new pick

12/13/8 - 3/6/9:

AM Extra Board.

I haven't worked the extra board for several years. To review:

The extra board is a group of drivers who fill in for people who don't show up, call in sick or otherwise have the day off on relatively short notice. The total board is divided into AM and PM boards. The AM people can't be put on work that pulls in to the garage past 7:00 or 7:30 PM (I can't remember which right now) and the PM board covers everything else.

All the work is lined up chronologically and the drivers are assigned to it in order, based on seniority. There's a little arrow that moves to a different driver (almost) every day. It's the place on the board where the earliest piece of work goes. Since it moves, the same people don't always get the early work, or the late work. This might be kind of confusing. There won't be a test.

I worked the board for a few years when I first went full time. It's a good way for a low-seniority driver to get done before midnight once in awhile. Now that I have some seniority, I can get on the AM board and get done at approximately the same times I've been getting done when I pick regular work.

-Variety! I'll probably drive all, or almost all, of the routes out of Nicollet Garage at some point in the next few months. I like that a lot.

-Call days. There are always some drivers who sit in the garage on call. Call work gets put into the rotation. Call drivers have to be ready to fill in for no-shows, or fill in for hopelessly late buses, make bus changes, etc. Some days, they get a lot of reading done. (Other days, they get sent out to drive the 21 for ten hours.)

-Bad day? Don't care. If I have a bad day, I won't see it every week. I just have to make it through the day and I probably won't see it again.

-Surprises and scheduling. I won't know what work I'm doing until 5:00 the day before when I call to find out. That makes it pretty much impossible to schedule appointments. However, if I really need to know what I'm doing, I can pick a hold down, which is a full week of work. When I do instruction, my work goes up as a hold down. If someone gets injured or sick for a long period of time, their work goes up as a hold down.

-Five. That's how many full days I'll work. I quite like my current short-day Wednesdays.

Other than the fact that I'll put in five full days, I don't think too much will be different. I'll still have Saturdays and Sundays off, and I'll probably work quite a few splits. The AM board has lost favor with a lot of drivers because the dispatchers seem to split them a lot. If I picked work, I'd work splits three days a week, getting done at 7:00 or 7:30.

I think the pros outweigh the cons by quite a bit. I'm kind of excited to see how it goes.



new pick

I picked my new work this morning.

9/6/8 - 12/12/8:

Saturday, Sunday- off
Monday- 5:52 AM - 2:45 PM (r), 12 line.
Tuesday- 6:46 AM - 8:14 AM, 156 line; 11:05 AM - 6:35 PM, 21 line.
Wednesday- 4:43 AM - 8:08 AM, 18/554 lines.
Thursday- 8:33 AM (r) - 10:49 AM (r), 2 line; 12:54 PM - 7:45 PM, 17 line.
Friday- 5:03 AM - 1:57 PM (r), 18 line.

Yeah, a lot of that is early. But my latest night is 7:45 and I could have picked something earlier. The later start time is appealing since I go to trivia on Wednesday nights. The 12 line got moved to Nicollet for the next pick. I remember kind of liking it, so I was happy to get a day of that. I could have picked the 12 a couple more days, but I figured if I don't like it, it's only one day.



next pick

My schedule will look like this from 5/31 until 9/5:

Saturday, Sunday- off
Monday- 7:48 AM - 11:21 AM (r), 21 line; 2:22 PM - 7:56 PM, 11 line.
Tuesday- 8:24 AM (r) - 10:51 AM (r), 53/21 lines; 1:06 AM (r) - 7:40 PM, 2 line.
Wednesday- 5:52 AM - 8:30 AM, 11 line.
Thursday- see Tuesday
Friday- 5:03 AM - 1:57 PM (r), 18 line.

That Friday is really ugly. But my only other choice was to get done around 7:45 or 8:00 at night.

I'll really be getting done late. It's like I took two steps forward with the last couple of picks, and now I'll be taking a couple steps back again. I got the second-to-last Saturday off on the entire board. I think there were around eight or nine still open the last time I picked. And the work I'm doing now doesn't even exist on the 9-hour board. The scheduling department messed with everything again. Ah, well, such is life.



new pick

I picked this morning.

