Posts Tagged ‘bus driver’

 

nova-bus

City bus drivers must have the worst jobs in the state.

I used to use them all of the time. But now, they’ve changed their rules and its no longer free for me to ride any more. So in general, I quit riding the city buses to get where I need to go.

This morning was a different situation. I figured that I would make an attempt to ride a bus to get to the grocery store before the  heat of the day kicked in.

A bus that actually drives up in front of the property and I can get on and get dropped off with relative ease.

So when I got on this morning, I was not prepared for the three hour detour from hell that commenced.

From where I got on the bus to the store should have taken about 25 minutes. It took almost an hour. The bus driver was brand spanking new, and always referring to a clip board rather than watching the traffic on the road. He was worse than a 15 year old texting and driving at the same time.

More than once the driver would slam the brakes on. More than once would I go flying out of my wheelchair and land on the floor of the bus HARD. The bus has no lap belts, and the wheelchair wasn’t built with a seat belt. The bus driver never looked back when I would go flying and land hard. Even though the other passengers were more than willing to be vocal about how many times the driver was making mistakes and going the wrong way.

They were insisting that he listen to them in directions from point A to B, but he would disregard them. And that only pissed them off even more.

One of the passengers was a two war veteran.  Yep, fought in two different American wars. And he was the most vocal of all of them on the bus to let this bus driver know that he was a severe dickhead, as he kept calling him.

When at last we finally reached the store, the bus SHOULD have stayed for about 20 minutes before moving on since it was at the end of the run. But he had gotten so far behind that he dropped off the passengers on the bus, picked up the passengers waiting for him, and took off.

I was simply done with my shopping excursion in under 15 minutes. I SHOULD have been able to get back on the bus and go back home. But no.

I missed the cycle too because of the inexperienced driver.

The bus swings by every 60 minutes. We were there in 50 minutes. It took 15 minutes to shop. So do the math and realize that I sat there in the early afternoon heat with my food melting in the sun waiting for another bus to come pick me up. And that took almost another hour.

From the time that I left the apartment complex to the time I got off the bus and was back home? Three full hours.

I was NOT happy.

Yet  still, there was a part of me that felt really bad for the driver. He didn’t know what he was doing. And yes he was making mistakes. But for crying out loud he was new to the route.

How much of a break do you give a person when they are new? Apparently around here, society does not give any breaks to anyone.  Its called being selfish.

As much as I wanted to throttle the bus driver for slamming on those brakes every time he messed up and throwing me across the bus, I said nothing to him because I knew that he had never driven that route before.

He’s probably lucky I didn’t get severely hurt or injured. That would be a mess and a half.

 

“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.”~ Unknown

As I left for Houston over the past several days, I was able to stay with friends in a place called Friendswood.

My gracious hosts, Keith & Sharon, I had known since I was a small child. The last time I had seen them, I was only nine years of age.

But last November when I went to play sledge hockey in the Houston area, they did come up to see me play. It was so long ago that it was truly something of a wonder in my mind that I would actually ever see them again.

And so when they found out that I was wanting to come back in January for the next SIX MINUTE CENTURY show, they had agreed to play host.

So much time had gone by that the last time that I saw them, I only recall them having one child. Now they have five. The youngest being a teenager. Now that’s a long time and I just aged myself.

It was a great time, needless to say. I think that I met all of their children at least once. I actually had an opportunity to arrive on the bus a few hours earlier than previously scheduled but poor Sharon, she was not ready for that kind of thing. I believed that she was kind of in a panic to make sure that the house was cleaned and ready and all of that.

I told her that she was making a mountain out of a mole hill. I even bet her $10 that things would ultimately be okay and that I would have them all laughing their butts off. It didn’t take but midnight that very first day that they were all cracking up. She lost the bet.

It kinda got a little ugly as there were two buses going in the same direction and they just couldn’t figure out which bus I was going to get on, even though my ticket said which one I needed to board.

