I did my first real “alone” run this morning, although I did have a monitor on the route with me, so I guess it only kind of counts. The route only had a total of 5 or 6 stops, one kid each, but they were all over the place. Only two kids actually rode the bus this morning, so it was plenty easy. The kids were allegedly “bad” kids who misbehave or are violent and whatnot - the school they are going to is basically their last chance before they get kicked out of city schools altogether.
This morning, I got stuck covering a route for someone who drives a mini-bus, so naturally, I was expected to drive the mini-bus. I hate the mini-buses. It’s like driving a giant cube down the road, except it doesn’t handle as well as a cube might. The mirror rigs suck. The driver’s seat sucks. The steering wheel doesn’t adjust. If I sit up straight, I end up staring at the headliner instead of out the windshield to the road.
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.”
Today I finally got to drive the bus with kids on it. It was very funny picking them up at school. Their regular driver was sitting in the passenger seat, so they didn’t see her, and several just walked right past the bus. It probably doesn’t help that we weren’t in their regular bus, but it was still funny. One of the school monitors started yelling at some 6-year-old girl who walked past the bus, telling her to get back to her bus.
It was another morning with the same kids today. It’s quite nice to get used to driving kids when they’re well-behaved. This way, I can focus on not being nervous while driving, and not have to worry about discipline until I get some evil kids (which hopefully, I won’t).
All of the driving this morning was very uneventful. I remembered a good portion of the route and stops, and the driver was actually paying attention, too, so she could help me out when I didn’t know.
This afternoon was awesome! I got to ride with the coolest driver so far, and she has awesome kids on her routes! As an added perk, the routes last almost 5 hours, so I will get paid a good chunk of change for them. And I get to go out and actually drive those routes on Monday, and possibly Friday of next week. Out of all the kids on both routes, there were only two that ever cause problems, and they were being well-behaved.
I got to go out on a really fun (and long) run today with a really fun driver. Only 3 of her 7 kids on the first route rode today, and they were all the good kids… none of the troublemakers rode at all. We were having tons of fun just joking around with each other. Then we went out for the second route. These kids go to a college prep academy, and were the best behaved group that I have ever seen on a school bus.
This afternoon’s runs were fun. The driver I rode with actually has double routes, which was kind of nice. Neither one was very big (20 or 30 kids, tops), and each one didn’t take terribly long, either.
Both sets of kids were completely fascinated by me being on their bus, and both sets kept asking the driver if I was his son, so we just started playing along. One six-year-old girl refused to believe that I don’t have a girlfriend, and kept trying to pry the name of my non-existent lover out of me.