The “Dirty” Side of Bus Driving February 13, 2010Posted by abrammajor in Uncategorized.
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Last Saturday night was one that I won’t soon forget. I drive a half-shift on Saturdays that just runs from 8 pm to 12:30, basically just to keep the buses from getting clogged by all the students going downtown to party. I’ve been kind of apprehensive about the shift since it started, but until last week it’s just been a really boring shift. Nothing happens, I drive then go home. But last week must have been the perfect storm of conditions that give me problems.
First, it snowed that day. Well, as much as Clemson SC gets snow. It really just lightly coated the ground and started icing over the bridges. But I was kind of excited about the snow because I figured that most people would stay indoors that night.MISTAKE # 1. I had forgotten that snow turns college students back into kids. Snow + College Students + Alcohol = NOT GOOD. As I was driving towards Clemson on my first loop of the route a non-descriptive car passes me going the opposite way, which I don’t get a good look at because of the eggs thrown at maximum velocity into my windshield. The eggs then begin freezing on my windshield and the crappy windshield wipers in that particular bus just can’t quite keep up. I pull over and wipe as much of it off as I can, radio into headquarters and report the incident, and keep moving. Over the next 20 minutes or so at least two other buses get the same guerrilla-style treatment. I thought that the excitement was over for the night, as it still wasn’t particularly busy. MISTAKE #2.
Just as I started the last half-hour of my shift, my bus filled up with loud, and probably slightly intoxicated students. Several young women decided to go downtown for one girl’s 21 birthday. When this was discovered by the rest of the bus, hysteria followed. A chorus of happy birthday’s filled the bus, all culminating in the birthday girls getting a complimentary lap dance from a guy who looked more than happy to oblige her. While driving through downtown I thought that most of the people would be getting off at the stop in front of the bars, but I was wrong again. Apparently an off-campus frat-house was having a massive party and most of Clemson’s student population was invited. My bus filled up the closer I got to the frat-house and I actually had to stop letting people on the bus, I actually HAD to leave some of them on the side of the road because there was absolutely no more room on my bus. When I got to the party my bus completely emptied, students were stumbling off left and right, except for one Chinese guy who had a startled look on his face. We kind of laughed to each other, I took him home, and then my shift ended.
Definitely another night that I probably won’t ever forget.
A Good Surprise (sorry for the long post but it’s worth it) November 17, 2009Posted by abrammajor in Uncategorized.
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Lately the problem that I have been having regarding what to write about on the blog hasn’t been because of a lack of interesting things. Most of you have probably guessed right that my job is anything but dull in regards to the people who ride the catbus. These people are crazy! I have seen or heard about things that I never would have guessed. People playing music on the bus, doing flips on the handrails, and just all sorts of weirdness. Halloween was especially interesting as there were basically multiple parties every night of the week preceding the actual night of Halloween, which happened to be the day AFTER homecoming. TOTAL MADNESS.
Instead, I just have trouble narrowing down which things to actually tell you. For example, this didn’t happen to me but I heard it from the bus driver who did actually see it: A girl sneaked an entire pizza on one of the catbus’ by shoving down her shirt. As in she had a shirt-full of hot pizza next to her skin. WHY? is it really that important?
But last week something happened to me that I immediately knew I had to re-tell. I has driving the tiger route on Clemson’s campus at about 11:45 when I saw three people running across a parking lot to catch the bus. I stopped and waited as they ran to the bus and around to the door, breathlessly jumping up the last step. They were all laughing and joking about how they didn’t think I was going to stop, and I just assumed that they were coming back from a party. Which was reinforced when they started asking me where my bus was headed. I told them the route, thinking that they would eventually recognize a stop. But then they told me they didn’t really have anywhere in particular to go, and asked if I minded if they could just hang out for a little while.
Which I was totally OK with. People normally talk about the craziest things on the bus, and I have so much trouble not laughing when I hear some of the ridiculousness that comes out of Clemson student’s mouths. But these three people didn’t just move towards a seat and ignore me, and I knew that they were different. They stayed up at the front and kept asking me about my job,
how is it driving the bus? <Not bad at all>
Can I drive? <NO>
How long have you been doing this? <About 2 months>
It went on like this for probably 5 minutes, then they started asking about me. My life, my education, my home. All sorts of things. The guy in the groups was a musician and so when I told him I played mandolin he quickly asked for my number so we could play together sometime. Which I have heard before but never by someone who actually wanted to play with me. Me and Daniel talked for the rest of my route, occasionally the two Emily’s also joined in. They rode the entire route with me, about 45 minutes of driving time. We talked about all sorts of things, they were just enjoying the ride. I let them stay up at the front and they seemed to have a really good time.
After about 30 minutes they simply asked me: So do you go to any sort of church?
I had a sneaking suspicion that this is what they were after, but I was glad to be able to tell them that I was involved at a church, fairly deeply involved in the worship team and loving every minute of it. Daniel smiled and said, “Yea, that’s great. Here’s a compliment, I could tell that you were different when we got on the bus. You have a very calming and open way about you.” Man, I couldn’t believe it. What a great compliment. I drove them back towards where they had gotten, which was lucky because one of the Emilys’ got called about her car getting a ticket or towed or something, and so they had to get off.
