Wednesday, 6 August 2008

One idiot at a time, please...

I'm sure every bus driver get this on some routes; we get it on three out of my depot, and I work a rota that encompasses two of them. I must be stark raving bloody mad. Here's why...

On some routes, you have points where both directions are served by a single bus stop, or two located next to each other. For those who are common-sense-challenged (i.e. they can't be asked to read the information on the bus stop), it can be a confusing issue. For bus drivers who are the brunt of this confusion, it's not just annoying, it's downright infuriating!

Picture this; you are fifteen minutes late due to horrendous traffic and rain, your leader (the bus in front) has broken down, and as a result you now have a full bus, you're being stopped at every stop by passengers getting off and on, you've been denied a 'turn' (bus driver speak for cutting the service short to allow late buses to get back on time on the return leg) as your leader broke down (tell us something we don't already know!), you only have five minutes of stand time at the other end of the route (the time permitted on the bus stand at the either end of the route, during which time you have to change the settings on your ticket machine, change the destination blind display, enter your route timings on your Log Card, and oh yes, find yet more time to find a toilet as you're about ready to burst from all the coffee you had earlier that morning), when you stop at a bi-directional bus stop, and are confronted by a customer with a confused look on his/her/its face...

Customer: "Does this but go to X?"
Driver: "No, you want the other direction, it'll have 'X' on the front, not 'Y', like this one. We both serve this stop, so wait here, and it'll be along soon".
Customer: "So you don't go to 'X'?"
Driver: "No. We're going to 'Y'."
Customer: "So where do I catch the bus to 'X', then?"
Driver: "Here. Make sure it's showing 'X' on the front, though, as both directions serve this stop".
Customer: "But you've stopped here, aren't you going to "X"?"

Remembering that you're late, you aren't getting a turn, and that your bladder is about ready to burst through the front of your abdomen, do you:

A: Scream in frustration
B: Cross your legs, bounce on the seat, and patiently explain the situation again
C: Leap out of the cab, and perform a series of actions leading to the statement "And that, Your Honour, is when I ripped his arm out of its' socket and beat him about the head with the soggy end".


Oh well. One can hope and dream, can't one?

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