Sunday, December 24, 2017

A Corny Tale

Transit isn't just a job, it's a lifestyle. Truly. We schedule our lives to accommodate our often-strange schedules. Meal times for me include a breakfast prior to work, half a sandwich a few hours into the shift and the rest a few hours later, with a few snacks in between. Dinner comes after work.

Now imagine yourself doing this about 180-degrees and seven hours later than a normal human. I probably have enough seniority to change back to a day-going hack, but I've always been a night owl. Oh well. Yeah, it's bad for humans to work nights too long, but mornings and I have never gotten along. I damn near shot a rooster on the ranch when I was 12 because he'd wake me at the crack of dawn. Good thing I wasn't raised a farm boy.

Recently, I stated that bus operation isn't what I am, it's what I do. That's partially true. During the work week, what I do is what I am. You have to be in "the zone" all through the work week. Routine is critical to concentration "out there." Any anomalies in my daily life can throw me off my game. Get to work five minutes later than planned, and I have to rush just to make my road relief two buses ahead of when my shift starts. Early on, a trainer told us "if you're not at least 15 minutes early, you're late."

The other day I was preparing snacks and sodas for the workday. I like my beverages cold when I drive, mainly for stimulation and refreshment. One cold pack goes on top, the other below the drinks, with a frozen bottle of water between them. The night prior however, I had forgotten to put the packs in the freezer. I was momentarily as confused as a politician whose bankroll has met a steep hill. My schedule dictated that I walk out the door within 90 seconds or I wouldn't be able to make the bus I catch to my road relief.

Transit operators often have to improvise and make snap decisions. This was one of those times. Into the goody bag went the frozen corn. Sorry beloved wife, I know you were saving that for dinner. My bad. But at least it kept my sodies chilled. Necessity, so they say, sends you back to the veggie aisle. I'll probably get those dreaded six-month-old peas for dinner this week, as penance for my sin.

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