I'm down to two students. We're doing the in-service practice portion of training, so two of my guys went to work with another instructor. They need to practice picking people up on an actual route for fifteen hours each. Having only two drivers really speeds things up.
As usual, we just can't seem to get out there and drive all day. Yesterday, we got a call from Control after the first trip. He informed us we were driving a roach coach and that an exterminator was waiting for the bus at the garage. I didn't want to tell the guys why we had to go back until we got there, but then I sounded all dramatic, so I told them. The guy driving was pretty skeezed out. I was too, a little. I hates cockroaches. So we emptied and shook out our bags at the garage, then got a new bus. And the dispatcher gave us a brand-new bus. It was a pleasure to ride in all day. By the time we got going again, we probably lost an hour.
Today we picked up their uniforms. Again, we lost about an hour.
Fortunately, these guys are good drivers, so I'm not worried about them. They're just getting comfortable driving in service, so I'm not being too picky about details... yet. Learning to drive in service entails a lot of practice making decisions and learning how to keep the bus moving along.
I get to ride the bus all day, which is fun. I see a lot more. However, I find that I get more tired riding than I do driving. My theory is that I spend all day reacting to someone else's turning and braking. When I drive, I know when I'm going to make a move and my body proactively behaves accordingly. I think my core muscles get worked out a little bit riding all day.
Riding the bus also means interesting conversations.
I talked to a brain-damaged woman yesterday for quite a while. She told me all about teaching herself how to function again. I asked her if she was getting therapy and she said that it was the medical community that did it to her and she's better now that she has removed herself from their care.
I had a very nice chat with a woman who works at the information desk at the main library. She wanted to know if I could contact someone about getting a system map to put above the schedules that are in the foyer there. She said that Cesar Pelli wouldn't allow them to hang anything on the walls for a year. I guess they're free to hang up all those READ posters now...
Today I watched, well, the whole bus watched, as a young guy came up front and repeatedly asked an older guy if he was going to ___. The older guy, who is a super-regular rider, didn't want to talk about it on the bus. The younger guy persisted saying that he talked to him at ___. I figured out what was going on and I started to get a little perturbed. The young guy gave up and yelled something about the older guy maybe having MI issues (??? mental illness ???) as he made his way to the back. Then the young guy proceeded to loudly tell a stranger how he goes to AA meetings and how he talked to that guy up there last week and now that guy doesn't want to talk with him, etc. etc. etc.
I've known a few 12-steppers over the years and unless I'm grossly mistaken, the young guy was being a complete asshole. When I was out with one of my friends and she'd say hello to someone I didn't know, I learned soon enough not to ask where she knew that person from. They're all secret about it. And that's cool.
Then, as happened last Tuesday, strange flashing lights slightly interrupted my vision. As soon as they went away, I got a bad headache. Fortunately, Chele was following my Twitter last week and suggested that I may be experiencing a migraine. I think she's right.
Just what I need: I'm not even 40 and my body's giving out on me...