Absolutely not ready

or, How to drive a bus (part 6)
Part 1     Part 2     Part 3     Part 4     Part 5 
Part 6     Part 7     Part 8     Part 9     Part 10
 Part 11     Part 12     Part 13     Part 14     Part 15

Some rushed and jumbled notes & complaints about being trained to drive the bus, though I'm unsure it's of interest to anyone who doesn't drive a bus. Your odometer reading may vary.

A one-sentence summary: The training has been frustrating so far, and I'm still not sure I can do this job.

It started with one week of classroom lectures and videos, and I give that part of the training a good grade. The CPR session was a farce, but the rest of the week was OK. 

All the teachers used to be drivers, and the woman who taught the classroom session was a good teacher. She teaches only the classroom sessions, though, to a new crop of rookies every week, so we'll never see her again, except in the building's hallways.

Our next teacher was a woman named Sienna, and she also knows what she's teaching, and knows it well. For three days, she taught us how to deal with disabled passengers, which was mostly about working the wheelchair lift, and securements and belts. She knows her stuff, teaches it well, and I have only one complaint.

Sienna is always running late. At the start of the day, and after lunch, and after every break, we return to where she's told us to be, and wait for Sienna. Maybe the wait is ten minutes, maybe it's twenty, always it's frustrating. Often we can see her in the distance across the bus parking lot, talking to someone. The wait isn't 'sometimes', it's every time, and sometimes she leaves us during a session to go talk to someone else.

If I thought I could say this without being fired, I'd say... 

Sienna, you're a very good teacher, but please spend more time teaching us, and less time 'everything else-ing'. We are here, where and when we're supposed to be. We are taking this seriously, wanting to learn how to drive a bus. Please teach us.

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Well, most of us are taking the training seriously.

A couple of the students quickly became best buddies, and they're often whispering during the demonstrations. Others are checking their text messages every time there's a moment's lull, despite the very strict edict issued at the start of training:

"If you're driving with a cell phone that's on or within easy reach, that's an immediate termination," we were told. And yet, phones ring and are sometimes ignored, sometimes answered during these classes. "It's my doctor's office, so I have to take this call," etc.

The phones are tolerated, with only occasional reprimands from the teachers, reminding us to shut off and put away our phones. Me, I hate cell phones, so mine is very stowed — I leave it at home.

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Everything is taught to the entire class, and then done by each student — six of us, one by one — so the days go very slowly.

For example, Sienna demonstrates a 50-step physical task, like securements and belts, while one student sits in the wheelchair, to be secured and belted down. Then someone else sits in the wheelchair, and a different student does the securements and belts. It might take a few minutes per student if it's going well, 10 minutes if the student has difficulties with the task, 15 minutes if people are extra chatty, and half an hour if it's Mitch, because Mitch does everything slowly, and always asks the zaniest off-topic questions.

Factor in all of that, and over the two days of securements and belts, I only did the belts three times — and the last two times were only after I'd asked for more practice on belts. After the securements and belts section, Sienna had asked us all, what do you feel you need more practice on? I answered, "Securements and belts."

♦ ♦ ♦ 

At this point, I am absolutely not ready to secure and belt real-live wheelchair riders, but that section of training is over, and I've officially 'passed'. We've moved on, and now we're driving the buses.

Next week I'm going to ask for some remedial time working on belts. 

Next: Killing cones
or, How to drive a bus (part 7)

Part 1     Part 2     Part 3     Part 4     Part 5 
Part 6     Part 7     Part 8     Part 9     Part 10
 Part 11     Part 12     Part 13     Part 14     Part 15


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  1. Replies
    1. Shrug. If they give me long enough and let me kill a hundred cones, I can do it. Even the six-point course.

      If they don't give me long enough, well, I did my best.

    2. If you execute the six point perfectly do they let you go for a two point conversion?

      Yeah, I’m running behind. Why do you ask?


    3. Have another compliment. Wish I'd thought of your two-point conversion wisecrack during the six-point exercise.

  2. Also, the bot ate my last comment. You said something like "Hug from Doug," and I said, "Only a hug? No anal?"

    1. Anal comes AFTER the passengers are secured

    2. I dunno. The training seems to be in a weird order, so they might *start* with anal, and work their way up to kissing.

    3. My safe word is BACK DOOR!

    4. My back door has a welcome mat, but nobody wants inside.

    5. I guess these short buses don't have back doors

    6. I can't even think of a clever retort to that, so you win. :)

      The buses do have an emergency exit at the back, though.


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