If you would have told the high school sophomore version of myself when I was panicking and trying to merge onto 53 in a car with my driving instructor and two classmates that I was destined to drive this huge bus just 4 years later... I would have called the cops on you. It took me so long to just merge onto an expressway in a regular car, I was never going to attempt that in a vehicle 3 times the size. But somehow... my heart changed. I fell in love. With a bus. So here it is. The list of reasons why I'm in love with my job... in no particular order.
1) Establishing dominance over the road. I don't have to worry about merging. Everyone else has to worry about me merging. Unless they're a semi. In that case... I'm getting out of the semi's way.
2) Not having to flip burgers and assemble sandwiches.
3) Taking 20 minutes to fuel half a tank. This makes me a badass.
4) Not having to pay for any of the fuel I put in that tank.
5) Getting together with other bus drivers to talk about bus driving. And it's not weird. It's actually beautiful.
6) Seeing how fast I can go around the curves without knocking anyone out of their seats.
7) Having to look both ways to make a right hand turn.
8) Making passengers smile with my random playlist on my iPod.
9) Picking up passengers.
10) Watching potential passengers running in my sideview mirrors when I'm about to pull away. If they look like they're making an effort, I'll wait for them.
11) Pulling down the top hatches at the end of the night.
12) Knowing all of the other bus drivers by name.
13) The hissing sound the brakes make when they're put into action.
14) The loud pop from the parking brake as it's being engaged.
15) The feeling of the entire bus thundering to life when starting. Sometimes I like to count down from 10 and say, "Houston, we have lift off!!!" It fits.
16) Honking the horn. It's even better in the bus than it is in a car. I love honking the horn.
17) Knowing that not many people can say they drove a bus in college.
18) The wave bus drivers give to each other on the road... even if we're complete strangers to each other. We really aren't... because we're bus drivers.
19) This is one thing I'm doing that my sister never did or considered doing. I am truly peeing on my own tree. Marking my territory.
20) Having everyone trust me with their cars because I can drive a bus.
21) Not needing to know which pump number I'm at at the gas station because I just say, "I'm in the bus" and the guy behind the counter knows what to do.
22) Washing busses. Really.
I could add more to the list. I might later.
Today, we had a bus rodeo. I would have never had a "McGlynns Rodeo."
I lost... miserably. But still. What other job would let you have a party in which you do cool tricks in your bus? Parallel parking. Stopping on a dime (who knew it was the tire that had to stop on the dime... rather than the entire vehicle? hahaha). Swerving around cones... backwards and forwards. It was magical. I did both much worse and much better than I did last year. Mostly worse. But I still feel secure in my bus driverality. That's not a word... but it is now.