This morning started out with some driver talking on her radio about some child on her bus. “I have a child who got sick on the bus. Can I have someone from the school meet me when I get there?” At first, I figured that the kid had just suddenly started feeling very bad, and the driver wanted to be sure the kid got handed straight to the school nurse or whatever. But I was wrong!
“It's too much for the Body Fluid Cleanup Kit. Can they have a janitor meet me to help me clean it up?” AH HA! The child is not sick. The child regurgitated his or her breakfast. A very different story indeed. Now, I don't know how many of my readers are familiar with the Body Fluid Cleanup Kits they stock on buses. They are a complete joke. There is maybe enough of the absorbent/sweeping compound in there to clean up a sneeze, and even that might exhaust it. Trying to clean up any amount of vomit with it is not really possible. Now, I applaud the driver for her efforts to try to get a janitor to meet her, but there is one small problem: it was about 6:30 AM. I don't necessarily know about the schools around here, or in any part of the country for that matter, but everywhere that I went to school, the janitors didn't come in till around 10 or so, since they stayed late after the school closed to clean up after the kids. So at 6:30 AM, you have no hope of seeing a janitor for a good three hours. Better open a window, or learn to love the smell of puke.
My route this morning was not without incident, to say the least, but it still wasn't bad. I ended up missing a turn, but luckily, the next street got me to the same place, I just had to go over a railroad crossing to get there. That was part of heading out to my one stop that is about 20 minutes away from all of the others. We get out to the stop, and the kid isn't there. At least yesterday, he was kind enough to call in, so I didn't have to drive all that way. But not this morning. Then, when I went to head to the next stop, a call came over the radio letting all the drivers know that one of the highways in town was completely shut down. That happened to be the highway that I needed to get to my next stop. I was already running about 15 minutes late at that point, and my regular monitor who knows the area wasn't on the bus with me. I had to get a couple of the kids to direct me, and they actually did a marvelous job of getting me where I needed to be in a reasonable amount of time. We were only 40 minutes late getting to school. Oh well. And it's funny, too, because the captain for the school had asked me to try to be as close to on time as possible. Maybe tomorrow.
Once we got back to the lot, I finally got to have my photo taken for my ID badge, and went through the official orientation. Since I've already been driving routes, there wasn't much new there. After that, I got to take one of the mini-buses out to go search out a new stop that is being added to my route tomorrow. I drove out there, and discovered that the stop is about halfway down a dead-end street that is off of a fairly busy road and has no turn-around at the end… it just stops at a metal barrier. Not so bad when I was in the mini-bus, but I drive my route in a 38-footer. Oh yes… there is a fire hydrant on one side at the end of the street, too, so attempting a 3-point-turn is pretty much impossible, unless I want to back into it.
I went back and told the routing supervisor what I had learned, and his response was simply “Okay, where do you want the stop moved to?” Nice to know that I have that much control over my route. He called the parents to let them know where we would be picking up their kid, and that was that. I might look in to moving the other stop I have on a dead-end street, but it's not as critical, since I just have to back from that dead-end street straight into another dead-end street, then pull forward and make a turn back out onto real roads.
I spent most of my afternoon run having to pee really, really bad. I should have just run inside at the school, but I didn't feel like making the kids wait. Now I know better. I thought I was going to explode or wet my pants at several points.
Tomorrow we get to see just how well my route changes/additions will work. I'm hoping everything goes off without a hitch, and that we might even get to school close to on-time.