Well, it’s that time of year again – the time when I find out what school I’ll be driving for. The last five years it’s pretty much been a no-brainer, as I’ve more or less loved the schools I was at, and the office was quite happy to have me stay put. And I just assumed that when the two schools amalgamated into one, I’d go right along with them and be part of the move.
The school board is constantly looking for ways to cut costs, so whenever they can, they tack an elementary school run on following a high school run. Meaning, you go out and deliver a bus load of groggy high school kids in the morning, then go collect a load of equally groggy elementary school ones. Never occurred to me they’d do this with the combined schools I was driving for! My route had always been a dedicated elementary one.
But yes, they have divided up my former elementary run, plus all the additional students who used to walk to St P, and have added them as second legs to the St John’s College runs. I’m not impressed, because all the St John’s drivers took back their routes, elementary included. We’ll see if they still want them after a few months when they realize they don’t finish till well after 9, and they’re all used to heading home, or off to charters, by 8:45….
Anyhow, after a bit of sadness that I won’t see ‘my’ bus kids anymore, I decided to make the best of it and look forward to the route I’ve been given. It’s actually a good route, nothing to complain about. I start at 7:48 by picking up one stop of 35 high school kids. I deliver them to Pauline Johnson, then go out and collect a bus load of Fairview (the other French Immersion school) kids. In the afternoon I take home my PJ kids, then my Fairview kids. It’s a longer route, well over an hour, which is fine with me. The other route I was offered was about 28 minutes long, and I told Lynda that wasn’t worth coming to work for! Other drivers consider that kind of route a “gravy run” – which I guess it is, since that driver is paid the same amount I am – but I can’t be bothered. If I’m going to get up at the ass-crack of dawn; drag myself out to the yard in the snow, sleet, rain, fog, scorching sun or pitch black; do my circle check in the snow, sleet, rain, fog, scorching sun or pitch black with a flashlight held between my teeth; and either roast myself slowly in a scorching hot tin can, or shiver miserably till it warms up, depending on the season – then I’d better make it worth my while and have a longer run.
This new route is also a city route, not rural, which is preferable for me. The fog is thicker out of town….and the streets are plowed and salted faster in the city….I have my priorities straight!
So yeah, I’m looking forward to the change. What I’m not looking forward to is learning 90 new names and faces….Wish me luck!