Sunday, September 24, 2006


Last week I had the nice, mellow 46 route all week. To be honest, I was quite bored by the last day of it. I am ready for something else.

There were some nice people on the route, though.

One lady,in particular,who seemed to enjoy her time on the bus. She was usually about the last person on. Often I was running early so would be sitting at the time check points until I was back on schedule. She finally asked me once why I was sitting there. I explained that we don't want to run early and take the chance of missing someone.

Another day, she was on and I was running early so I stopped at the check point. She smiled and said "Running early, huh?". We started talking about the bus and stuff that happens on the bus. I told her about this web site and she said she couldn't wait to check it out. Then she decided to tell me of an interesting experience SHE had on the bus.

She said there was a girl about 14 years old in the back talking loudly on her cell phone. The girl was detailing her apparently active sex life. This lady gave her a look of disgust and the girl said something to her. The lady told her everyone on the bus didn't want to hear about her sex life. The girl got mouthy with her and the lady thought she was going to start a physical fight. I asked what the driver was doing and she said he seemed not to notice anything was going on.

There can be a lot of noise in the drivers seat...Stuff rattling, heat/air conditioning fans blowing, and ,if most drivers are like me,sometimes you just tune people out. I mean, face it...You can't sit and listen to everybodys conversations all day and pay attention to your driving at the same time. My ears seem to perk up when there is nasty language or things start to get loud...Like if a fight is brewing. I probably would have heard the sleazy girl and told her to save it until she got off the bus. At least then her attention would be focused on me and she would leave the other passengers alone. In all probability, she would have gotten smart with me and enjoyed a police escort off the bus. Such is life.

Anyway, it was interesting to hear stories from the passengers perspective. If anyone has a story you think we'd like to hear about...Bus related, please, feel free to share!

By the way, wish me luck!! Wednesday is the big day. I compete in the bus roadeo at the state fairgrounds. Even though I have been driving for 6 years, I am considered a rookie since this is the first time I've been in the Roadeo. I wanna be the first rookie to actually WIN the Roadeo. Apparently, a rookie has never won before. No matter what happens, I'm sure it will be a fun experience for me! (There will be a funeral and mass burial for all the orange cones later in the week...hehehe.)


I think some rules are meant to be broken.

For example, I just found out there is a rule that we must turn in all lost and found immediately. There are situations, like one I had last week, that this rule should be relaxed for. I found something on the bus (I won't say what as it is still in lost and found and I don't want just ANYONE to be able to claim it!) that I was 99% sure belonged to this little old lady that got on at the same stop every day. I called the control center and asked if it would be okay for me to hold on to it to return it to her the next day. They told me no. I must turn in all lost and found right away when I returned to the garage. I explained that I just wanted to save this elderly lady the hassle of having to take the bus all the way to the other side of town to pick up her property. They still said I could not return it to her the next day. I asked if I could at least give her a free ride pass. I am guessing the way she counted her change every day that she was on a very tight budget. They said that would be great customer service and that I could give her the pass. I turned in the property, and as it turned out...She didn't get on the bus the next day anyway. I had assumed she would since she had gotten on at the same time and in the same place every day so far that week. I just hope she knows where she lost her stuff so she can go claim it.

Another rule that I actually DID break....

The Minnesota Twins are playing great baseball this year and we are closing in on getting a spot in the playoffs. The company decided it would be okay for us to show them our support by wearing Twins baseball caps if we want to. I have been wearing one every day. I also put up the sign on the front of my bus that says "GO TWINS" which I found out was breaking the rules. We were told we could put the sign up but ONLY if they are playing here at home. Well, they were playing on the road and the control center called me on my bus and said a supervisor saw my sign and wants me to turn it off immediately. I did, but what a stupid rule!! What? We only support our team when they are here and we abandon them when they are on the road. I am very disappointed in this particular rule and I really don't understand it. I think we should be allowed to support our team regardless of WHERE they are playing. Am I missing something?

Thursday, September 14, 2006


This adorable little boy, about 2 years old, got on my bus the other day with his mom and slightly older sister. My first clue that this two foot tall bundle of energy could be a danger to myself and everyone on the bus should have been the fact that his mother had him on one of those kid leashes.

Lots of kids his age like to play with the buttons on the drivers side of the farebox while they wait for their parents to pay. Usually, they go for the larger green button. I assume because it is the only colored button and it makes the farebox cycle so they get the satisfaction of making something make noise. This little boy was much more adventurous.

He stood next to my seat and looked up at me. He knew what he was about to do...I didn't. I smiled at him and said "Hi, how are you doing?" He grinned at me. I waited for the kid to push the green farebox button. To my surprise, he decided to go for the red button on the front side corner of my seat!! It released my seat and the seat slid all the way back so my foot was no longer on the brake!! Luckily, I had both doors open at the time. When the rear door is open, it acts as a brake and the bus won't move.

There was a lady in the peanut seat that looked more shocked than I was. I was actually laughing. It could easily have caused an accident if I hadn't had the rear door open.

That kid needs a shorter leash!


Last night on the bus, I was a victim of someone in a car that decided to try their skills and shoot the bus with paint. What a challenge that must have been. Especially since they were in the lane right next to the bus!!

I don't condone this type of behavior, but geez!! If you're going to do it why not challenge yourself a LITTLE!! Go for a Volkswagen Bug or a tree with a thin trunk. A bus??!! Sitting right next to you??? C'MON!!

Obviously done by under achievers!

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Had a young man on my bus last week that was kind of interesting. He seemed nervous and kind of out of place. He asked me if my bus went to Uptown. I told him it did and he seemed a little relieved. He sat in the peanut seat and finally got the nerve to have a conversation.

Turns out he moved to Minneapolis a week or two ago and felt a little uncomfortable being here. He said he is from a VERY small town in West Virginia. He is a Friar and is here to get schooling from the older friars. He said he was the youngest one in the Friary. He looked like he was about 23 or so. He said most of the guys were in their 50's. He was going to wear his monk robe on the bus but they advised against it. That was probably a good move seeing how nervous he already was. I'm sure he'd have gotten unwanted attention if he was dressed in a robe. He said he was a little intimidated by the "big city". I tried to ease his mind and told him a lot of people come here from other places and we all just make a life for ourselves, fitting ourselves in where we want to be. I told him about the Lakes and some other interesting parts of south Minneapolis he may like to check out.

He seemed a little calmer by the time he got off the bus. He said I was the kindest person he had met since he got to Minneapolis. I told him to just relax and enjoy the variety of things this city has to offer. I told him he'd fit right in. He did seem much more confident as he got off the bus.

I hope he comes to love Minneapolis as much as I have. It's a great place to live.


That's what it's called. I didn't spell it wrong!

Every year at work we have what they call a Roadeo. It is like an obstacle course for buses. Drivers compete and the winner goes to the International Roadeo. This year that is being held in Nashville, Tennessee.

I have never competed in the Roadeo, but plan to give it a try this year. I have spoken with other drivers and it actually sounds kind of hard. For example, one thing you do is drive the bus over a tennis ball and try and get it BETWEEN a set of the rear duals (tires). That could be tricky.

Seems like the same driver wins almost every year. Other drivers say it's because he has been through the Rodeo so many times he has mastered some of the obstacles. Maybe I can learn some tricks from him and others that have done it before.

The competition is near the end of this month, so I'll let you know how it goes for me!

Wish me luck!
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