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No bus to the bus barn

or, How to drive a bus (part 4)

Part 1     Part 2     Part 3

My week of classes and videos for driving the bus is over, and I passed the first test. Aced it, I guess — they gave us four hours to complete the test, and I was done in an hour and 15 minutes, and scored 93.

#174
Sunday,
August 7, 2022

Now comes two weeks of hands-on training, driving the bus (but not on the street yet) and securing wheelchairs (probably with nobody in them) inside the bus. 

I still have worries about this job. With office work, if you make a mistake you might get yelled at. With driving a bus, if you make a mistake somebody might die. And I make lots of mistakes, in everything I do. Then again, I look at my classmates, especially that ex-cop. If he can do this job, I can do this job. He seems so… 

Wait, I don't want to say 'stupid'. He's not stupid, just way too willing to say the wrong thing at the wrong moment. He has no working filter.

We ended up sitting side-by-side all last week, and yeah, he's an ex-cop, but he seems like a nice guy. All week he never said anything mean, unless you count telling our union rep that he hates unions and thinks they're a rip-off. She laughed it off. I'm sure she's heard worse.

It's a closed shop, so everyone's required to join the union, and I'm delighted to be a Teamster. I'm still on job-hunting e-lists, and a few days ago they sent notice about basically the same job I've been hired for — driving a disabled transit van, but for a different company, a non-union company. Their starting pay is $4/hour less than my starting pay. Yeah, give me a union every time, please.

And then yesterday, what comes across on that job-hunt e-list? Exactly the job I wanted, before being hired as a bus driver.

Metro Transit is looking for someone to answer phones for the bus system, to explain to newbies how transit works, and how to catch the bus that'll take them from where they are to where the want to be. And it pays a little more than driving the short bus. And it's a far, far easier commute.

Driving the disabled bus, I'll have to get to the bus barn and back five nights a week, and it's in an industrial section of a distant suburb, a very long drive from home. Ironically, the bus service to the bus barn is quite bad, so I'll have to drive.

The phone gig, though, would be either downtown (very easy commute on the bus) or work-from-home (even easier). If they'd hire me for that, I would quit driving the bus in half a heartbeat, so I've applied, but I applied as me — meaning, I answered the application's open-ended questions honestly. I told them I'm a bus geek, and opened my cover letter with "Howdy," made a couple of jokes, and blabbered on about how much I love riding the bus.

If an HR person reads my application and resumé I'll have no chance, but if someone who gives a damn about transit reads my app I'll be a shoo-in. Most likely, it'll be HR and no chance. Getting that phone job would be too cool, too perfect, and nothing in life works out that well.

Oh, one more thing. I gotta tell you about the CPR part of our training, but instead of writing it again, I'll just paste in the email I sent to the American Red Cross:

The emergency training at my job this week was of no value whatsoever. I am kinda startled that Red Cross even allows this.

All the videos and training material were branded Red Cross, but nobody from Red Cross was present. The class was taught by a company trainer, the same person who's teaching us how to drive a bus, and she was helped by her boss. During CPR training they disagreed about where to push for chest compressions, with the boss teaching everyone to push on the stomach instead of the chest.

And they allowed jokes all through the proceedings. One new hire was making 'grunt' noises during Heimlich training, every time a man had to put his hand over a woman's chest to practice the back thumps, and then do the stomach thrusts from behind. It was like 7th grade, and nobody said STOP IT except me.

All through this, the person in the room who seemed to know what to do, and answered everyone's questions, was not one of the teachers. She was someone I'd never met, maybe another new hire who'd been CPR trained at her previous job. I'd had CPR training, too, but it's been years, and everything about this session only confused me.

For the closing quiz, the answers were read aloud to the class, during the test, so of course everyone 'passed'. To get any answer wrong, you'd have to write down something other than what the teacher had just said. So 17 people got their Red Cross certification, and at least 14 of us would be useless in any emergency.

When I got home, I went to the Red Cross site, and learned more in twenty minutes than I'd unlearned in that hours-long session. Thank you for that, but I have one question:

Why didn't we have a genuine Red Cross employee, or volunteer, or someone who knew CPR and the Heimlich maneuver, to teach us CPR and the Heimlich maneuver?

Next: Tumbling
or, How to drive a bus (part 5)  
 
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

There are three doors leading into this house. The front door opens onto the top floor, where me and my three flatmates live. The back door, after a short walk down a hill, opens to the basement, where four other flatmates live. The third door is an emergency exit from the upstairs kitchen, with about thirty rickety wooden stairs leading down to an alleyway in the back.

Sometimes my packages get delivered to the back door, which is a slight hassle, but a few days ago UPS somehow delivered a package to the emergency exit. I didn't think to look there until two days later, when I was getting ready to claim it as undelivered. How could they even find the emergency exit? It's nearly invisible from the street. The front door seems like a more obvious choice.


And now, the news you need, whether you know it or not…

♦ ♦ ♦ 

UN nuclear chief: Ukraine nuclear plant is "out of control" 

♦ ♦ ♦

Parts of the moon have stable temperatures fit for humans, researchers find 

♦ ♦ ♦ 

A challenge for antiabortion states:
Doctors reluctant to work there
 

♦ ♦ ♦  

Patton Oswalt critiques his top and bottom 5 science fiction films 

I disagree with Oswalt about the first Star Trek movie — I like it — but his criticisms are valid and funny. And he's sure right about Close Encounters.

♦ ♦ ♦   

List of premature obituaries 

♦ ♦ ♦  

List of unusual deaths 

♦ ♦ ♦  

Are you legally allowed to just stay in the roundabout indefinitely? 

