My roommate cleaned a bit of the apartment the other day and now my allergies are bugging the crap out of me. At least I know for a fact that it's allergies and not actual illness, since I felt much better as soon as we left to go to the store earlier. That makes me happy, since it means I won't miss any work. The kids on my bus have been really well behaved this week, so I haven't had too much to post on lately.
I did, however, manage to smack the side of bus into a telephone pulling away from my second school after dropping the kids off the other day. The road was banked really deep to the right, and I forgot to take that lean into account when I swung out to go around the bus in front of me. The top/side of my roof smacked into a utility pole, putting a bit of a dent in the bus and ripping the clearance light off. The light has already been replaced, and the mechanic who looked at the damage said he didn't think there was $250 of damage there, so I won't even get documented for it or anything. I have to wait till the body mechanic comes back from vacation to know for sure, but I'm pretty confident, since I think it's all surface damage. It doesn't look like anything structural was affected at all.
I talked to one of the skippers about the fact that I have to have buses moved every day for me to leave. My route is getting adjusted, so I'm going to start leaving even earlier, which means that even more buses would have to be moved. She told me to start parking in the single row of buses up top, so no one will be blocking me in anymore. Naturally, as soon as I did that, I got questioned by one of the other skippers. Figures.
I discovered, too, that there are spare drivers who have been there much longer than me who are still doing spare work, whereas I was put on a fixed route on my seventh day. Evidently, at least one person in charge thinks highly of me. Actually, I know that for a fact now, because when the safety officer did my orientation on Tuesday, she told me that one of the skippers had been saying very good things about me. I really don't know what all she could know, since she hasn't been out on a bus with me, unless she's just pleased by me always showing up early. Who knows.
One of the kids on my bus on Friday actually talked to me; they usually all just sit in the back and talk to the monitor, which is fine by me since it lets me concentrate on the driving. He called up to the front: “Mr. Driver! Are you married?” I told him that I wasn't. “Are you dating anyone?” Again, I told him no. My monitor then said to the kid: “You're being awfully curious all of a sudden.” And he became very quiet. I was actually very surprised and impressed that he didn't talk back to her at all for that. The kids on my bus are evidently court-ordered to be attending the school, as it deals specifically with kids with behavioral problems. The ones on my bus range from grades 8 through 11, and I have no complaints with them whatsoever. There are things that I probably shouldn't let them say or do on the bus (like sometimes they will open a window and call out to people or say things that are technically “inappropriate,” but aren't truly profane), but since those things are so few and far between, I really don't think it would be productive to discipline them. They seem to know their boundaries, and I'm inclined to believe that getting on their case would only make them act worse.
I did get to hear one interesting tale on the radio on Friday, too. Evidently some sort of utility line fell on someone's bus while they had kids on board. The driver called it in, then was quiet for a few minutes until she came back over the radio with, “It doesn't look like it's connected to anything. Can I just go ahead and move it off?” Ummm… why don't you let someone qualified decided whether or not it's connected to anything, rather than taking the risk on your own life? Besides, it just means your route will take longer, so you'll get paid more. Fools.