Hi folks! I hope you are all enjoying this fine fall season so far! Yes, it has been raining a lot, but have you looked around? All of the trees are starting to turn and it is beautiful! I have been looking as much as possible while trying to maintain my bus schedule and not miss people! ☺
There is a particular topic I have been wanting to write about for the past week or so, but another one came up today that bothers me even more. So what I am going to try to do is “interline” (bus talk that means “connect”) the two topics and hopefully, you will see the correlation!
Since I don’t really know where to begin, I will start with a quote that ‘Z’s daughter brought home last year from her band teacher: “Early” is on time, “On time” is late, and “Late” is unacceptable. ‘Z and I were both floored with the quote from his genius daughter and it stuck with me. . .
Forewarning: This will discuss my work and specifics of my work day and WHY certain things do not work. My comments will be applicable to all fields of work, but if you don’t want to read about a bus driver’s day and how it was inefficient, then stop now and google on.
Okay. I am a bus driver and I am also a “Big-Picture” person in my thoughts. The purpose of a bus company, and any transportation company, is to get folks from one destination to another in the most safe, timely, and cost-efficient way for everyone. SUPER bonuses include: friendliness, helpfulness, and a general NICE attitude that leaves a customer unafraid to ask another question and want to ride again.
Now let me explain something else. There is one particular route that my company is looking to change because it seems to always run late. The route in question is FINE the way it is and is also the SAFEST option for riders. The real problem with the route is that the previous route it “interlines” with is always late (because it is completely busy and that is the one they should change), so then the route they want to change is behind schedule before ever getting started, which is WHY it is late. Oh, and then there’s this other thing called a “garage detour”. . .
Definition of a “Garage Detour”: n: a major waste of time for everyone involved, except for one person that may actually not have a ride and need the bus. V: we have to waste 3-5 extra minutes actually driving there to pick up co-workers that could take a staff-vehicle and save us ALL a lot of time. Adj: unnecesary in most instances. Adv: Utterly annoying for no useful purpose.
What a “garage detour” really means is that we pick up co-workers on our bus route and detour off our normal route and transport them to their buses downtown and then the opposite-direction bus driver takes co-workers back to their cars. The problem is, this takes TIME and makes us late! The problem is NOT the route, it is both the route before and THEN the added garage detours.
This is how it actually plays out, as I did this particular route today: I busted butt to catch up and get downtown on time for my transfers, only to find out that I had to wait for two drivers going back to the garage. The problem was, one of the drivers was late and then I STILL had to do an extra detour to drop them off before I could continue my normal route. Bottom line: Caught up downtown, then 12 minutes behind after garage detour. SUPER bottom line: I had 2 hours of rain-soaked people that stood an extra 5-15 minutes in the rain because I had to wait AND transport fellow drivers to the garage when we have perfectly functional staff vans for that purpose. Wet passengers waiting for a late bus are not happy and make added phone calls to customer service and stressed-out bus drivers (when the stress could be avoided) are even more harassed by passengers that have a VALID AVOIDABLE point. You see, we have actual vans that drivers utilize to get downtown and other route-relieving places on campus. It makes no sense to me WHY we make both passengers and drivers late for routes when we have a system in place already to transport everyone more quickly and efficiently.
Although this is somewhat a personal rant (on behalf of some of my co-workers as well), I would just like to point out that companies should LISTEN to what the employees have to say.. We are actually doing the job. Listen to our suggestions.
Oh, I forgot! This is not a great segue between topics, but I would also like to add that the recent focus on hair and uniforms is not a valuable use of energy. Our passengers do not care how we are dressed or what our hair looks like. Are the complaint calls EVER regarding those issues? Doubt it. Our passengers want to be transported from one place to another and have NICE people doing it in a timely manner. (perhaps a poll could be taken regarding values of the passengers, if that would make anyone feel better) If anything, I would think that we would be advertising the fact that we promote diversity in the workplace. Let’s focus on getting folks to where they need to be on time and being NICE to them. It works better that way. . . 🙂
And although “late is unacceptable”, in this case, I would LOVE to have our concerns heard. Please listen to our suggestions. We want things to be better for all of us!
Gotta go! I am thinking PIZZA for dinner tonite! 🙂