God smiled on me today and I got official clearance to begin a new bus route on Friday. Again let me emphasize that this story only has merit because I'm blessed to live a quiet, semi-relaxed life now. I've noticed that elderly can talk for hours about whether bananas should be eaten ripe or not. I think I'm almost there.
So on Friday I will jettison two bus routes that I've driven for years and years and begin picking up studious and ambitious young ladies and transporting them to the Rangel Leadership School for Young Women. Instead of looking into my rear-view mirror and seeing 57 testosterone-engorged middle school boys trying to outscream each other, I hope to see 35 or so young ladies who look like Marie Curie with their noses in their books.
The only downer about this move relates to the all-important school bus. I had tried for 2+ decades to upgrade from what can kindly be regarded as the worst school bus ever. Finally, two years ago, I persuaded my boss to let me have bus #450, a nice, mid-level bus whose former driver was retiring (at age 77!!). I have loved this bus. It has air-conditioning and is as solid as a tank. But in our organization, the bus stays with the route...and now I must inherit (regress to) bus #301, a sweetheart of a junker with 153,000 miles and a future as a Peruvean tour bus. I've heard that its (her?) air-conditioner is weak and that the only heater that works is the one near the driver.
This morning I heard something that immediately curled me up in a fetal position and caused me to whimper uncontrollably. Turns out the boss-man was ready to replace 301 with a brand-new bus, but the driver was lazy about turning in required paperwork and thus lost the chance to tool around the lot in a 2008 BlueBird. Had this clown just put forth a bit more effort, I would have a great new route, a pay raise, and a plush new bus. Oh, well. Maybe this means that I get the next new bus to be delivered (I always turn in my paperwork on time...usually...sometimes).
Now that I have you on the edge of your seat, I'll tease you by saying there will be a report Friday evening on how the first day went. And if I felt any withdrawal from dear, sweet, clean bus #450.