Saturday, 24 March 2012

Grape Expectations & 100 Things that ANNOY bus drivers!

"Grape" Expectations + 100 things that ANNOY Bus Drivers!!

A bus driver was sacked for eating a grape, whilst at the wheel of his bus!

Michael Shephard admitted that he was in his cab at the time of the "petty" offence, but insists he was stationary, and sitting in a bus terminus.
The 66 year old who had been working for National Express for 5 years, was initially suspended from his job, 2 weeks ago, then dismissed on Wednesday!
Michael was hauled in by his bosses after footage from CCTV, captured the driver eating the fruit.  At first Mr Shephard thought he was being given a disciplinary, over the "grape eating incident" but instead of getting a telling off, he was promptly suspended by bosses!
The aggrieved bus driver has lodged an appeal over the sacking and says: "I am so angry, I thought I would be given a disciplinary for eating the grape, but not sacked.  I don't eat or drink while I am driving but I was just sat at the bus terminus for a few minutes."

Mr Shephard explains that he had a heart bypass some 12 months ago, and the medication he takes, drys his mouth out and that he needs to sip water or a grape every hour or so, he goes on to say: "There were no passengers on my bus and nobody saw me, so I don't understand the problem."
Mr Shephard isn't very "grape"ful to National Express
A spokes person for National Express said: "The driver in question hasn't exhausted the disciplinary process that we have as a company, and as a result, we cannot comment any further on this matter."  They went on the record to say: "We do hold ourselves to high levels of safety and customer care standards."
Pity they don't have the same respect and high standards for their workforce!  The sooner Mr Shephard gets his job back the better.  This is absolutely ridiculous to sack someone over eating a grape!  The amount of hours and unsociable shifts that bus drivers work, they deserve more respect and dignity from their employers.  Many of these operators certainly don't want to win an "Investor in People" award!
Good luck to Mr Shephard and his appeal.

For all of you that drive buses or coaches for a living you can probably associate with this article "100 things that ANNOY bus drivers"

100 things that ANNOY bus drivers

This is a list of things that annoy bus drivers, in no specific order and is not an exhaustive compilation.

London bus driving comes with many pitfalls, can be quite stressful and from experience has led to many problems with driver’s health and home life.

It has many dis-advantages as opposed to advantages, although earning a good wage should be high on anyone's agenda, enjoying the work you do should play an important role in your well-being.

Also the feeling of "being valued" as an employee should be part of everyday employment

Jedi bus driver uses the force on a cyclist!!
Therefore I have compiled a non-exhaustive list of 100 things that can add stress or annoys a bus driver during a typical working day.

The next time you get on a bus and the driver isn't smiling or looking at you, bear in mind that he or she might be having a bad day for whatever reason.

100 Things that ANNOY bus drivers

1.      Cyclists (notice I've put this in the number 1 slot) I could write an entire article on these.

2.      Inconsiderate motorists, again I could write an entire chapter on the way other motorists treat bus drivers!

3.      Traffic and congestion, also annoys non bus drivers!

Don't you understand the red & green man?
4.      Pedestrians, one major gripe is when they cross a road when the traffic lights turn green, they stand there waiting on a green man, and when the red man appears they cross!

5.      School Children! Relatively quiet in the morning, but in the afternoon, once they have eaten all the additives and E numbers from their lunch, complete change of attitude!

6.      Kids acting like gangsters! Come on you are 12 years old and act like you the bad man!

7.      Kids playing chicken in the road, just as you approach, mmmm I wouldn't want to go underneath a bus!

8.      People stepping out into the road at a stop, trying to wave you down, when you are "out of service" despite showing "OUT OF SERVICE" This can normally be followed up with a nice hand gesture as you pass!

9.      People who flag you down at a bus stop with the "chicken flapping" signal or pointing repeatedly at the floor!

10.  Being on the "spare list" and getting most of the long jobs, having jobs changed without notice or being on standby (yawn).

Pre-historic bus from the Ice-Age!
11.  The bus itself, it’s too slow, brakes are juddery or sharp, power steering too heavy etc etc etc!!!