But they left me with such a great feeling. Here, in the middle of the night on Clemson (one of the biggest party schools in the country, or so I have heard and the past few weeks driving third shift hasn’t discounted) there were three people witnessing. And not only were they witnessing, but they were doing it the absolute right way. Just showing Christ love in how they interact with others, sure they asked me about Church, but in a completely non-threatening way.
The rest of my night and week was uplifted so much by this simple act. I doubt I will ever forget these three brothers and sisters in Christ.
Adulthood October 12, 2009Posted by abrammajor in books, Driving a bus, life.
WOW! It’s been a long time since I have updated. But I am in a “new” place in my life. I got a job, albeit a job that I NEVER thought I would ever do, but it’s a job. For the few of you who might read this and not know. I now am a bus driver. (Que Caedmon’s Call song.) That’s right I drive a CAT bus in Clemson and seneca. I’ve been working about a month, and until now have not been on a regular schedule. Hence the reason I haven’t posted in over a month. But I really enjoy driving the bus. There’s something I’ve always liked about driving, not that it doesn’t occasionally get on my nerves but there’s something that I like about driving people around. In college, when I needed some “alone-lets-think-about-life” time I used to just take the old ‘volvo (which has been replaced) and just head out into the country. So this job definitely gives me a lot of time to think, which is good considering how I now have to plan the rest of my life.
One thing that I didn’t really think about, but Austin and Elise, mentioned to me. Was that driving on the bus will definitely give me lots of ammunition for this blog. You see, 3 days out of the week I drive the catbus in Seneca. The reason I drive the bus in Seneca is that I’m the new guy and none of the other drivers can stand to drive the Seneca route. Traffic is terrible for most of the day, well maybe not terrible but definitely not great. Anyway the route in and of itself is challenging in the sense of staying on time. If your not careful to really push yourself, safely of course, it is really easy to get behind and almost impossible to make up lost time in Seneca. The other reason that no-one wants to drive Seneca is because of the people of Seneca. Now some of them are great, but most of the people who ride in Seneca do it like its their job. As in, they just ride all day. Which for some isn’t a problem, they just ride around and enjoy themselves. But others seem to make it their goal to make it as obnoxious as possible, they ask for stops like 30 feet from the stop, they’re loud and act like they own the bus, complain about the A/C , and whatever else they want. There are some Seneca riders that I just want to throw off the bus (literally). But we’ll see if I can get used to it before I make to many judgments.
Well thats basically all I’ve been doing lately. That and reading. It is amazing how much reading I can get done when I don’t have to go to classes! Hopefully have another post up before you all quit looking at my blog.
The Summer is over. August 27, 2009Posted by abrammajor in Uncategorized.
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Well it’s been forever since I have posted anything for this blog. I actually have written some posts throughout the course of the summer but could never seem to finish any. I just felt weird about writing about nothing when at the beginning of the summer I was writing about Africa and how God was moving there. The second half of the summer has been slow, to say the least. I was frustrated to say the least at the job market when I got home. Not knowing what you want to do with your life and graduating during a recession is not a great mix. But I finally found a job, for those of you who don’t know, driving the cat bus. I have been doing some training these last two weeks, and tomorrow I am going in to drive the bus for the first time. Hopefully I can take my road test next week and then start driving the bus for real. So I am definitely excited about that! But now I have come to really appreciate the time that I have had to just relax, sort of. Since getting the job, things have been pretty uneventful. I think I have probably read at least 12 or 13 books in the last two months. It’s nice to be able to read the books that I actually want to read!
That’s pretty much all that going on right now. It’s been really nice now that all my friends from SWU are finally back on campus and I can hang out without having to worry about classes the next. College Life is so much more fun without any classes! Who would have thought? I just thought I would fill everyone in on what’s been going on lately.
Quick Update July 29, 2009Posted by abrammajor in books, life, nature, photo.
- Right now I am at the Western NY District Family Camp. I am helping out one of my friends run the teen track during the day. So basically I am getting paid to hang out, play video, games and eat snacks with about 30 teens for a week. Which is a pretty decent weeks work. It’s nice so far, we are having a good time here at Houghton college.
- Some of you may have heard but I thought that I would mention this here for anyone who didn’t. I got a message on Flikr that one of my pictures was being used by a guidebook/maps company from my trip to Yosemite, which is pretty cool I think. Here is a link, check it out. While your at it check out my flikr page if you want to see some highlights from my trip to Africa this summer.
- I recently found a couple websites that I really like that are related to books and literature. The first one is called Bookmooch.com, where you can trade books that you don’t want anymore for books that you would like. All you have to pay is shipping and handling for the books you want to get rid of. It’s pretty self explanatory. The other one is called daily-lit.com. They have a bunch of books that you can read online for free. I think that they mostly have classic literature for free because of copyright and stuff, but I heard that you can rent books to read online, but honeslty I haven’t really looked. If you want to catch up on some classical reading this is a pretty good place to do it.