Thank you to the Safety Department and all the Bus Drivers who have taught me in the class room and on the road. I graduated to driving on my own and I am so very grateful for your instruction.
The last two weeks have been a road trip though Winston-Salem as I shadowed and learned from senior drivers. I was impressed by their driving skills, rapport with passengers and intimate knowledge of their routes.
The cadet process started and ended on a high note because the routes were in my own community within our city. My first day was with a quiet leader whose generosity and composure I look forward to emulating. The process ended with a supportive colleague whose encouragement made the final driving test less onerous.
The routes during the past two weeks took me to new places within the city that I got to experience behind the wheel while hearing the perspectives of the person who normally drove the route. On tight runs with heavy traffic I was amazed how the driver knew the time points and the logistics like clock work. On countless routes I heard drivers predict who would be waiting at the stop around the corner based on the riders' routines.
I learned from drivers, some of who have more than 30 years of driving for with the company. I drove with drivers from right here in Winston-Salem as well as from other countries like El Salvador, Ghana, and Ethiopia. We fellowshipped together and found common ground on the highways and byways of our community.
I got good advice like "Take your time," and if a passenger is rude, "Don't take it personal." My favorite piece of advice was: "The number 1 survival skill is bring plenty of lunch." As a runner with a high metabolism the last thing I need is to get "hangry" on the bus. I have not witnessed much healthy snacking and I catch a few jokes about my eating carrots. Interacting with so many new people has really been eye opening.
I have learned about half fare passes, bus transfers, and run boards. I have loaded wheel chairs and knelt the bus all under the watchful eye of a seasoned driver. I have learn so much as a cadet, about myself and the logistics of driving a bus, that it is hard to put into words.
My heart is full! Thank you for coming along.