Sunday, November 12, 2017

Deke Writes the Bus

Sometimes, I'm not even conscious that I'm "driving" a bus. There are times when it's just automatic. My body's in the seat, but my mind is traveling. Sure, I'm scanning, smiling and rolling safe. I truly enjoy the job. Unless you ask me a question or otherwise engage me, my soul is elsewhere.

Until today, I took a week-long hiatus from writing. My mind, body and soul are exhausted. It's been a very long 18 months producing JUST DRIVE. I've felt elation, jubilation and exhilaration while also feeling anxious and self-doubt. Each night after work, I've vegetated in front of the TV, which has become rare. This book has been my main focus for so long, once it became available I heaved a massive sigh of relief. My mind was unable to wrap itself around another blog post. Until now. Watch out, mugs... no telling where this one will go.

Let's begin with the severe lack of brainmanship exhibited lately by the motoring public. ME FIRST is the prevailing wind, and it's as odoriferous as what comes out their biological exhaust pipe. When the clocks turned back an hour last Sunday, it was if everyone around here decided they need to rush everywhere, especially the next red light. Twice this week, testosterone-charged mudbrains have cut me off, then flipped me off for no reason. Hey folks, buses stop then go again. It's as common as screen-addled pedestrians on a blind date with doom. Deal with it. When a bus pulls over, and it's safe for you to do so, go ahead and pass us. We expect it. As we finish servicing the stop, we're going to Yield-Light you and pull back into traffic. That's not the time, especially when there's a double-yellow line in the middle of the street, to pass us. You risk plowing into oncoming traffic, duh. There's also a severe chance of pulverizing the dunce who exits and pretends I'm a school bus with a STOP sign and red flashing lights to protect them from your foolish lack of PATIENCE. You meatheads! It might just save someone's (including yours) life. Imagine your family's life this holiday season while dealing with your untimely death. Suicide might be legal here, but that doesn't mean I should have to assist it.

(Ugh, just had to get that off my mind.)

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UBER DRIVERS: STAY THE HELL OUT OF THE BUS LANES DOWNTOWN! It wasn't designed for your poor business practices. (Hell, the Transit Mall is unsafe for everyone when all the rules are obeyed.) It's dangerous for you (and your fares) to be there. Don't let riders out in the auto lane either. When someone exits your pseudo-cab on the passenger side, your door swings open precariously close to the Transit Lane where buses and trains operate. Traffic behind you is also tempted to swing into our lane (without mirror-checking to see a 10-foot-tall vehicle bearing down on them). Your fares are also prone to leaving the car and dashing across the street between blocks rather than going to the crosswalk 10 yards ahead. As a general rule, you should NEVER conduct business on 5th or 6th Avenues downtown. It's rude, dangerous and foolish. Our BUS ONLY lanes are there specifically for our mega-ton beasts rather than your Precious Prius.

(Sorry to my oldest son: I'm bitching again. We transit operators have a LOT to complain about "out there" sometimes. I've held off a while, but it's been a rough week. Sometimes the wheels roll smooth; others, we hit many a speed bump.)

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My apologies to a MAX driver this week. I was tired, flustered, and that's a bad place to be driving a bus. I didn't notice my jump light remained red as the transit lane went green, and I started out from a mall stop when you were a half-block away. Instead of running the light, I stopped. Problem was, my nose was precariously close to your Dynamic Envelope. This is extremely rare for me, but it happened. I allowed myself to become distracted, but that's no excuse. Thank you for doing me a solid by stopping, honking and signaling me to go ahead in spite of my error. I'm human, and I appreciate your recognition and patience. The next chance I had, I stopped and locked, got out and walked to the back of my bus to re-calibrate myself. It took a few beats to the engine compartment cover before I cleared myself to roll again.

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HEY PORTLAND TURN YOUR LIGHTS ON!!! It's dark out there, folks. Can't see you, keep you safe, if I can't see your vehicle. Thank you.

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That's about it for today. I'm tired. It's been a long and trying week. Last night's verbal tussle with a self-entitled passenger about pushed me over the edge, but I persevered and finished the week in spite of it. If he doesn't call in a complaint within the next week, maybe I'll tell you about it. Until then, it's sack time for this bus driver. Next time, maybe I'll have something a bit more entertaining to bore you with.

1 comment:

  1. Uber drivers are creating a very dangerous situation downtown. I drive the 9 and 20 late night downtown. Mant close calls especially on 5th with all the drunk bar people. There needs to be some serious enforcement from portland pd and Trimet! Theres going to be a serious incident there someday involving a train or a bus. Very dangerous!

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