When I applied at M*tro Tr*nsit, I filled out an application and turned it in. I went to a meeting with a dozen or so new employees at the Human Resources office where we signed up for a physical. I passed the physical and I was hired.
Now, applicants go through a relatively lengthy and rigorous process. They take at least one written test (I think they might take two or three) and have an interview.
Naturally, I'm in favor of the more selective process. Better drivers make a better company, which means more job security. (At least I'd like to think that's the way it will work...) At the very least, it means that on the whole, it ought to be easier to train new drivers. Approximately 15% of all applicants make it to the first class. Of course, that includes people who choose not to take the position for whatever reason.
I spent Monday through Wednesday in a classroom with brand-new part-time drivers.
I have a few minor pet peeves when it comes to group situations at MT. I'm guessing that these might be universal, but since I've never been to a business meeting or conference, I don't know.
One of them is the person or people with an endless supply of really stupid questions. (Yeah, yeah... no such thing, right? Wrong.) Another is the avalanche of stories started by one person with an anecdote about, say, someone driving like an idiot while on their cell phone. Everyone has at least one of those stories and some groups want to share all of them. And finally, there always seems to be someone who doesn't know how to listen and take turns speaking.
I'm happy to report that this class has none of those flaws, at least to the point where I want to shove an icepick into my ears. As far as I know, I will be back with that class tomorrow.
I arrived at the Instruction Center on Thursday and was told that I'd be doing something different for the rest of the week. I was assigned to three students from the class ahead of the one with which I'd been working. It was their first day on a bus.
I had to tell them how to turn on a bus. And drive it. Cool.
When I was at The Coo
studying to be an elementary teacher, the teaching of reading was of particular interest to me. This kind of felt similar, and it was fun.
It's been at least a year since I went out with drivers on their very first day, and the last (and only) time I did it, I was being mentored, so I just watched. I got some quick advice from some of the full-time guys and took off. My assignment was to begin to get them prepared to take their Commercial Driver's License test.
I showed them how to pre-trip a bus. We spent a while working on left turns. Then backing. Then right turns. And right turns some more. If they hit a curb on the driving part of the CDL test, they immediately fail. We drove around southern Bloomington for hours.
We drove around. A lot. We worked on what their eyes, hands and feet were doing, and how what they're looking at and how they're moving affects how and where bus is in relation to everything. We also went over the air brake part of the test and practiced the straight back and the alley back. Here's one of the guys practicing the alley back:
The rear bumper is supposed to end up in the box created by the four cones at the back.
I enjoyed my two days with those guys. I was asked to leave comments in their jackets (training folders). I left them in a crass approximation of haiku.
I hope someone finds that amusing...
Labels: MT, training