Pros: good, safe driving habits, cheaper insurance, discount on car parts.
Cons: long hours, cold mornings, frustration with occasional mechanical failure, especially on cold mornings (bus won't start), traffic risks in poor road conditions.
A typical workday begins at 6:45, the bus is thoroughly checked to be roadworthy, dispatcher is called, and leave the first stop is at 7:15 with happy children looking forward to another day of Junior high. The second stop is for timid Kindergarten and public school children. These are brought to sister schools in Acadia. Then I drive all the way to Walden and Bridlewood to pick up Junior High kids for another school. I have several hours to do things at home, then check in again at 14:00 hours, taking all the children from three schools back home.
I have learned to organize my time so that I am consistently at each stop well in advance; also to utilize the off-hours in between morning and afternoon runs. I have learned to interact with a host of different personalities, many of them new to our country. I also learned the extreme importance of safe equipment.
It is always important to realize that anyone in management is also a person, and that a kind and gentle spirit goes a long way.
Interaction with co-workers has been very interesting over the years. Many of them looked forward to the small talk when waiting at the school, fun interaction with their toddlers, they take with them. I strongly believe that encouragement and genuine interest is very important.
The hardest part of this job has been misunderstanding of poorly informed parents that have jumped to conclusions to protect their "cubs". The movement from "misunderstanding" to "truth" can take patience, and extra effort, but is very rewarding in the end.
The most enjoyable part of this job, is a School principal saying, "Good, you're back" or some child in the mall or church hallway yelling to their mom, "There's our bus driver!"
I believe that going beyond the call of duty, rather than just "performing" what's in the job description or frame of reference is very important and gives lasting satisfaction in the end.