|The Great Northwest... I'm so lucky to live here!|
For three months (at least), my rolls will feature new challenges. There will be new people to connect with, and sights I've missed since my duals last perused these 'hoods. Sure, there are traffic signals which annoy me along this route, along with stops that are poorly-placed from the operator's perspective. Certain public events will throw a lug wrench into my precise timing. Passengers will test my resolve, and find that I'm easy to get along with... until they cross the fine line of decency. At this point, they will learn that entitlement and transit are not sex partners. Although I have evolved as the years roll past, there are certain behaviors I still expect:
1) Have your fare ready. Don't sit hunched over in a shelter, wearing all dark colors watching your phone feeds instead of preparing to ride. If I pass you by, it's because I didn't see you. I'm not clairvoyant or prejudiced. Your social status is not important; your readiness to catch a bus is vital.
|It was cool to meet you, Charles!|
Thanks for your support
over the years.
3) What's my name? That's none of your business. You can refer to me as Mr. Bus Operator, thank you very much. If we strike a chord, perhaps we'll become personally-acquainted. Have a complaint? Please address me respectfully and ask for my perspective. I'll gladly try to ascertain why a certain bus operator acted as they did. Don't always expect my answer to jive with your expectations. It's a tough life, and we do the best we can. I will almost always side with my brothers and sisters, because our management doesn't have a clue what we do "out there." If you listen, perhaps you'll learn a bit about transit realities and become more forgiving if you understand better.
|I appreciate my brothers and sisters|
in Maintenance... YOU keep us
rolling in all conditions!
5) Know your own schedule. Unfortunately, my mind isn't capable of knowing the schedules of every bus or rail line on our system. If I could, I'd be too damn rich to be a bus operator. You need to catch Line 12 to ParkRose TC? Our agency provides a handy app to answer every query about schedules. You spend most of your time on my bus looking at your tiny screen, so please devote some of that time to answering your own questions. If you're antsy about catching that 12 in time, do not badger me if we're running behind your schedule. Chances are, I'm working very hard just to keep up with my own. If it doesn't mesh with yours, take heart: there's always the next one. If I'm running early and have to hold for time, please don't harass me. I make sure to be as on-time as possible to make sure those who expect me to be at a stop at 10:15 will find that I do just that, 94% of the time. And that, my dears, is pretty damn good, given the traffic headaches we face in our beloved Portland gridlock.
That's enough for now. Time for bed. I have to get enough rest to roll through Friday rush hour madness. To some who read this and ride my bus, we'll have time for "until I see you again" or "damn I'm glad you're leaving" as the day whizzes past. Typical fare evaders, trouble-makers and rude Hop Pass and Failure-to-Yield ignoramuses will give way to new ones next week. I've learned to appreciate the good folks and ignore the assholes. That's just what we do.
In a few short weeks, I'll be on vacation. It's a big one this time. I canna divulge my plans, but this will be one which results in an extended absence from blogging. It's something I truly and eagerly await, alone time with my lovely lady. We'll travel and spend valuable time together instead of conversing by text as I transport people. This time, I'll be the passenger. Hopefully, I'll remember all the points I've outlined here and make my operator's roll that much easier.
Thanks for reading. I truly enjoy this... I write and you read. It's like driving a bus: I drive and you ride. It's an easy trade-off.
|Last time I caught James Taylor|
in concert here in Portland.
Sweet Baby James... I often
hum his tunes as I roll.