My mornings are busy. From the time I get up till I fly out the door to work, I’m going constantly. Between getting myself ready for work and making sure my kids are ready for school, it’s a constant blur of motion around here. All that screeched to a sudden halt this morning when the phone rang at 7AM. The phone rang? Yes, odd as it is, the phone rang at 7AM. It was Irene from work, asking what time I generally leave my parking spot to start my route. She sounded frazzled – frazzled at 7AM? I told her, and then she laid a bombshell on me – a number of buses where I park had been broken into overnight and mine was one of them. In her words, it was “undriveable”. Gulp.
I shot through the rest of my morning routine in record time and was out the door by 7:15. And what a mess I saw when I got there! There were three mechanics assessing damage and trying to fix what buses they could to get them on the road. One bus just needed a new radio, so they grabbed one from a more seriously damaged bus, installed it fast and sent him on his way.
Essentially what we had was likely a group of bored kids looking for trouble. They broke into one of the buses, smashed windows, set off the fire extinguisher, took the fire axe to the roof on the inside, ripped out the radio, tossed stuff around and then moved on to do pretty much the same to five other buses. There were smashed doors, shattered windows, empty fire extinguishers, damaged dashes and the list goes on. My bus must have been near the end of their rampage, or they got bored with fire foam, because my axe, fire extinguisher, and first aid kit were untouched. They stole my GPS, my clock and, of all things, my snow brush. Um…yeah, really bright thieves. My garbage can was upended and garbage was strewn everywhere, and the bin where I keep cleaning supplies and oil had been dumped. But the worst damage was to my dash and console. They had tried to remove my AM/FM and two way radios, and in doing so had literally torn the entire console out. The plastic covering had been ripped off, and the section housing the radios had been bent forward. This section also houses the gear shifter and the parking brake mechanism, which were also damaged. And in the end, they didn’t get either of the radios….
Needless to say, the office was scrambling trying to round up enough spare buses to get down here for all of us who were now busless. But they managed, and the damaged buses were taken off to the shop to do what can be done. I have no idea how mine will be repaired, guess we’ll have to wait and see. But it was a strange morning – they say when you have a break in, you feel violated. Now, I know it’s only a bus, but it’s my workplace. My cubicle, if you will. And it’s mine. My space. I have personal items on there. I quite like my bus. And I was devastated by the damage. Being in a spare bus is just not like being in your own. It’s like trying to work from someone else’s desk; it just doesn’t fit.
These kinds of busy mornings I can most definitely do without!