Monday, May 29, 2006

Don't Shoot me!

As with all rookie drivers, I started out on one of the worst routes in the Twin Cities...the 5 line. Since all work is chosen in order of driver seniority, it is the only route that was available to me for the majority of my first year as a driver. It goes from Brookdale Mall through some of the rougher areas of north Minneapolis continues through downtown and then through south Minneapolis ending up at the Mall of America in Bloomington. There seem to be a lot of teenagers on this particular route. That may explain in part why there are so many problems on this route.

One day the driver on the 5 in front of me was running really late. As a result, she was getting her passengers and mine and that caused me to run early. Running early is like a major crime in this job, so I did as we are trained to do. I sat at my time checkpoint to wait for a few minutes so I would be back on schedule. As I sat there, some thug-looking guy says "What are we sitting here for?" I told him I was running early and there was a supervisor across the street staring at me (which there really was). He said "Pull out, now!." I said "No, I am a bus...not a cab. I have a schedule I have to stay on." As I watched him in our large rear view mirror that looks back into the bus, he stood up and put his hand behind the back of his jacket and said "Everybody get off the bus." I left both front and back doors open so if someone felt uncomfortable they would be free to leave. To my surprise, the entire back half of the bus went filing out the back door. I thought this was strange but was relieved when thug boy went out the back door too. I closed both doors and was going to wait out my time when I heard one girl next to the front door say to her friend "Did you see that gun?!" I turned to her and asked "He really had a gun?" because at that point I hadn't seen one. I looked in the side mirror and saw him walking along the side headed for the front of the bus and it hit me...He wants to shoot ME. He was very angry that I wouldn't leave when he told me to. I did the closest thing you can do to peeling out in a bus and called to report it. I'm just glad I heard those girls talking. Which brings me to lesson #1...if you see some idiot on the bus with a weapon...TELL THE DRIVER!!


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