Saturday, 13 June 2009

"It never rains but it pours"...

Fate has a funny sense of humour at times.

I was a third the way through my shift last night, having done one round, chomped my lunch, and done another round, when I got to the bus stand at the south London end of one of the two night bus routes we do. As usual, I did a quick walk inside the bus, in case there was someone who'd fallen asleep, and yup, two sleepers. one, a friendly young lady who woke up promptly on my yell of "wakey wakey, end of the route!", went downstairs immediately.

The other didn't respond at all.

He was alive, I knew that, his chest was rising and falling as he breathed. The snoring was a bit of a give-away too, truth be told, but would the pilly sillock wake up, or even show signs of being awake? Nope. OK, time for a code red and the boys in blue, then.

This at around quarter to four in the morning, of course.

In between getting from sleeping ugliness upstairs, to the radio, I found the young lady to be still on the bus. "I missed my stop" she said, stating the rather obvious, and gave a point roughly half-way along the route that she wanted. "I've got a pass-" she showed me a printed travelcard, still valid - "and really wanna go home. When are you going to go back?"

I apologised for what I was about to tell her, and pointed out the problem of the sleeping lad upstairs, and what I had to do (call the Old Bill), and she muttered "that bloody-" something I didn't catch, probably just as well, lol, and settled down in a resigned kind of way. You can please some of the folks some of the time, etcetera... I got on the radio to Centrecomm, and let the know what was occurring. They said they're send the boys in blue immediately for me.

Cut to half an hour late, still no sign of the Met., and my following bus has arrived. Amber, who was now mildly awake and chatting to stay awake, asked if she could get the other bus when it left, if we were still waiting for the Police. No problem there, I made sure the other driver was aware, and she got on that bus when it left, and away she went, to get home, have a half hour of sleep, and get up again for her flight back to Australia. Hope you had a good one, Amber, and say "Hi" to Melbourne for me :)

Anyway, the buzz-saw upstairs was still on board, and I called Centrecomm again, asking for an update. They told me that I'd beaten them to the call, was the guy still on board, as the Met wanted to know, in case they didn't have to turn up. Nothing they like less than a sleeper on a bus. Wastes their time when they could be dealing with more serious stuff. Personally, I couldn't agree more, but if I shove the fool to wake him up, it's assault. If they shove him to wake him up, it's justified. Go figure. Yep, I told them, still on board.

Another half hour later the Met finally arrived, looking mightily heaved off. Bless. Two yells a shove and a bellow later they got him standing up. Definitely reluctant to move from his nice comfy (Comfy? a bus seat by the stairs with no neck support? Strewth!) place, he was given more encouragement by the Met: Two more yells and a bellow of "Don't try to have a fight with us, you'll lose" and they got him off and walking away from the bus. Sorted! I started the bus up, preparing to get way from the buzz-saw.

Or rather, I tried.

Kerchunk. The starter failed to engage, and all the lights on the dashboard went out.

Oh, bugger. Flat battery. Oops.

The radio was knackered now there was no power, so I used my phone and called the iBus desk (company Radio Controller), and gave him the news.

He was less than pleased, of course. I'd already lost a half round to the buzz-saw, and now it looked like the entire round was gonna be lost. He was NOT a happy teddy bear, in any shape or form. Neither was the engineer tasked with coming all the way out to the stand to give the bus a booster start. Tough. Not like I could push start the damn thing, was it? And yeah, I lost pretty much the entire round. Oh well. Sods law had hit with all the fury of a drunken squirrel, and that was that.

When I finally called Centrecomm to give then the clearance call, what did the bloke up there say?

Yup. You guessed it:

"Never rains bus it pours, does it?"

Bloody tell me about it!

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