12.  People who don't say thank you, what does it take to say thanks driver?!

13.  Passengers, people, tourists etc.....I do not have A to Z or Tourist Information tattooed on my head, I don't know where everything is in every single place in every single town, so don't tut at me when I say "sorry I don't know".

14.  Bell ringers, which can be.... kids constantly ringing the bell (they do say little things please little minds) or even adults! Or ringing the bell and not getting off etc.

15.  Slow elderly people getting on, when you are running late! Bless em!

16.  P*** heads or drunken people, they are OK if they are giddy and having a laugh, but the ones that fall asleep or crap themselves on your bus is annoying! etc etc

17.  Other Bus Drivers! Yes some of us can annoy fellow drivers, especially when we indicate to pull out from a stop and sit there still taking passengers on board, when the bus is flashing us giving us priority! Put your indicator on when you are good and ready!

Any room upstairs driver? NO, OK can I sit on your lap!!
18.  Being full up to the brim with passengers, yet people still want to squeeze on like sardines, even when pulling in to a stop, bus full, people see faces squashed against window, doors not opening, people start gesturing lovely hand signals and weird names!!

19.  Being told by controllers to "carry on driver" when you are running 2 days late!!! any chance of a turn?!

20.  Early starts, Yawnnnnnnnnnn.......not bad finishing in the early afternoon though!

21.  Spread-overs, a driver really only needs an hours break, 2 hours ain't so bad, but 3, 4 or 5 hours between driving is tiring!

22.  Headphone wearers, "This Bus Terminates Here"......"LAST STOP" reaction what so ever, I'm in my own little world.

23.  People who have poor english, "do you go to splusgthrsiijkbwj street?" Huh!!!!

OK, not a ticket inspector, but Blakey should have been!
24.  TFL Revenue Inspectors with bad attitudes, or they get on 1 stop before you terminate, or get on the really quiet routes etc.

25.  People who stare at you constantly, this freaks me out a little, just as you pull into the stop, someone just stares at you, no facial expression etc, this can happen whilst you’re driving as well! Ooooooo Freaky!

26.  Unreliable Unions! Least said the better.

27.  Subsidised Canteen, I can get chicken and chips for a £1 from HFC, the prices do not reflect the word "subsidised" I'm afraid!

28.  Pigeons, now I don't like animal cruelty in any shape or form, and certainly don't want to run an animal over, but pigeons are bloody annoying, like they are suicidal!

29.  People who ring the bell just after you pass their stop, "DRIVERRRRRR"!

30.  Short lunch breaks, 40 minutes is NOT enough for a driver, once you've managed to get service in the "subsidised" canteen you have 20 minutes to wolf down your food, shortcut to indigestion!

31.  Wheelchair users with extremely bad attitudes, in fact everyone with bad attitudes!

32.  Motorists not allowing you to pull out of a bus stop or onto a main road from a junction etc. Some actually speed up and try to squeeze past you as you attempt to pull out, goodbye mirror!!!

33.  GDE or disciplinary's for minor stuff!

I doubt this driver kept his job!
34.  Low Bridges, oops!

35.  Accidents, oops!

36.  Taxi drivers (now why didn't I put this higher up) cabs and those "unlicensed" type......where did any of them pass their tests!!!

37.  Traffic lights that phase to quickly, letting out like 2 cars then changing!!!!Who programs these things.  In my opinion get rid of all traffic lights and replace with round-about's!

38.  London Underground, they can never seem to get their train set to work properly, are always threatening to go on strike and we are left to pick up the piece's.

39.  Bus spotters or enthusiasts, I have never understood the "hobby" of collecting fleet numbers etc, but the ones that take photos of me is annoying.  I don't want to be photographed thank you very much!

40.  People who try to talk to you or ask you questions when you are driving, just as you are negotiating a cyclist coming up the inside as a car cuts you up and pedestrian attempting to get killed by walking out in front of you, ermmmm brain freeze!

London is shut, due to road works!
41.  Roadworks, London is being excavated virtually everywhere!!!

42.  Diversions, especially when Centre Comm broadcasts one with about 10 bloody different directions! Tip for centre comm, repeat the message, say it slowly and clearly, don't assume we have all done the Knowledge!

