Why the two versions

In my life I long ago realized that I’m different.

One way that this shows up in my day to day life is that I was born with a natural disposition to get along with just about anyone.

Today at work I’d been having a bad day. The first bus assigned to me had a problem I’d never encountered before, and when I tried to get a hold of transit communications, there was a delay. It turned out there were trolley wires down in Vancouver, and the T-comm ops were busy with numerous related problems.

I was suppose to be out of the yard by 5:19 am, but I was still waiting “on hold” until 5:30! Then I had to wait for the mechanic to come out from the maintenance area to my bus. Ordinarily I can drive over to them, but my problem was that although I’d released my parking brake, and was in gear, my bus was frozen and would not move! It bothered me because early morning buses aren’t as frequent, and that makes each coach all the more vital. People are more or less stranded out there wondering what the ____ is going on. I finally got a new bus assigned to me after the mechanic determined it wouldn’t be a quick fix. He told me where to find my replacement coach.

When I got to it, and looked at the vehicle card, I saw that it had not been pre-tripped, a 20 minute procedure that is usually done ahead of time by over night maintenance staff. Just as I was wondering about this, the yard guy turns up in his van beside me and tells me they’d been swamped with work overnight. After I did my pretrip, there was a minor problem, and the bus would need to be replaced, but it wasn’t a safety issue so off I went to cut into service, putting in a request to talk to T-comm about when and where that might be.

By the time I was in service I had a 7300 series coach. These are amoung the oldest of our fleet, and unlike most of the other buses I drive, it doesn’t automatically change the destination signs for me.

That’s my set up story for what happened next. I got 3/4’s of the way through my route, and two people got on, the first one of them simply looked confused as she strolled onto the bus, which made me glance up at my interior sign display to see that ah, yes, it had SORRY, NOT IN SERVICE flashing… the second guy paused and asked why my sign said SORRY, NOT IN SERVICE. I looked at my TMAC, I was 4 minutes late.

“do you want the short version or the long version?” I asked

“is it a computer problem?” he continued

“Oh, so you want the long version then…?” I said blandly

“No, no, it’s ok” he said, looking embarrassed and possibly getting the drift that his question wasn’t helping things.

“The short answer is that I made a mistake,” I added while watching him recede into the shadows. “The long answer,” I continued into the air loud enough for anyone still listening, “is that most of the time my bus changes the sign for me, but today I got one that doesn’t…”

So, that’s when I got this epiphany of interactive blogging.