SAFETY FIRST!

Okay folks, I have completely resigned myself to the fact that I will NEVER get to my super-fun blog regarding Reese’s and Sam’s Club, as something always comes up.  So, I am going to summarize my thoughts on the matter and check it off my list as completed.

Sam’s Club and Hershey (maker of the most AWESOME Reese’s)! Will you PLEASE offer A) Snack-size Reese’s cups in bulk at Sam’s Club year-round and/or B) Every Holiday snack-size Reese’s (pumpkins, trees, hearts) in bulk at Sam’s Club around the specific Holidays, as opposed to ONLY Reese’s Eggs around Easter?  This would save me a TON of money, as I give Reese’s away every day as my own charitable contribution.  Thank you for your consideration in this matter.  I hope you work out a deal, and soon!

On to other matters! Let me get my first shout-out done and then I will do my second, which segues into today’s topic!  First and foremost, I would like to give a shout-out to Day who brought me an ENTIRE bag of Reese’s Eggs to me yesterday on my route!  THANK YOU!  I had a bad day of Reese’s passing-out yesterday because I was tired, so Day’s bag he gave me, coupled with my leftovers from yesterday , made for a great pool of Reese’s Eggs for an experiment I ran today!

I will quickly summarize this (yeah, right!).  People wearing sock hats with balls on top are almost always, without fail, completely NICE and FUN!  Downtown today, I decided I would give Reese’s Eggs to those wearing such hats.  First candidate walks up and is an IVY Tech student.  Completely nice and friendly and LOVES Reese’s. No more hats with balls on top enter the picture. It just so happens that this is my run to pick up High-School students on their way to class.  My plan alters.  I now decide that I will give a Reese’s Egg to the first student that returns my most cordial “Hello”!  I went thru 3 stops and roughly 25 students without getting a “hello” or “hi” returned.  But I had my eye on one particular student at the third stop that had a ball on top of his hat.  His time came to swipe his pass and guess what happened?  Yep!  He was the FIRST High School student to return a cordial “Hello” to me.  Guess what happened then?  Yep!  I said enthusiastically, “Congratulations! You WON a FREE Reese’s Egg for actually saying “Hello” back to your Bus Driver!  Get it? See how it works?”  He smiled, took his prize, and stated that he completely “got it”!  Next male student (who saw the entire thing) enters, I say, “Hello!” and he responds, “Hello!” and gets a Reese’s Egg!  This process continued for the last 7 or 8 students and they ALL got Reese’s Eggs.  My point is: Sometimes you have to lead by example.

Okay second (and third) shout-out and main topic: SAFETY FIRST!

I would now like to give a HUGE shout-out to Bren for buying me a triple-shot vanilla latte last Tuesday morning from Lavazza (in the Marriott building), as it saved my life and possibly others!  My third shout-out goes to ‘Y for his hard work in correcting the problem (although not in effect yet, but should be) that cost Bren $4.76 for her life-saving gesture. Shall I explain? Oh yes, I shall!

Let me first explain again how my work schedule works, so that you get the complete picture.  Each Purdue semester, we all get to choose our routes based on seniority.  It is nice because we can switch around and not get bored, stay where we are if we want, or arrange our schedules around our life as it changes.  This semester I chose what is termed a “numbered work block”.  What this means is that every week I have a set of predetermined selections to choose from for the following week. These selections are based on co-workers being on vacation, having surgery, personal days, etc. Basically, numbered work blocks cover vacations and sick/personal time, so the routes vary weekly.

The previous week, my choices were such that not very many people were scheduled off last week, so that translates into me choosing a week of “opens” with Saturday and Sunday off.  An “open” is where I do not know what I am doing each day until the day before.  My schedule for last Monday was 4:30 P.M. -12:30 A.M. and I rarely work a night shift. (like 3 times in the past year)

So here is what happened:  I woke up at 6 or 7 a.m. Monday morning and never went back to sleep before going to work at 4:30 p.m.  I tried, but it didn’t happen. (probably because I am used to working day shift)  So around 7 or 8 p.m. I start getting tired, but I still have 4 hours left of my shift.  I stop and get coffee to help keep me awake thru my shift. That works like a charm and then I get home and can’t go to sleep.  What’s the problem? The problem is, I am supposed to work again in 8 hours and cannot sleep.

Fast-forward to 9:00 a.m. and I have to work in an hour.  I am still fairly wide-awake and feel like I can get thru my shift. (I was supposed to be what is called “Report” and that means you do not drive a bus unless necessary. Like someone calls in or a bus breaks down.)  What happened was, I got to work and after not actually “doing” anything for 20 or so minutes, I asked if I could use a personal day and go home and go to bed, since I was exhausted from lack of sleep and was getting paid to essentially do nothing anyway.  You won’t believe how the rest of this went. . .

First of all, I only had ONE hour of scheduled activity that would need to be covered. The “Company” had TWO people getting paid to do essentially nothing for that same hour. (They are just paid to cover emergencies like I was getting paid to do nothing for 7 of 8 hours, and also in the same position as me)  The decision made was: that not only would I be denied the day off (even though I agreed to give back time already served at no cost), but that they should also put me in a bus to drive (to save on overtime hours) on campus with 50,000 people walking around when I was exhausted and hadn’t slept in 30 hours!

Luckily, I won a bet with a supervisor and got to go to campus early and my dear friend Bren paid for my triple-shot vanilla latte that kept me fairly awake for the first few hours so I didn’t kill anyone while driving the bus around 50,000 pedestrians.  Unfortunately, the latte and TWO subsequent refills at Lawson could not overcome my lack of sleep.  I was exhausted.

What happened next was this: I was driving a BUS and getting confused about what route I was actually doing. This happened TWICE within 3 minutes. The first time was at Third and Jischke and I was confused about whether or not I was doing AvTech or Inner Loop. Second time was on Airport Road when I couldn’t remember if I was doing AvTech or Gold Loop.  WHY? Because I was LOOPY from no sleep and exhaustion, which I had explained prior to ever being sent to drive a bus!  Hence the freaking request to use a personal day AND give back time served to the company!  My decision after the second incident was to call for a relief driver, rather than kill someone accidentally.

What does “calling for a relief driver” mean?  It means that I took a write-up (not really, because the dead-line has passed, but in theory, I took a write-up to remove MYSELF from the road because I did not want killing someone on MY conscience for the rest of my life.)  What also happened: They still covered my one hour, the same person got the overtime previously planned, I still have a personal day to use, I got paid for 5 hours and lost three hours of pay (even though I have two personal days, 64 hours of sick-pay, and 80 hours of vacation time in the “bank”) and also got a write-up for intentionally removing MYSELF from the road after having no sleep.

I have ZERO intentions of trying to get anyone in trouble about this. I LOVE everyone I work with AND my job.  There HAS to be a better solution to this and the discussion needs to be raised.  No Federal or State (or any other jurisdictional laws that I do not know about yet) were broken here.  My point is: You can regulate how many hours are between shifts, but you CANNOT regulate a person’s ability sleep within those hours.  When I EXPLICITLY state that I am exhausted and offer money back, then send me HOME!  I am not joking.

My Point: This needs to be addressed.

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