Friday, October 2, 2015

Learning Each Day

I wish I could take you all on a ride in one of the buses I drive on a day like yesterday. I'm frankly amazed at the skills that have been building in my eyes and hands and feet and brain over the past 18 weeks. I could not count the number of challenges I face on each trip that I drive. This not only builds "faith reflexes" (like I wrote about on Tuesday), but practical skills too.

Rush hour bus driving in the Twin Cities is so different than my previous work driving for the Dassel-Cokato school district. Each moment in the garage and each moment on the roads and streets presents things I need to see and hear, decisions I need to make, and actions I need to take. Though I drive trips on the same three routes each day** no two days are alike.

Yesterday, for example, I pulled out from the garage late both in the morning and in the afternoon. In the morning it was because the bus ahead of me didn't move until it was too late.*** Everything else went well. I was only 5 minutes late arriving downtown and a little over 10 late by the time I was back in the garage.

Then, in the afternoon, I met with my manager, headed out to the garage, got my bus ready to go but then heard a loud hissing noise coming from under the bus. I found a red hotline to dispatch phone and waited for a mechanic. He determined it was a "bad bus" and brought me to another. That meant I ended up pulling out late then too, and had to ask transit control to approve a change in my route so I could get back on track.

Imagine the left lane full of buses too -- and lots of lane changing.
That began an afternoon and evening of being late and dealing with tremendously heavy traffic downtown -- partly caused by a bus that had broken down on the Marquette Avenue transit corridor. If I were an experienced driver I'm sure I would have been a bit quicker, but I honestly did a pretty good job... with the exception of one error I needed to recover from. (I think I recovered quite well -- insert a visual of me patting myself on the back.) In any case I was a half hour late on both trips even though I had to skip my bathroom break. My customers were patient--praise God for that.

Anyway, like I said at the beginning, there are so many skills that are developing. All in all it's going very well. Every day I learn something new. I can only imagine how good I'll be at this after a few more months.

I had no idea of what I was getting into when I sensed a call to take this on, but I'm praising God for each new day.

What are you learning through the challenges God is putting in front of you? What does he want to teach you? Are you ready to learn? Let me know what you need prayer for as we face each new day in our own lives.


*I operate a Metro Transit bus during rush hours Monday through Friday. I've been doing this since bus operator training on July 15, but the skills have been developing since training began June 8.

**Most bus operators drive trips on the same routes each day until they change. Four times a year we "pick" our bus driving duty--duties that last approximately three months. The current pick started August 22 and ends December 11.

***There was another complication yesterday morning but I don't remember now what it was. I had to call dispatch and tell them what was going on because I'm still a new driver and I need to make sure any challenges I have are documented. Probation lasts 6 months. For me that will be until January 15.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, such a super challenging sensory job. You have to keep looking and looking; listening and listening. Sounds like there isn't a lot of "down" time. It must take a bit to decompress in the evening. Way to go for accepting the challenge!