Once that was decided, then they couldn’t get the doors open to operate the wheelchair lift on the bus. They tried and tried and tried, and even called a few people to figure out what in the world was going on. I figured that it was going to make us late. Yet I found it funny. Grown adults trying to beat up a bus in frustration because they could not get a door open.

Once I got to Friendswood, we all were just fine. Quite busy doing things and different activities to be honest. That following day I spent with Keith taking in the sights. Luckily for me, he works with NASA at the Johnson Space Center. I got to see things that people normally wouldn’t get to see. But I will talk about that more in a future post.

$10 mints left on my pillow

And I did make Sharon pay that bet though. What was so funny was that she was preparing the bed that I was going to sleep on while I was there, and she left the $10 on the pillow, like a hotel chain would leave a mint. HILARIOUS!

I KNEW that I should’ve made it $100. But I think that Keith would have had some objection to that.

So the whole thing about the “mints on the pillow” was a joke throughout my entire visit.

I would find that the bedroom that I was sleeping in, had a television which was hooked up to the cable in the house. Television in HD, baby!! I don’t have that in my home. Neither do I have cable, so I did what I could to take advantage of it all, without trying to seem like I was being anti-social. I watched as much cable as I could and enjoyed cable channels that I didn’t even know existed. I did worry about whether or not they felt that I was being anti-social though.

Keith, Sharon, and myself traded a lot of stories about our past when it was connected. We filled in a few gaps in all of those years with highlights of our lives. And even some of the lower points that we all went through.

Memories galore.

I cannot complain though. They took me into their home willingly and were very welcoming. How can anyone go wrong with that?!? It was awesome to be with them and play sort of “catch up”, as it were.

I am very grateful for their hospitality, even if they were concerned about my comfort. But hell, I was just fine.

I was so busy doing things with the family, or even if it was just Keith and I. It was a GREAT time.

But as always, it had to come to an end. They brought me back to the bus station and I didn’t want to drag out any scene of uncomfortable farewells. I knew that I had cried my eyes out last August while riding on the bus because I just didn’t want to leave. I didn’t want to leave this time either. But I wanted to fight the impending tears, avoid the scene.

So as I checked in to the bus terminal, some random man was apprehended and brought into a side office for questioning. I have no idea what the problem was, and evidently from his screaming pleas- he didn’t know either.

I moved on, trying to mind my own business.

Then I got to the security checkpoint. There was this big burly, muscled man with tattoos on both arms.

He asked if I was checking any baggage and I told him that I was not. Then he asked to see my luggage.

Now what I am going to mention here is that I had a bag on the back of my wheelchair. He FAILED to notice it and never checked it.

Anyways, as he was going through my luggage he asked the standard questions:

Do you have anything in there that is going to stick or poke me?

Clearly, no.

And then he asked something that nobody could’ve predicted:

You don’t have any weapons, guns, knives, explosives, inflatable bitches, grenades, or bombs?

What the …???

I told him, “No sir!”. And then he gave me back my luggage and wished me a bon voyage.

When I got away from him far enough– I lost it. I just couldn’t hold it in any longer than I did. I will never forget that for as long as I live.

And when I finally was through the checkpoint, I stepped outside and I noticed that the very same man that was apprehended earlier was back out on the streets. Within seconds, he was screaming and cussing at someone else and just making a total dork of himself. Hmm, and he wonders why they pulled him in??

I was boarded fairly early. And we also arrived about 15-20 minutes ahead of schedule.

But one thing always seems to happen to me whenever I take these trips to Houston. Its that my CD player always seem to have dead batteries before I even leave the official city limits of Houston. It is ridiculous. I think that I am going to have to buy a bunch of batteries and just use them specifically for trips to Houston.

I can’t wait to go back again. And depending on where I am, I might connect with Keith & Sharon again. If I can do it, then I will. They have always been awesome people. They still are. And I thank them profusely for having me stay with them.