Dear Sam #3

Dear Sam,

Luckily, the first two days of Portland’s heat wave were my days off. Yesterday was my Monday, and at one point on my route the temperature was 102°. Air conditioning blowing on me from two directions, I still baked in the convection oven of an Operator’s seat.

Last year you gave us water bottles. Pretty little thing, but not very efficient considering they hold a scant 16oz. I can drink that much halfway through a trip. The opening is too small to add ice and they aren’t insulated. Nice gesture, but very little consideration for reality. 

The good old days when management actually attempted to help us feel appreciated are long past. Gone also are the ice chests of water once distributed at the garages and elsewhere we roll.

Some break rooms have no water fountains. We have to beg businesses to hydrate. Some routes have little or no facilities at all. So much for all the “capital improvements”.

I guess nothing says “We love you!” better than “get your own damn water.”


  1. It's really bothered me they stopped providing water in the garages in ice chests. That was a nice gesture (even though they were small bottles)... it was something.
    I can't believe they stopped this during the heat wave (and the Contract they want us to sign) well there you go🤔

  2. All of the breakrooms at the Transit Centers should have the bare minimum.
    We don't really get breaks though do we?

  3. I emailed the restroom liaison (or whatever it’s called) to ask about getting water at OTC. He told me to go to the gas station. One, the gas station isn’t open at 5 am or midnight, two, there are times when I don’t even feel safe getting off the bus in OTC, and three, it’s not the gas stations responsibility to refill my water bottle. I do the best I can to bring what I need for the day, but you can only carry so much. At the time, Clackamas TC layover had a water jug dispenser, water fountain and kitchen sink. OTC has literally nothing, not even a sink deep enough to put a water bottle under. One thing I do that helps is freeze water in my insulated bottles—I fill it about 1/4-1/3 with water and freeze it for a couple days so it’s solid, and then fill with ice and water on my work day. It helps—as long as the container isn’t plastic.

  4. Water is a basic need, just as a restroom is. I dont think we have enough of either. It's often not safe to leave our buses at many of the dark layovers. It's too far at times as well. Not all of us are 25 years old anymore.

  5. KARMA finds us all. That's all we have some days to get us through the route. Somewhere in the Universe people face the inevitably things could have been made better if they had cared. We all appreciate you and the issues you speak to.


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