some things I forgot about

A couple weeks ago I was driving the 2. As I approached the bus stop at 3rd Street and Cedar Avenue, I watched a guy take a run at the bus shelter and kick the glass. He backed up and did it again. And again. And again.

As I neared the stop, I honked my horn. He stopped when he saw me and walked over to the curb. By then I had called Control. I pulled over and stopped. But I didn't open the door. When he realized that I wasn't going to open the door, he started screaming obscenities at me. I had, of course, stopped so that I could get a better description of the guy for Control.

You know I love it when I get asked if I go to Cubs or Targets. The other day a lady asked me if I stopped near White Castles.

Just one, ma'am.

That same day, a guy kept telling me that I drive like a pimp.

The day after that, I was amused to see a woman hand two free (M*tro Tr*nsit) bus ride coupons to a guy who had a sign that read:

I've seen Oz a few times recently. It had been quite a while since I'd seen him. He wasn't doing very well. That is, I think he was messed up on a couple things. But still, it's always good to see him and chat with him. He offered to give me money if I wanted some. I declined. Then, ten minutes later, he wanted to talk to me about maybe giving him some help. Which means money.

Monday I got the finger twice. Sometimes I deserve it. Sometimes I don't. I think these were unwarranted. Either way, it's been a while.

In the morning, I got the finger from a guy who was mad at me because I pulled out into the lane after making a stop and he couldn't take a right turn in front of me at a stop light. No one was immediately behind me when I pulled out. I noticed that the bus was really sluggish getting through that intersection.

In the evening, a woman making a left turn from oncoming traffic lost her turn arrow and gave me the finger when I had the gall to lay on my horn as she turned in front of me with my green light and I braked my way through the intersection.


the strangest thing happened...

I am doing some route training this week and next week.

I was in the instruction van today, traveling south in Bloomington on Nicollet Avenue.

A grey Corolla drove up next to me and I glanced over. The woman driving was wearing large sunglasses and she looked up at me. Her face brightened, she pointed at me and mouthed "CJ!." She blew me a kiss and then sped up to get in front of me. She turned off Nicollet at 86th, before I got another look at her.

I have no idea who it was.


fairly fit, I guess

I found the entirety of the cheesecloth in a brown, gooey mass on Jeff's bed this morning.

Jeff 1, Darwin 0.




Well, Jeffrey will apparently live through the alcohol and raisins. I'm not ready to relax until we start to see some cheesecloth, though...

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Jeff is an idiot/time for an intervention, parts 3 and 2, respectively

Kassie made two fruitcakes last week. The recipe calls for a cup of rum, plus they get doused with brandy every couple of days.

When I got home this evening, I noticed that Jeffrey hadn't finished his dinner. That's strange. He usually inhales it in about three minutes. Yeah, you know where this is going.

I asked Kassie if he'd gotten into anything. She thought maybe he'd eaten some garbage. Then she discovered what he'd gotten into. One of the fruitcakes is gone.

Jeff is HAMMERED. And we think it's been a few hours.


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move it

Everyone got in my way this morning.

Most notable were:
  • The semi backing into a parking lot north of Franklin, stopping all southbound traffic on Lyndale shortly before 8:00 this morning.
  • The firefighters who had Lyndale completely blocked off at around 9:15.
  • Minivans.
I think I'll take a nap now.



notre lame

You know how there are Cubs fans all over the place simply because WGN is on the low end of every cable station in the country?

Well, when I was a kid, I thought Notre Dame football was pretty neat. And why was that? I suppose it's because they were on NBC every Saturday during football season. And they were good; I'm sure that helped.

When I was a kid, I thought Ronald Reagan was pretty cool as well.

Then I more or less grew up. Suddenly Old Ron looked like the giant turd that he was and Notre Dame didn't look too great, either. Maybe it was because Lou Holtz left Minnesota to coach there, or maybe I grew more sympathetic to the underdogs in life.

Over the years, it has irked me to no end that NBC still continues to show Notre Dame games every week when there are more deserving teams and much more interesting games on every week. Yeah, yeah, I know. Storied program, every Catholic in the country roots for them, blah, blah, blah.

I can't say how much it makes me smile that Notre Dame is 1-9. I can't say how annoyed I am that they're on TV again today playing Duke.

You know, the NAIA playoffs started today. Any one of those games would probably be fifty times more interesting than the one that's on right now.



file under: what in the world were we thinking?

Kassie and I took the last three days off work to paint our living room, entry, and stairwell. I'm quite sure there will be a full post on the house blog when we're done, but for now, enjoy what might have been. You know, what might have been if we remotely thought it looked even halfway kind of decent. The picture does not do the fluorescent glow it gave off any justice.

Ugh. All gone now.



trivia loot

The Shock Monkeys (Trivia Division) tied for first place with two other teams in trivia at Tracy's this evening.

We lost the tie-breaker, but that just means we got to pick from a box of beer and liquor swag.

Here's what I took. I think it's sexy. I'm sure Kassie will love it.

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time for an intervention

I came home the other day to this:

I think Jeff has a problem.

At least it's not Aqua Velva.



I think everyone knows that being a bus driver is pretty glamorous.

One of the sweetest parts of the job is finding a restroom. We use them when and where we can and really can't afford to be too picky.

Today I lived the Great Reactionary Dream: I wiped my backside with the StarTribune!

Cool, eh?


next pick

12/1/7 - 3/7/7

Saturday, Sunday- off.
Monday- 6:35 AM - 10:02 AM (r), 17 line; 12:40 PM (r) - 6:24 PM, 23 line.
Tuesday- 8:18 AM (r) - 10:54 AM (r), 11 line; 1:06 PM (r) - 7:40 PM, 2 line.
Wednesday- 4:43 AM - 8:08 AM, 18/554 lines.
Thursday - 10:06 AM (r) - 7:13 PM, 2 line.
Friday- see Monday.

