Search This Blog

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I am a Bus DRIVER, Dammit!

As I mention in my bio I've been driving buses for most of my adult life. It's a career I've always enjoyed., a place I can feel at home. It's made me a lot of money and one thing that can be said about this kind of work is that, once you have your licence and as long as you keep it clean, you never need to be unemployed. I don't care what recession might come along or what the financial worries of governments local or national might be. There is always work somewhere for the bus driver. More than that, you can go to any country in the world and as long as you can communicate, there's a job waiting for you.
Another thing about this kind of work is that it's not work. Bus Drivers do not really work, Steel workers, Farm Laborers and Coal Miners, these guys work. All I ever did was push a bus around the streets.
But I'm proud of what I do. Mass transit is essential to modern civilization and the Bus Driver is right there at the front of this industry. The Bus Driver is the one who represents the company at the street level. People who would never complain to the office about the schedules and about the bus they just missed, will complain to the driver. Folks have also been known to praise the driver for outstanding service. That doesn't get to the boss either. All in all I've seen many more smiles than frowns.
Another part of this job is that it's a great way to get to know a city. I've been to parts of Los Angeles that most folks who have lived here all their lives have yet to see. I've seen the best and the worst of Los Angeles. I've seen acts of incredible kindness and humanity, I've also arrived on the scene just after a murder.
There are many tales to tell and a lot of people to talk about. the good, the bad and the downright disgusting.
There's another side to it too. I drove buses in South Wales then I drove tour buses all over the British Isles and most of continental Europe but Los Angeles is unique. That could be said about any city but in the case of L.A. it's even more so. The contradictions and peculiarities of the mass transit industry in Los Angeles could not be found anywhere else in the world. History and geography have all played their part in producing a transit culture unlike anything I've ever come across.
That brings me to my final point and the first thing that bothered me about bus driving in L.A.  and it bothers me still.
They insist on calling me a Bus Operator they even have this saying of "There are no drivers here" and they talk about "Smooth Operator" ersonally, it makes me want to throw up. I am not an "Operator"! An operator takes phone calls, I'm a Bus Driver It's who I am it's how I identify my self, It's what I've done and what I do to keep the lights on and bacon on the stove.
So whenever I hear someone say "There are no drivers here" I answer "Here's one and I''m damn proud of it."

No comments:

Post a Comment