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November 2010
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chris/CO149 [userpic]
more massed bus reports

yes, it's your loyal-if-dispondent correspondent. Maybe someone can chart the times I slipped up on doing a bus report and compare it to my biorhythms or something, that would be great. Even my note taking is down a little.

I pick work on 1/14/03. sacrifice a small animal for me, and hope my future work doesn't suck.

Where was I...?

Dec 31
3/1a coach 4159

I'm heading up the hill on James, and a guy gets on at the jail. He says "This is the bus to Federal Way, right?" I think he's joking, and I'm about to pull out and he's giving me a funny look. So I ask him if he's serious. He is, so I send him down to the tunnel. (It's a standing joke among operators to ask if the bus is going somewhere improbable, just to be "funny" and annoying. Northgate is a popular destination for drivers who are heading back to the base. So, when this guy gets on a #3 at a stop that is only served by #3 and #4 and wants to go to Federal Way, either he's really out of it, or he's making a joke. Get it now? Oh, never mind...)

Spotted a green VW Bug, license plate APHID.

The "no smoking" lady got on my bus. She wears a 4-inch square iconic no smoking sign stuck to her dress like a slogan button:

I don't disagree with her message, but I think her delivery would be enhanced if she took a bath

I was expecting that most people would go home early today and that downtown would be deserted like it was on Xmas eve. This was wishful thinking on my part and this time the wish didn't come true. I had to keep myself from running early most of the day, but when I got down to 3rd avenue, all was chaos. oh, well...

3/5 (sunday schedule) coach 4145

Had fewer homeless people going through the free ride area this trip. That's the good news. The bad news is that all the Queen Anne coffee shops have conspired to stay closed until 8 am. (Hey, if I can get up, you can get up.)

At 3/Union, while I'm laying over, a gentleman walks up to the door of hte bus and tells me that homelessness will be stopped and everyone will get a free place to live. And that land ownership is illegal, with the implication that communalizing property will solve homelessness. Well, maybe it will. Shrug. He's going to take care of Seattle first and make it a model. He tells me he's working out of a shelter on 3 Ave and tells me the address which I won't repeat here.

A young man gets on at MLK/Massachusetts. He has a "NO IRAQ WAR" sign. He's also eating cold cereal out of a bowl. It's a real crockery bowl, too, not tupperware or anything that might be costrued as portable. His spoon clinks against the bowl for the next 5 minutes or so until he's done.

Personally, I think if you're going to be a protestor, your general appearance and demeanor should be the best you can make them. Eating on the bus isn't going to impress me and I'll be resistant to your message. Even if I agree with it.

Unfortuantely, eating on the bus seems to be considered rude at the very worst. I haven't seen anything like a "no food or drink" sign in years now. That's a fine example of a social 'downward slope' for you. First it's covered paper coffee cups; now it's open containers of rice krispies. I wouldn't be surprised if the coordinator called me up and told me to wait for the caterers to board at 3/Union someday.

2:30 pm, Madrona Deli. I go to the bathroom, come out to see counterguy in a dispute with a customer. Customer bought a small package of Advil, left the store, opened it and returned it for replacement as it was empty. I guess it could happen. He was very insistant and maintained his story. I watch this openly. Counterguy eventually replaces the package and the customer leaves and drives off in a blue pickup. License and description are noted in my little notebook, pages 53-54.

2/5vt coach 4141

There's a very loud street preacher that works 3 Ave. You've probably seen him. Somali, Eritrean or Ethiopian black male, 5' 4", 140 lbs, full and long curly beard, wearing a billed cap and leather duster, carrying a Bible and some leaflets in his hands, and more are in a satchel on his shoulder. He usually struts up and down the block yelling something about Jesus in the ancient brimstone-and-fire style. Today, though, he was getting into it with a lady at the bus stop. He was calling her the Devil and she was defending herself verbally with verve if not with a very advanced vocabulary. She gets on my bus. I call into the coordinator. Yes, he has a First Amendment right to walk up and down the street screaming. No, he does not have the right to get into a Metro costomer's face while she's waiting for the bus in the bus zone.

2/1vt coach 4138 (I think)

Usually, this part of the day is a drag, but today it was pretty quiet.

Jan 5: I took a day off to have a quiet day with my sweety.

3/5 coach 4172

Heavy heavy fog this morning, I have to drive at about 20 mph to keep my stopping distance within my seeing distance.

There's an auto stage loading a vehicle on Judkins St just before 26 Ave. Judkins is very narrow, there is parking on only one side, and it's a stupid street to run a bus on. Usually, with a little care, an oncoming car can squeeze through. There's no way I'm going to get past this truck, though. I wait, and the other guy tries to hurry it up. Eats up 12 of the 25 minutes I have coming at the end of the trip. Heavy traffic today puts me down by 10 minutes back up on QA Hill. I eat lunch standing up.

My first non-rush-hour trip down QA Hill, I have a standing load and one wheelchair. My follower catches me up at 3/James. Sigh.

At 21/James, there is a class of supervisors-in-training practicing the ancient art of trolley jumping. Mathemaqtically speaking, they are learning how to violate the geometry of a directed graph. It is sometimes necessary to get a trolley past an insurmountable obstruction to have the driver slam on the power pedal while some poor sucker runs along behind and pulls the poles off the wire while the trolley goes around. I hang out with them for 10 minutes or so, and make wisecracks with the instructor.

