Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I pulled up to a bus stop today that I really didn't want to stop at. As I was approaching it, I noticed one guy waiting normally at the stop and another guy rolling around on the ground...literally. I pulled right up to the normal guy. As soon as he got on, I closed the door. The other guy wobbled to his feet and came over to the door. When he saw I wasn't going to open it, he punched the door. Then he started flipping me off and wobbling around.

I wasn't sure if he was drunk, crazy or both. For the safety of myself and my passengers, I wasn't about to let him on and find out the hard way.

I called the Control Center to let them know I passed someone and the reason I did it. I gave them his description and they sent someone to check on him. I didn't see him the rest of the day.

It seemed the passengers appreciated my avoiding the potential problem. I'm sure, if they ride regularly, they've seen what can happen with unstable or drunk people boarding. I'd rather not risk it and ensure a safe, quiet ride for everyone.

Hopefully, they found the guy and got him whatever help he needed.

Never a dull moment!


Can't believe I got a customer complaint! It came from the lady in the wheelchair in the recent blog.

I told my manager to watch the video. I was so patient, because I knew she had issues, that I told him they could probably use the video for training on how to deal with difficult passengers. He said he wasn't going to file the complaint. Part of her issue was WHERE I broke down. Like I chose the spots my bus quit. She was also upset that I didn't let her off first...when I would have had to deploy the lift in the traffic lane!

Like I said, she had some problems so I can't be mad at her for being upset. I know she didn't realize I did what was best for her, and the rest of my passengers, safety.

I'm just glad my manager listened to my side of the story and saw that it was not a founded complaint. We really have some great managers. Some drivers would disagree. I find that usually those drivers are the troublemakers or just generally negative people. I love my job and truly appreciate when managers take the time to listen to the drivers side of the story and take it into consideration when a complaint crosses their desk.


Congratulations to Matt! He said he's been reading my blog for about 2 years. He is the lucky person that found me and won my contest. He and his adorable 2 year old daughter found me on the 2 route today. He said the winning phrase and walked away with all the prizes.

Thanks to all that played. Stay tuned...I'm sure I'll have a contest again.

Thanks also to Matt's daughter for helping me check my bus at the layover for lost and found. She was such a cutie pie. Too bad I gave away the two stuffed animals I brought today before she got on my bus. She was so well-behaved it made me think the "terrible two's" was all a myth.

Now that the contest is over, we can get back to more fun...and not so fun...stories.

Monday, September 13, 2010


There he was at the bus stop. Even though I wanted to just drive by, I pulled over and opened the door. I got shivers and the hair stood up on the back of my neck...just like a pissed off cat.

It was the "Back Door Guy" ! NOOOOOOOOOO!

Okay, I had to pick him up so I decided to see what his game was for the day.

As soon as he saw it was me, he stood with one foot on the step and looked back for another bus to magically be coming along... on my schedule. There wasn't one. He started muttering things about how he wasn't sure if he wanted the bus right now or not, how he had attention deficit disorder and just generally whatever crossed his mind. I calmly told him that I didn't have time to wait. He needed to get on or get off. He chose to get on...damn!

The game began. It was the old pile-of-expired-transfers game. He put the first few in and they came up expired...what a surprise, NOT! I looked at him like "do we have to play this again?" but I didn't say a word. He read my face, stopped the useless transfer game and put the whole pile back in his pocket. He said he needed fresh air and would go sit down and find his fare. I didn't say anything. He went toward the back of the bus and sat down. He opened a window and breathed heavily in and out with his face out the window.

I just kept driving and gave him a "look" in the mirror. A couple blocks later when I stopped, he went out the back door.

Gee, can't wait to see him again. Maybe he'll even pay a fare! Well, at least he hasn't been insisting on coming in the back door lately. That is SO annoying!


I had a ball driving the bus for a week to the Minnesota State Fair. People were happy, having fun and behaved on the bus...except for one.

I was driving back toward downtown with a load of people coming from the fair. One lady was in a wheelchair and had an attendant with her. The lady in the wheelchair seemed to be quite negative about everything from the time she got on the bus. I remained my cheery self.

I had just come across the Washington avenue bridge. The speed limit is 45 and slows to 40 before dropping to 30 when you enter downtown near the Metrodome. I was slowing to 40 and my bus quit. Lovely. I was just rounding a corner. Not a good spot to be in, around a corner with traffic coming up behind you at 40 miles an hour. I immediately turned on my flashers and pulled to the side the best I could before the bus coasted to a stop.