♦ ♦ ♦  

One-word newscast, because it's the same news every time...
climateclimateclimateclimateclimateclimateclimate
copscopscopscopscopscopscops 
RepublicansRepublicansRepublicansRepublicansRepublicans

♦ ♦ ♦ 

♫♬  Sing along with Doug  ♫
"I Wanna Love You Tender," by Armi & Danny 

♦ ♦ ♦

The End
Pat Carroll
Alan Grant
Mo Ostin 

8/7/2022 
 
Cranky Old Fart is annoyed and complains and very occasionally offers a kindness, along with anything off the internet that's made me smile or snarl. All opinions fresh from my ass. Top illustration by Jeff Meyer. Click any image to enlarge. Comments & conversations invited.
 
Tip 'o the hat to Linden Arden, ye olde AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, Captain Hampockets, CaptCreate's Log, John the Basket, LiarTownUSA, Meme City, National Zero, Ran Prieur, Voenix Rising, and anyone else whose work I've stolen without saying thanks.
 
Extra special thanks to Becky Jo, Name Withheld, Dave S, Wynn Bruce, and always Stephanie...

Cranky Old Fart
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23 comments:

  1. Het fatso, I'm gonna say something that you're not gonna like hearing - you're actually not as stupid as you think, or as you portray. OF COURSE you got a 93 on the bus test.

    You big dummy. (said in my best Fred Sanford voice)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not at all smart compared to smart people. Gets depressing to see how stupid the average is, though, and I'm smarter than that.

      Delete
  2. If you haven't done this - search youtube for Patton Oswalt standup albums. He's done 4 or five records (as we used to call 'em), and they are in general, fucking hilarious. He's a genuinely funny man, and SEEMS to be a cool dude.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PO is the man.

      Delete
    2. If you’ve not seen Patton Oswald in Justified (and I mean every episode in which he is featured) you’ve missed some damn fine comic and serious acting. I swear that he was just supposed to have been in a couple of episodes but he was so good they kept writing him into more.

      John

      Delete
    3. Dammit I know his last name. I just can’t thumb it. Fucking phone.

      John

      Delete
    4. I remember Justified. Pretty good cop show, and me and the mrs watched several seasons of it. We must've bowed out before PO came on the show, though. I don't remember him on Justified... or maybe I had no PO awareness then.

      Delete
    5. PO is featured in seasons 4 and 6 and he is memorable. Just a few scenes here and there, but he eats the scenery. Letter perfect.

      jtb

      Delete
    6. And I did like that show, so now I gotta find out where I left off and go back and watch the rest of it. :)

      Delete
    7. Yup, one of those shows where they got all the supporting players right. Well written, well directed, well cast. My wife strongly dislikes violence on television and it's her favorite show. You'll have a good time.

      John

      Jeez, I finally get access to a keyboard and I've spent the last 10 hours working. I will never plug my Ebay account here, but I have some fine old CDs for sale. But I go by a fake name on Ebay, so you'll never find me. Odd that I use my real name here. If I ever get promoted to Private First Class I might include my rank. Unfortunately, I'll never make Captain.

      best as always,

      John

      Delete
    8. I'm not fond of cops, so not fond of cop shows, but we watched Justified and so far as I remember it never jumped the shark. I think we only stopped watching it because my wife got sick and hospitalized, and then somehow we never came back to it. I will come back to it for both of us. :)

      Best boss I ever had was ex-Navy. I called him 'Captain' sometimes, because I always call people I respect 'Captain' or 'Doctor', and he corrected me. Said he'd been a Lieutenant, but I know nothing about what such ranks really mean. Uhura was a Lieutenant, and god knows she was smarter than Shatner.

      Always gotta be bad-mouthing the stupidity wherever I'm working, so I never use my legal name on-line. Some employers ask to see your social media, or so I've read, but screw that.

      Delete
  3. If you get the phone job can I call you, say hi hear your dulcet tones, and get you fired for fucking off? Speaking of comedians I recently ran across that guy Carr from Jolly Old who I think you mentioned once before, God, that guy has NO boundaries--loved it...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carr from Jolly Old? Never heard of him or her, sorry.

      I assume there are 30 people fielding calls for Metro at any given moment. Odds are you'd be talking to someone else, and anyway, no personal calls, but I'd sure like to land that job...

      Delete
    2. Safari doesn’t recognize the 8/8 post addresses. Did you change your undergarments again?

      John

      Delete
    3. I mentioned it in an email. Looks like a typo. Should be fixed eventually

      Delete
    4. Yeah, sorry. This one's on me, not on Google. I did an inexact cut-and-paste, screwed up the link, but it's all fixed now. Thanks.

      Delete
  4. I assume you're talking about Jimmy Carr. He's a riot.

    jtb

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was unfamiliar with Jimmy Carr, but you got me googling, I landed here, and I'm glad I did. "I'm the other black comic."

      Delete
    2. Man, I made it to 4:35 with no more than a chuckle.

      Delete
    3. Adequate standup, great game show host. Check out a few episodes of Countdown on YouTube.

      John

      Delete
    4. I haven't found any episodes of 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, with Jimmy Carr, but found a few clips like this, which made me laugh. There's something about the man's shtick that tickles my tickle-here. "Proper use of grammar."

      Delete
    5. Wow they used to be all over YouTube. Carr was at his best off the cuff, unscripted. Actually whoever was casting 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown from about 2014 to 2020 made some unlikely, brilliant choices. Lord knows I’m not a game show guy but that show was fun. I’d tune in for a clip and stay for the whole show.

      John

      Delete
    6. This is too simplistic, but I also like his face. Droll. It goes well with the material.

      Delete

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