Monday, 30 May 2011

Tis The Season For - Grumpy Bus Driver Syndrome

Grumpy Bus Driver Syndrome season has descended and is in full swing.

'No one gets past me,' said the driver with the fearsome record. He was renowned for being tough on passengers. So tough that they regularly wrote letters to the local newspaper complaining of his antics.

'He sneaked by me on the journey down,' he continued, looking disappointed. 'But not on the way back.' His face lit up. 'And I've heard that he had to walk for six miles and cadge three lifts too.' A large smile broke over his face, like the fast rising of the sun at dawn.

There was another driver wandering about the depot loudly muttering and being grumpier than usual. It was hard to hear everything he was saying due to the high winds which were rattling the steel frame of the building. In between gusts you could just make out:

'Fookin 'ell ... who the bloody 'ell ... left that there ... fookin brakes ...fookin bad parking ... fookin ... fookin ... fookin ... bloody 'ell ...'

But I could talk.

There was a gaggle of drivers talking about general topics of the day. They were looking over in my direction, talking about my own grumpiness.

'Have you heard? 'E's spat the dummy out.'

'Aye. He spat the dummy out.'

I suppose I had. It had been a bad day. There had been a breakdown in communications and my plans had gone awry. I had snapped and growled at another driver murmuring something about him ruining my day and it was all his fault.

'Don't blame me,' he replied in slight shock. He was half my size and I had cornered him between the falling down drivers lavatory and the diesel tank. To an outsider it may have looked like a school billy pinning his target up against the wall. 'It's not my fault,' he went on and then promptly left the building.

Bus drivers are gossips. Most cannot keep their mouths shut and before long rumours and Chinese whispers develop are multiplied by ten, then spread far and wide. I knew my name would be dirt within minutes.

It was.

'Why did you want to attack poor old Simpkins?' said the boss the next time I saw him. But contrary to the bus industry's poor habit of gossiping, the good side is that there is little emotion banded around and things seem to vanish as fast as they arose.

'He's over it,' said another driver.

I returned to a dark corner to continue bein grumpy ... alone.

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