3/8 - 5/30

Saturday, Sunday- off
Monday- 6:29 AM - 11:36 AM, 24 line; 2:19 PM - 6:28 PM, 11 line.
Tuesday- 7:17 AM - 8:22 AM, 17 line; 11:11 AM (r) - 7:06 PM, 21/53 lines.
Wednesday- 5:14 AM - 9:29 AM, 11 line.
Thursday- see Tuesday
Friday- 6:53 AM - 8:09 AM, 133 line; 10:38 AM - 6:29 PM, 24 line.

Nine hour work again. Short day Wednesday. Two reliefs all week. Overall, not bad at all.



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!



I have good news and I have bad news that's still kind of good news...

My hire date at M*tro Tr*nsit is 1/29/01. I was a part-time driver until 12/15/01. For approximately ten months, I worked the rush hours Monday through Friday. I had Saturdays and Sundays off.

When I went full time, I usually had Tuesdays and Thursdays off. After a while, I could get Wednesdays and would pair them with a Tuesday or a Thursday.

A couple autumns ago, I experienced a breakthrough: Sundays off. I danced around the pick room a little bit in anticipation of actually getting to see the Vikings play live, instead of watching the taped game well after the fact.

This morning, for the first time ever, I was able to pick Saturdays and Sundays off. I am pretty stoked about it. However, I'm probably on some kind of bubble. There's a good chance I won't be able to pick Saturdays off again for several more picks. But for now, I'm savoring the moment.

My schedule, 9/8/7 - 11/30/7:

Saturday, Sunday- off.
Monday- 6:15 AM - 11:11 AM (r), 11 line; 1:49 PM (r) - 6:01 PM, 2 line.
Tuesday- 6:36 AM - 9:50 AM, 4 line; 12:47 PM (r) - 6:34 PM, 18 line.
Wednesday- 5:43 AM - 8:21 AM, 156 line.
Thursday - see Tuesday.
Friday- see Monday.

11/22 (Thanksgiving)- 5:55 AM - 2:12 PM, 24 line.
11/23- 6:08 AM - 12:03 PM (r), 46 line; 12:45 (r) - 2:52 PM (r), 21 line.

As always, the (r) means relief.

This is by far the best pick I've ever seen, and not just because of getting Saturdays off. My late night is 6:34. My working days are grouped into two days each, with my days off and my short day to break them up. It's about as good as it can reasonably get for me.

I believe I mentioned that there may be some bad news.

If the rumblings I'm hearing at the Instruction Center turn out to be more than rumors, I may never get to work my beautiful pick. I might be training drivers through the whole thing. So while I'd probably really like my week, at least I'll be doing something else that I enjoy.

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you can pick your friends and you can pick your nose, but you can't...

I pick new work tomorrow morning.

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new pick

I picked my new work for the next work pick this morning. It's nine-hour work again, so I'll have a short day.


Sunday, Monday - off.
Tuesday - 8:15 AM (r) - 10:38 AM (r), 18 line; 1:16 PM (r) - 7:40 PM, 2 line.
Wednesday - 6:14 AM - 8:38 AM, 557/135 lines.
Thursday - 6:12 AM - 9:05 AM, 23 line; 1:10 PM (r) - 6:58 PM, 17 line.
Friday - 6:45 AM - 10:02 (r), 17 line; 12:50 PM (r) - 6:24 PM, 23 line.
Saturday - 4:52 AM - 2:00 PM, 17 line.

4th of July: 6:40 AM - 10:44 AM (r), 21 line.

It's a lot like what I'm doing now. I currently do the Friday piece on Fridays. My late night is twenty minutes later, but the rest of the schedule makes up for it.

Saturday could be brutal. It's really early and I've avoided the 17 on Saturday ever since I got killed on it. But the next earliest I could have been done was 8:44 PM. There were very few nine-hour Saturday options that didn't go out until late at night. I'll have to take a nap.

I opted to bank my holiday pay for the 4th, so I'll get an extra floating holiday out of the deal. I also banked Memorial Day, even though I'm not working it.