Never trust you gauges

The most important piece of advice given to me in my early days of driving was this: Don't trust the kids, don't trust the weatherman, and never trust your gauges. It may sound to you like a pessimistic way of going through life, but if you've never been a bus driver, then you don't know up from down and you need to keep your opinions to yourself.

Don't trust kids -- The other day one of my older riders "swore" he didn't have a can of Pepsi hidden in his jacket, even though I knew he was hiding one. And then he "swore" the Pepsi wasn't his, that he bought it for someone else. And then he "swore" he wasn't going to drink it because he was taking it home to a dying relative whose last wish was to have one more Pepsi even if the doctors forbade it. Guess what I found after my route? An empty Pepsi can. I guess tomorrow he'll "swear" it was there when he got on the bus and that it wasn't his.

Don't trust the weatherman -- The other day our local weatherman said there would be no chance of rain for a week. So, after my route, since I was in a hurry to get home and watch "Wheel of Fortune," I didn't close the windows on the bus -- and it rained cats and dogs. We needed the rain -- but not in my bus.

Never trust your gauges -- When my bus is running on fumes, my fuel gauge reads only half empty. If I were to trust my fuel gauge, I'd end up out of fuel in the cow pasture with a bus load of little ones, surrounded by a herd of cows "taking care of business." And every one of those little ones would be covering their noses and begging to walk home -- even if their homes were just around the corner, which they never are. I ran out of fuel once that way, and I'll never let it happen again. When the odometer reads that I've gone 350 miles, I start thinking about adding fuel.

Yep, these are all life lessons that are not taught in any school. You have to learn them by experience, trial and error, getting up at 5 and grabbing the bus by the horns and teaching it who's boss!

What a life!


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