Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Contemplating my retirement

I take back roads on my morning commute to the office. As is often the case, this morning I was behind several big lumbering yellow school buses. They seem to stop every 100 feet these days - so I had alot of time to daydream.

I started to think that driving a school bus might be a great early retirement job for me. I see alot of women in their 50's and 60's driving their routes each morning.
I started to align my strengths with that of the rigors of transporting our youth.

I am an excellent driver with a clean record, and I am very cautious behind the wheel. So I've got that going for me.

But first - you have to be ok dealing with kids of all ages. I like kids well enough. I mean hell... I don't have to raise them, or pay their college tuition. Just keep them behaved well enough for the short jaunt to school. I think I could manage this. I am sure we could come to some compromise between utter chaos and feigned order.

Next, its an early day. Those high school kids need to drag their asses out of bed around 6am I think. Not a problem for weese. My early rising wife could easily give me a nudge out the door.

Finally, there's the schedule. Buses run by the minute. You've seen the printed list of bus stops in the paper - the start times listed as 7:04 for High School; then 7:52for Middle School; 8:33 Elementary School.
This requires stringent attention to detail.
weese excels at this.
weese loves detail and even better appreciates the need for timeliness.

I started to imagine... I would certainly need a new watch - maybe even a small clock that I could mount to the dashboard and set accurately to the correct time. I could practice my route and get it down to perfection even before the school year began. I would be ready. I would never be late.

Then I imagined picking up the kids. Those sleepy slow high school kids, sauntering down the street - while I kept a keen eye on my clock. I suppose I could make up some time in between runs. Surely the middle schoolers would be more peppy.

But then there's the little ones... gathering their strewn belongings because they'd gotten a little distracted waiting for me. Then the long good byes, kisses and waves to mom or dad. Also, of course it takes them longer to load on - their little legs straining on those tall steps. This might make me late. weese would not like to be late. I could see myself at first urging them on ... a little shout out while they are hugging their parents... then maybe a dismissive wave to mom to suggest - its over lets go, let's get crackin.

Then watching as they made their way across the street... now I am getting jittery. Of course, one of them will inevitably drop something, and as we are all taught in kindergarten we need to help - -so now the whole gaggle of them will be floundering about trying to collect themselves as a group and pick up items as they are dropped and fluttering about busstop. It's at this point that I can see myself leaping from by bus drivers seat out the door and begin to lift them one by one by the back of their collars and stuff them into the bus, shrieking and giggling.
I imagine I will have gotten them into such a silly tizzy at this point that I will need to manually plop them each into a seat before being able to resume our route.
A quick check of my new, set to Greenwich Mean Time -5, clock will tell me ... we are now in fact late...

Hmm, maybe I should consider bagging groceries.


brenda said...

You would have the cleanest, shiniest, most sparkling bus around.

The Guy Who Writes This said...

If I were you I'd visit a middle school at lunch time. If that doesn't change your mind then you are good to apply.

I went to our local middle school once and since then I will drive miles out of the way just to avoid ever going near there again.

Anonymous said...

Sing with me...
"here's to ms busdriver, busdriver,'s to ms busdriver the best of them all.
She drinks and she smokes and she tells dirty's to ms busdriver the best of them all.

Trop said...

The wheels on the bus go
Round and round,
Round and round,
Round and round.
The wheels on the bus go
Round and round,
All through the town...

I've considered it now that I'll be going to consulting full-time and I'll have some flexibility. I'll especially consider it if the job provides medical benefits.

WenWhit said...

I'm remembering a certain maneuver at a certain red light in a certain Cabrio, and trying to correlate that with the claim of being a safe driver...

Go for the groceries. I'd never fear for the safety of my bread or eggs if YOU did the bagging. ;)

SassyFemme said...

Trying to picture you breaking up a fight on the bus between middle school or high schoolers!

WordsRock said...

I think Guy makes a very good point.

Not to mention isn't retirement more about NOT working?

clammy said...

Will the kids wear seatbelts on your bus?

Anonymous said...

weese would make an excellent bus driver because she cares to and understands what is really importanrt in life
( also you are too young to think about retirement yet!)


KMae said...

Better you than ME.

teresa said...

But with bagging groceries there's the worrying over frozen vs. refrigerated vs. shelf food, then there's the stacking of heavy, regularly shaped items beneath oddly shaped items beneath fragile items, then there's the problem of weighting each bag for customer-friendly carrying comfort…

Bagging groceries would be an excellent job for Weese!