Saturday, 9 October 2010

20 Things Which Hurt A Bus Driver

Bus drivers are strange creatures.

On the surface they give an air of supreme confidence and people who are in control of the situation. Beneath the facade there are many things that go wrong and make us a little insecure. This can take the form of dented pride, mental torture or simple physical pain. Here is a list of items which affect me. I will let you work out which are pride, mental or agony:

1. Hitting your head on the skylight, folding TV screen or any protruding knobbly bit on the roof of the bus.

2. Ripping your favourite coat when it catches on the luggage lockers. Tearing the gusset in the back of your trousers, exposing your elderly striped boxers to an old folks mystery tour is worse.

3. Having an accident. Denting the bus in full view of your passengers, regardless of whose fault it is. It makes me wish I was invisible.

4. Hearing that another driver has been talking about you behind your back. If he has left the bus in a mess and failed to fill up with diesel, then that is a triple insult added to injury.

5. Slipping on the beer stained floor and ending up arse over tit.

6. Having to hold your breath and shut your eyes, whilst cleaning up some sick.

7. Losing your fingernails to the sharp edges to the seat, when replacing the seat belts.

8. Being told by a rude passenger, in no uncertain terms that you are a 'useless piece of shit.' The advice from another driver always echoes around the inside of my head in those situations: "Remember," he always said, "a happy bus is an empty bus."

9. Having to be a contortionist to clean the rotten smelling hell hole of an onboard lavatory. I dread the words, from the boss: "Go and drop the toilet." It is degradation at its most pure.

10. Trapping your pubic hair in your zip, when you are in a hurry at some Service Station.

11. Knowing you have three hours ten minutes driving to do, before you can stop for a break, when your sensitive stomach is playing up.

12. Losing the keys to the bus.

13. Having to suffer a long journey with some pungent smelling vagrant, non stop talker or farting child sitting in the seat directly behind you.

14. Drunks on the bus, which is often a prelude to a fight. Fighting on the bus is terrifying.

15. Being stopped by VOSA. On the spot fines are an increasing possibility.

16. Returning to the bus and finding a parking ticket on the windscreen or seeing a parking warden run up the street, punching madly into his hand held console as he sprints.

17. Having a Policeman jump out into the road in front of you, from behind a lamp post or shrub, holding up his hand in the "Halt!" position.

18. Nothing happens when you turn the key in the bus. The electrics are dead. The passengers are expecting you in 5 minutes. What do you do?

19. Being stuck in some city centre at 3am, with no sign of the punters. They had said they would leave at 1.30am and would be prompt. The surrounding mobs of drunken groups vacating the nightclubs make you feel most vulnerable.

20. The company refuse to pay the high parking charges in a town centre. You are banished to a lay-by on the town's bypass and subject to hours of excruciating boredom.

This is the life of a bus driver.

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