(r) = relief

It's not too bad. I'm not too excited about the Tuesday night/Wednesday morning thing, but I could have picked something later on Wednesday and chose not to. I figure I can take a nap, be up by 10:00 or 11:00 and have the rest of the day. Thanks to Driver 2165, I can sleep in a bit after Wednesday night trivia. That Thursday work is nice!



Blogger refused to let me publish for a couple days. Stupid Blogger. Fixed now, I guess.



back in action

I got up at 5:00 this morning, drove the 11 for a while, took a break, then drove the 2 for a while.

I was pretty rusty this morning. I forgot to grab schedules before I went to my bus. I forgot to log in to my farebox. I forgot some other things, too, but now I've forgotten what they were.

The day went pretty well, though. I hope this work is always as easy as it was today.

Tomorrow, the 4 and the 18. Plus, I pick my new work tomorrow.

Oh, and this is pretty much what I look like.



couple things

Friday night, Kassie and I went to a "before party" at the Healy House. That place is crazy. It reminded me, on a much smaller scale, of the Winchester House in San Jose. The interior has been reworked a lot, and it's kind of a big, strange puzzle. The HH is just on the other side of 35W from us. I've long admired those houses- at least the ones that have been renovated. We got there at about the same time as the Bungalow '23 folks. We chatted with them all evening. I think there were some MNspeakers around, but we only said hello to Max, as he's the only one we recognized.

We went to Art Attack yesterday. Whether we're at the Northrup King Building for Art Attack or Art-a-Whirl, we always stop in to say hello to Karen. Dean wasn't around... One of our favorite artists in that building is a guy named eddie. Yesterday, the temptation was too much for us and we made a purchase.

I really like it.

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(totally swiped from with leather)


state fair driver, the rest of the story (I think)

From the comments:

Anonymous said...

Ideally, how would you like the bus company to respond regarding the horses ass state fair bus driver? Had you your drothers, as a man and a husband, not an employee, how would you deal with, or what would you like to say to the actual horses ass?

I don't think I ever told the rest of the story about the driver who wouldn't let Kassie off the bus to go to the bathroom, did I? Sorry about that.

Here's what happened.

A few days after the incident, I looked that guy up on the computer at work and found out that he is a miscellaneous driver. That means that his job classification is not "bus operator," but that he is allowed to drive buses. I think miscellaneous operators are usually mechanics or other shop workers. I asked my garage coordinator (who is my boss when I work out of Nicollet as an instructor) about the guy in question and apparently he used to be a driver who now works at the Overhaul Base. Overhaul, as the name suggests, is where they do major work on buses.

I knew that was going to be trouble. I don't know what kind of disciplinary procedures can be taken on miscellaneous operators, but I assume it's not anything like the ones for bus drivers. That is, I really doubt that there is anything in the contract regarding customer complaints for mechanics.

Kassie filed a complaint right away. She did not hear from anyone for quite a while. I heard that I was looking like the bad guy in the situation, swearing at the driver, etc. That came from someone asking my coordinator about it.

After a little over a month, Kassie got tired of waiting to hear something and emailed Brian Lamb, General Manager of M*tro Tr*nsit. I have always had positive interaction with Mr. Lamb, and Kassie knows it. I'm sure she would have sent him an email anyway.

He responded very quickly, promising to have someone look into it.

I might be a bit fuzzy on details here, but this is the gist of it.

Soon after that, Kassie got a phone call from a manager. I know the manager and I was glad to hear she was taking care of it. She told Kassie that there was no set process to deal with complaints about miscellaneous drivers, especially those at Overhaul. Apparently, the complaint had been shuffled around because no one knew what to do with it.

The manager told Kassie that there was already some discussion about how and when miscellaneous operators can drive a bus in service. She assured Kassie that someone would speak to the state fair guy, at the very least about wearing ear plugs while driving the bus. Kassie said the manager was very professional and I was not surprised.

So 38 days later, Kassie was satisfied that her complaint had been heard and dealt with.

And to address the commenter's questions:

I feel like I already said what I wanted to when I was in that guy's ear the day of the incident. He was, uh, acutely aware of my displeasure, which was important. I also apologized to him for losing my temper, which was even more important.

As far as how I would like the company to respond, well, I can't really separate my personal opinion from my professional opinion because I think the answer is the same. I believe that anyone who is going to deal with the public in any job or profession needs customer service training. At M*tro Tr*nsit we have a decent customer service curriculum called Transit Ambassadors. I think attendance should be mandatory for anyone who is going to pick up passengers in a bus.

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my paychecks will be smaller again

Yesterday was my last day acting as a full-time instructor. Earlier in the week, I taught some new mechanics how to drive a bus. They passed their CDL tests.

I spent yesterday with a new driver who failed his CDL test the first time. He got four hours of one-on-one training with me, then he took it again. He passed, which was no surprise. He was just taking his left turns a little too tightly. We fixed his tendencies in about fifteen minutes. Then we drove around for three-and-a-half more hours. Fortunately, he was a friendly guy.

I really enjoyed my time as a FT instructor. I learned a lot, got to do some things I wouldn't have if I were driving and I met quite a few interesting people. The hours I've worked and my paychecks have been awfully nice.

But I'm ready to get back to driving. My back has been sore most of the summer and fall from riding in the bus all day. And I'm ready for a break from responsibility. I know that a $275,000 (?) vehicle and 50 people equals responsibility, but you know, it's a different kind.

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