It’s amazing how much the kids change when their regular driver isn’t on the bus. The driver I was supposed to drive with again was off this afternoon, so I had to drive out with one of the skippers on board.

We weren’t but a few hundred feet off the lot when a call comes over the radio. “[Skipper]. Did you just drive off in bus XXX?”

“Yeah, we did.”

“Why’d you take it? The mechanic downed that bus this morning.” How fun. They ended up having us continue on the route with the downed bus. I personally would have preferred swapping it out for another one. The ABS light had been on intermittently for at least a day. When it was on, the brakes worked fine. When it wasn’t, the pedal would grind and pulse, and the braking power was somewhat reduced. Not fun to drive, to say the least. The brakes were so bad by the time we got back to the lot that when I set the parking brake and took my foot off of the service brake, the bus started rolling forward.

I also had the pleasure of refuelling a bus today, and getting diesel fuel all over my hands. Evidently, no one ever bothers to wipe off the fuel caps, and they are coated with diesel. It was quite nasty, especially since I had to get back in the bus and drive it from the fuel tanks back over to the building to wash my hands off, getting diesel all over the wheel.

The kids today were very upset that the neither the skipper nor I would let them off at their usual “Sweetheart Stops”. Evidently, the regular driver lets almost every kid off somewhere other than their designated stop. When I had run the route with her on, that’s what we did, but I didn’t know they weren’t the official stops.

I still have problems, too, switching from driving the bus to driving the van home. I just feel completely wrong sitting lower to the ground, with a smaller steering wheel, and a more responsive engine.