The lady in the wheelchair went nuts, yelling "What are we gonna do? Oh No! This is why I never go out...." I tried to calm her while informing my other passengers of the situation at the same time. I told her to relax, the bus had just stalled. I said I was going to turn it off and wait a minute and see if it would start. She continued to fuss. I got the bus going and continued on. I had called the Control Center right away, but by the time they got back to me I was already rolling. I informed them of what happened and that I was continuing my route.

I got onto 3rd street in the middle of downtown and as I approached 3rd avenue the bus quit again. The lady in the wheelchair still hadn't totally recovered from the first breakdown (hers or the bus) and she got even louder. "I have to catch another bus! I have to get to 7th and Nicollet right now! What am I going to do? I should never have come out!" Again, I called Control. I had pulled all the way over to the left curb (it's a one way street) since I was in the far left lane when the bus quit. I put on the flashers and waited for Control to call me back. I tried to calm the lady, seeing she had obvious anxiety and maybe other mental issues. I could see she was highly stressed. In my calmest voice, I told her to relax. Everyone was safe, no one was hurt, it was rush hour and all the buses were running, everyone would get home. It seemed to work for a minute.

The Control center called me back and as I spoke with them, the lady started yelling and freaking out again. Just then, I noticed a big guy in a nice pressed suit standing next to my window. I noticed he had a U.S Marshall badge on. I opened my window and he said "There's no stopping here. What seems to be the problem?" He could hear the woman freaking out. I told him my bus broke down and I had a highly anxious passenger. I was talking to the Control Center to get a new bus and would be gone as soon as I could. He kept looking back at the lady freaking out. Realizing I was dealing with a messed up situation, he dropped all his professionalism and smiled and said "Good luck with that!" and walked away. That made me laugh. His quick change from serious, professional U.S Marshall to looking at me like "glad it's you and not me" and smiling as he made his comment was pretty funny. It's good to see that security hasn't been let down since the attacks on September 11, 2001. I'm sure I was next to a government building and that's why it is marked "No Stopping" all along the curb. Security.

Anyway, Control asked me to go to the back of the bus and open it and see if there was any obvious fluid leaking. I did. As I was coming back, I noticed all of the people were filing off the bus. I had my bright yellow vest on so I stood next to the door hoping cars would see me and move over and not hit my exiting passengers.

I got back on the bus and the lady totally flipped. "You let them all off before me! Mobility is supposed to be first!" I explained that they got off on their own. I didn't bother to correct her about the mobility policy...first on the bus, last off. I didn't think that would be helpful at that time. Instead, I tried to explain to her that I couldn't deploy the lift into a traffic lane. I told her I didn't want her to get hurt. She said "You like them more than you like me!" That was it. How illogical...though not entirely untrue, at this point! I had to get her off the bus before she worked herself into a heart attack.

I got the bus started and pulled straight across the street and up to the curb. What a relief! Now I could get her off the bus! She'd be happy and on her way and all would be well again! Well, not quite. I put out the lift and as she got off she flipped again. "This isn't 7th and Nicollet! I need to be at 7th and Nicollet!" The attendant calmly asked how far it was and I told her if she walked 3 blocks straight ahead, she could catch any bus up the 4 blocks to 7th street. She decided to just walk it.

FINALLY, they were on their way. My new bus came and I finished my day.

All in a days work! The U.S. Marshall made my day!


Tomorrow (tuesday) I will, once again, be on the route with crackheads on one side and college students on the other. I start just before noon and get done just before 8 PM.

I hope someone finds me and says the winning phrase. I hope it's someone who will wear the Favre jersey with pride...or give it to someone who will! I still have the other prizes for the winner, too.

I am on what is called the extra board this week, so my work changes day to day.

Find me tomorrow!

Good luck!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


Sorry, didn't give you clues for today. Oops!

Tomorrow I'll be working about an hour before morning rush until a few minutes after the start of evening rush...long day! I'll be driving mostly from downtown to St Louis Park/Hopkins. I do make one early trip back past downtown to northeast Minneapolis.

Don't forget...I added a brand new Favre jersey to the prize package! Just find me and give the winning phrase and all the prizes are yours! If you are new here, just read back some blogs to find the winning phrase.

Good luck!

Thursday, September 02, 2010


You guys just aren't trying hard enough!

I decided to add a little incentive to the contest. Along with the prizes listed in prior blogs, I am adding a brand new Brett Favre Vikings Jersey!!

Of course, it is a lovely purple number 4 jersey...not that ugly green rag he used to wear. ( Hehehehehe, sorry Packer fans. Actually, no...I'm not! He looks MUCH better in purple!) It is a size large.

Don't just hop on the bus and ask for the jersey! Same rules apply...you must say the winning phrase! See prior blogs regarding the contest if you are just joining us.

I'm still driving people to and from the fair today and tomorrow. Then I am off until September 8th...so find me now!

Good luck!
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