Sunday, August 3, 2014

First Challenges In The Job

I call them challenges rather than problems, even though challenges CAN turn into real problems. (and they nearly did today)

I had a run to Cold Lake,AB and back, and the bus was starting to run behind schedule due to a late passenger arrival and an irregular passenger drop-off along the route. It doesn’t really take much to delay a bus along its route.
Yet, I had made good of much of the delay when arriving in the City of Cold Lake.

Between my passengers back to Edmonton was a mentally and physically challenged lady. On top of that she was extremely obese. I helped her on board, as she had huge problems climbing the steps into the bus.
Leaving the oil city we had only 15 minutes delay and went over to Bonnyville, where we arrived 40 minutes later. Checking at the KFC for new passengers without finding any at or around the fast-food joint, we on, thus saving another 10 minutes of the drive back. (big mistake)
Next stop was St.Paul, but before we got there my phone went off. I hate to answer my phone while driving, but we were just standing at a left turn waiting for oncoming traffic to clear. One of the company’s managers informed me that a lady in Bonnyville had missed the bus by less than a minute. I suggested to put her on a cab and we would be waiting for her in St.Paul. Our company has made a promise that nobody will be left behind.

So there we sat waiting with the bus on high idle to keep the AC running. It was just another hot day in Alberta.

Now, while we were waiting, the obese lady had been shouting all the time that we should go and where we were going. It went on and on and I just had to tell her again and again
After 45 minutes a car pulled up and out came one of the most beautiful girls I have ever laid my eyes on. She had a HUGE and heavy 6ft long electronic piano board with her and a back-back which I could barely lift. It turned out she was from Argentina and on her way home. BANG!

Our next stop was Smoky Lake,AB. By now we had accumulated a tight layer of bugs on the windshield and I needed to get that off. While I was cleaning the windshield I saw the obese lady walking to the front of the bus. A moment later I heard a commotion and she had fallen backwards out of the passenger door and banged her head on the pavement. I was with her in an instant and so was another passenger. I was wildly afraid that she had cracked her head, but no blood was visible and she was still very much conscious. After a few moments we managed to get her back on her feet, which was no easy task, and she went back into the bus. After that she was quiet for the longest time and I had begun to be afraid something was wrong with her. In fact I was on the verge to stop the bus to look after her. But then she started shouting again and even came to the front again asking where we were going. Gosh was I relieved to hear her again.

But more challenges came our way today. We were back in the big city and rolling the last quarter mile to the Continental Inn when we were overtaken by a passenger car wildly using the horn with the driver shaking his fist at me.

What the heck did he want?

After stopping at the hotel entrance he was right there using his worst language telling that his car had almost been hit by a chunk of our exhaust pipe. And how could we……Oh dear….

I encouraged him to file a complaint but he just blew it off and left us in a fury. Most passengers were just watching in awe.

And then there was this female police officer at the curb asking me questions whether we had picked up passengers after leaving Bonnyville. Well, other than the Argentina girl there was none and that was obviously not the person of interest.

And if you now think this was really enough for one day, I’ll be with you on that one.

Thanks for ridin’ along.


  1. Crikey! Couldn't have been more "action packed" unless it had been a movie script. Good thing there were no cliffs around, or the fat lady might have taken a header right off the edge. Wow.

  2. Dealing with the public makes for an intriguing job. After 13 years of working for the bus company and 7 years driving taxi, I sure had a lifetime of memories and interesting experiences.
    Enjoy the unpredictable aspect of the job, makes life interesting.

  3. Holy cow, I guess having 14 guests at my house and a son's wedding this weekend seems like a picnic compared to this!


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