OK, it’s official now so I feel free to write about it. I’m now driving a school bus in the afternoon. It started in July when my cousin, who drives a bus route during the school year, mentioned in July that they were looking for a new driver. Now there was no way in holy hell I could get up at 5:00 am on a regular basis. My issues with sleep have been well documented here. The last thing a school district wants it a driver with severe sleep deprivation. But the opening was for an afternoon run and that is something I can do.
So since late July I’ve been getting ready for this and it’s taken a LOT of my time. The “knowledge test” required me to take and pass a commercial driving general knowledge test, a passenger bus test, and a school bus test. I do well on tests but on the passenger bus test they kept asking stuff I knew wasn’t in the book. Some nonsense about transporting migrant farm workers and the amount of hazardous materials allowed on a bus. Yep, because you know second graders like to bring corrosives in their little lunch kits. So I took that fucking thing three times. I had to get a complete physical exam of which I will be reimbursed only two-thirds of the cost and then, because the two idjits giving the eye exam had all the competence of Trump administration people, I had to take a complete eye exam I didn’t need. And then hours upon hours of training.
The driving test is two parts. You have to do a physical inspection of the bus, listing every damn important part of the interior, exterior, and engine compartment detailed what these things are examined for. It’s a lot of goddamn parts but I did get it. Then the driving test where you have to do things like a student stop, railroad crossing, a convoluted backing up test and all of it is done in a city. I drive a country route, nearly all gravel roads and every single stop is inside a farm/ranch yard.
So this has taken up almost a third of my summer, which is a little more time than I expected even for a job with this damn much responsibility. My frustration level has been through the goddamn stratosphere. But it’s done, the tests are all passed and I’ve driven kids home solo two nights in a row (school started on Tuesday). Last night we had a little kindergarten girl going into complete meltdown and tonight I was driving in the rain while my little kids wound themselves up. So I’m having a well deserved IPA right now and if I didn’t have a fucking headache I’d have another.
Oy vey, what have I done?