And everything piled up to make me want to park the bus and walk home.
Just leave.

They even show us a video of a Driver doing just that in the middle of a route.
Of course they add that he may have faced Federal and civil charges for leaving the bus and passengers alone like that, etc.

And in the midst of it all, proof there is a Big Guy in the sky.
He sent along a few random Angels to tell me I'm the best Driver, the nicest Driver, the most friendly, helpful etc Driver they've met.
One random Passenger said this then gave me her cell number as she left.


LOL, really?
Giving the Driver your number?
What was it, the uniform?

One Passenger said she's been on my buses many times before and that she's seen me keep my cool in some difficult situations, impressing her.

I wanted to ask, can you tell that I'm having the worst day of my brand new RTD Career today?
But obviously nobody could tell.
So I guess I'm better at what I do than even I thought I was.

As always, "Welcome aboard, find your seats - Let's Roll!"

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