After twenty-two months of retirement, I am back in the workforce. I always figured I'd pick up a part time job if something appealing turned up. A few weeks ago Teresa went to the little transit company in town to get tickets for her dad. They asked her if she wanted to drive bus. No she said, but I might.
I've had many jobs over my career and most of them had a driving component. Driving is the ultimate freedom for me, no matter where I'm going. The bus company was looking for a back up driver. I was looking for a job that wouldn't tie me down. I was surprised what a rigmarole it was to get into the system. Fortunately my commercial driver's license was still valid from my days on the farm. But I had to get a DOT physical. The man doctor at the clinic was said to be slap-dash while the lady doc was thorough. I booked the man. Call me chauvinistic.
I also had to provide my driving record for the past five years, $9.00, as well as a drug free urine sample. Oh, I had to pay for the physical myself, $85. No wonder they have trouble getting drivers.
I only want to work one day a week at most, but during my training period I was working four days a week. The Roseau Transit Authority has four buses. There are six a.m. runs out to Greenbush and Warroad. The early passengers are disabled people going to their assisted workplaces. During the day there are two buses on call to pick up people and take them around town, to the grocery, to the department store, to the pharmacy, the bank, the hair dresser. These folks rank from the so called dregs up to the well off. What they have in common is a lack of personal transportation. Ridership goes up when the weather is nasty, which is fifty per cent of the year. And the weather is the main topic of conversation with my passengers, though one conversation began "When I was in jail...." A bus driver hears and sees all kinds of things.
During my training, the regular drivers told me it could get slow during the day and I should bring a book. Well I think I'm going to like getting paid for reading a book. It will be compensation for not getting paid for my book reviews.
This past week I started driving routes on my own. I have to pick up people in various places around Greenbush, Badger, and Roseau. At first it seemed daunting, but the supervisor is kindly and provides lists and maps of who is where. My fellow drivers are right, it soon becomes routine.
Next week I'm scheduled for a half day on Wednesday and all day Friday. I feel like I'm providing a moral good for my fellow man, my synapses are getting a tune up. and I have a little extra cash for trips to the spa.
|The Bus Sees All|