Monday, February 4, 2019

Public Servants

On lunch break, during my first week of operator training, I began drafting this post at the public library.  Libary's are a rare space where humanity is on display.  Training has felt like such a place.

The class affords perspectives and insights into classmates' lives and creates bonds through shared learning.  We are a diverse group finding a common language while discussing the training manuals we are reading. This first week offered glimpses of the vulgar and the noble aspects of public service.

The instructor explains job hazards such as of passengers wetting themselves. Course jokes belie the real concerns about the dangers of blood-borne pathogens while having to clean up vomit on the bus. Bravado is used to cover up the real concerns of driving a 39,000 lb vehicle with human cargo.

The noble is seen in our cooperation of working together towards a common goal.  A picture of chivalry is caught when discussing the kneeling function of buses to accommodate ADA passengers.  Humanity is heard in the recounting of the importance of warmly greeting passengers. My family and friends have begun to refer to me as Trolley, like the friendly character from the kids' shows Daniel Tiger and Mr. Roger's Neighborhood.

I finish this post in the warmth of my home surrounded by family on my personal computer.  I wrestle with the tension of the concepts of the public versus private good.  The consumer culture tells me that my family's and my comfort should reign supreme.  Learning from and with my classmates about operating a bus is teaching me about public service.


  1. I am so excited for your journey!

  2. Great insights. I'm sure you'll have a chance to clean up vomit at some point - and man I'm already feeling for you.