3/12vt coach 4134

Not particularly busy; I was expecting to be driving the Vienna Sausage Special again, but the pace was above average, and there were a lot of people who took a long time getting fares out and so forth. Even food bank traffic was light. *shrug*

2/8vt coach 4113

I was pretty hopping in the afternoon, though. Lots of people, and that heavy car traffic again. My last trip there was a woman with a chair and a bunch of stuff. Took her two trips to get it on the bus. I was actually on time, so I let her do that, but told her to try to keep the stuff under one trip in the future.


what do you mean by pick work...?

lol, i like the no-smoking lady, she sounds classy. =)


P.S. happy new year! =)

Once every four months the management hangs all the runs up on the wall. First you pick what days off you want, then you pick your saturday and sunday runs, since those are from a completely different set of work, then you pick however many runs for the weekdays you work.

Your next question should be "Why, then, do you pick work that sucks, Chris?"

Well, you know that oldest of laments: "All the good ones are taken." We pick in seniority order, and at this time I am number 1560 out of 1652 operators...

so I don't know how much you know about what's been going on w/ me, but I quit my job cuz it was causing way too much stress and today I just had a job interview with [don't hate me!] Starbucks. There are NO small coffee houses in the city that are hiring at all. Thankfully they didn't ask me why I like Starbucks coffee in the interview, because I'd have to be honest and ask "why does anybody like Starbucks? honestly, it's burnt, incredibly overpriced, and tastes like microwaved-to-a-charcoal cardboard soup." The benefits package is decent if you work over 20 hrs a week for a few months, and the hours are way flexible (anything from 5am to 2am). I felt like such a traitor applying there.

my quitting of Shakespeare's was completely a la Office Space They offered me a manager position at another one of our stores, I haven't spoken to them about a raise, I have an interview on Monday. I love indy bookstores, but I don't want to die working for peanuts for one. Soooo much stress and sooooo little money. If Starbucks liked what I had to say on my application and in my interview and my hours meet their needs, they will call me on Monday, otherwise, Monday evening I introduce myself to the other Shakespeare store. eek!

Your seniority order schedule picking sounds like my registration. Please explain to me why I am a Senior in college and I'm the last time of the 2nd priority. who gets first? =P

Does work really suck? It sounds like it would be fun. I love crazy people. =P


oh, you know how it is...1st priority goes to kids of UN delegates so as to keep 'em off the street. It's for their own safety, really.

The work doesn't suck, it's just that the current schedule doesn't leave me as much time for myself as I'd like. Each day starts at a different time, ends at a different time, and two days I have split shifts. Two days a week I drive by a popular food bank and four days a week I drive by a popular hospital. Drivers senior to me ask why I pick that stuff. I just give them THE_LOOK and ask why they didn't.

I also get added ennui the last month of the service period. It's totally time to do something else, even if it's driving the bus behind mine.

I had heard you quit Shakespeare's, and I don't blame you for going to work at Starbux. They generally treat their people ok, and when you get rich and open a *real* coffee shop you'll have the experience.

There's a really good coffee shop in Port Townsend; I intend to sneak off thereto frequently :-)

ahhh, children of UN delegates! why didn't I think of that? of course!

Try working at the only store open on Saturday evenings parked on a street between a half-way house and a methadone clinic. As for the popular hospitals and foodbanks, good for you! you seem to have the patience of a saint according to your bus reports. =) jaded jerky senior drivers are not the people to have those routes.

As for Starbucks, I have a friend with a fairly large trustfund left to her upon graduation (she still has another 3 semesters), but she really really wants to open up a little coffee house for goth and industrial kids here in the city, open late nights, of course. I think it's a pretty funny idea, lotsa goth kids downing chai, lots of industrial kids downing redbull espressos. Maybe a weekly poetry reading where kids can read about stomping the crap out of bullies in middle school or the greatest gift an eternal love could ever give, a dead blackened rose.

I actually really like the idea of a laundromat/coffee house. That way you can bring your laundry, chill out and meet people without being considered "creepy" [as one would be considered at a plain old laundromat]. shhh, don't spread the idea around. I have to get rich first and this darned recession has to end.

My favorite coffeeshop turned into a Starbucks years ago. This upset me to no end. R.I.P. Pasquale's. Did I mention that that starbucks marked #3 in a 2 block diameter? You can actually see one Starbucks by standing in front of another.

Good luck w/ everything work-related! Tell Sara I say hi! =)


redbull espresso? the mind boggles.

There's a combination laundromat/restaurant in Seattle called the "Sit-n-spin". It's a soup/sandwich/pizzaslice/beer kind of place. There's a room in the back for live performance. It's very popular, been around for about 5 years now.

I careful inspection of LJ will show you my schedule starting next month. Not as exciting, although there is a very popular methadone clinic on the #2 line.

SCENE: Metro Transit Route #2, trolley bus, typical, about 20 people on board slightly weighted toward the rear of the coach. LITTLE OLD LADY ONE (LOL1) and LITTLE OLD LADY TWO (LOL2) are sitting on the sideways bench seat across from the driver, front.

DRIVER: "Summit Avenue, Swedish Hospital"

[bell rings. About a dozen people work their way from the rear of the bus to show passes and transfers on the way out. They are mildly boisterous, and are wearing well-worn clothing and speaking with cigarette voices. They file off.]

LOL1: "Where are THEY going?"

LOL2: "Oh, there's a methane lab around the corner."

Anyway, I'm off the 3/4 for a while, although I think there's a food bank along the route 36 somewhere. I don't mind doing that work, but I think I scheduled a little too much of it last pick and we're seeing the cumulative fatigue. The new schedule looks a little easier; hopefully I'll recharge.

There's about two dozen miniature Charbucks downtown, almost on top of each other, that are only open hours suitable for office workers. Often these are in the lobbies of office buildings.

There are about 125 entries in the Seattle phone book. Might be more, but there seems to be more than one listing for some of the stores and it's hard to tell. There are three listings that just say "Starbucks Coffee" and have no address at all.
Go figure.

Anyway, let me know how that goes. (I'll just tell Sara that you applied to a coffee shop :-)