43.  Steering column problems, changing over drivers etc and steering won't move, then being asked by controllers to pump the air out etc.  If I wanted to do this kind of exercise I would have joined a gym!

44.  Passengers expecting you to change a £10 or £20 note! Have you heard of the Oyster Card?!

45.  Being asked what bus number you are, and where you go!

46.  Air conditioning, either non- existent or not powerful enough in the middle of a heat wave!

47.  Following on from 46, Heating.........on a cold night not having any or weak output of heat or in the middle of winter and having no heating.  I was told that TFL ask bus companies to turn heating off in summer, but surely a drivers cab still needs heating especially on a cold night!

48.  Peak times, traffic, kids coming out of school etc.

49.  Late shifts........doing 7 days of them especially, feeling like a vampire when you see the daylight! And realising you have a family!

50.  People wanting to board your bus when you are on "stand time"

Mmmmm I'm starvin marvin!

51.  People getting on with chicken and chips, when you are starving hungry and been driving 5 hours solid!

52.  Being asked the same question over and over again. Passenger 1 "do you go to East Ham" Driver "yes I do" Passenger 2 "do you go to East Ham" Driver "yes I do" Passenger 3 "do you go to East Ham" Driver "YESSSSSSSSSS."

53.  People who look at you like crap!

54.  Passengers who talk to loudly, virtually always on their mobile phones!

55.  People who knock your nearside mirror out of place when they get on or off the bus at the front.

56.  Having to open an E-Pack.

57.  Occurence Reports.

58.  Smelly passengers, I know 1 driver who carry's his own can of air freshener!

59.  Disgusting toilets or having no toilets what so ever, urinating inside an empty bottle isn't my idea of convenient! and ladies have it worse! Come on TFL, drivers need better facilities!

60.  Supervisory or management colleagues who treat their workers with a lack of respect.

61.  Staff car parking facilities and constantly being messed about with them! You can strike this off if your garage provides you with consistency!

62.  Driving through horrible estates, where having your window smashed or vandalism by the "lovely" people of said estates on a frequent basis!

63.  Drivers parking their car inside a bus stop.

64.  Bus there really any need to have 2 types of stop (compulsory and request). Is it that hard to put your hand up or ring a bell (70 times) to get on or off?!

65.  Insufficient stand time.

66.  Insufficient running time, who created these trips? Jenson Button?!

67.  Too many "rounders"

68.  1 round first half, 22 rounds second half, Niceeeeee!

Getting punched up isn't nice!
69.  Being "punched up"

70.  People who stand too close to the kerb edge, just as you pull in at a stop.  We must narrowly miss giving people a head ache at least 10 times a day!

71.  Speed humps!

72.  Doing the same route, day in and day out, almost becoming robot like!

73.  Fare evaders, especially the ones that jump on the back door and this could include driver assessors!!! I didn't see you get on oops!!!

74.  People who "tut" at you or kiss their teeth, when the oyster reader fails to work.  Huh I'm doing you a favour, you're getting a free ride!

75.  Going to work and finding out your rest pattern has been changed or you are on holiday and wasn't told.  You could still be in bed :(

76.  Working with racist, sexist and homophobic colleagues.

77.  Working 7 days in a row at 10 hours a day sometimes more, this equals 70 hours dude!!

Take that you dirty little f*&@+r!!!

78.  Not being allowed to punch the living daylights out of someone that threatens, spits or verbally abuses you.

79.  Station supervisors that look for reasons to book you.  "I'm booking you for leaving your engine running" "But sir, its minus 5 degrees today!"

80.  Curtailments we don't know or have never done before.

81.  Having your annual leave decided for you.  And would you also like to tell me where to go on my hols?

82.  Being paid less when you are off sick, due to a work related accident!

83.  Kids smoking weed on the bus, it stinks, its illegal and its getting me stoned, oh happy days, oh happy dayyyyyyssssssss! We're jamming, jamming, jamming, jamming!!

84.  Having to stay with a broken down bus, when you should have finished over a hour ago.

Not to bad if your passengers give you a hand though!
85.  Dirty, dusty and littered cab driving area.  Oops just sat on the last drivers banana skin!

86.  Having your driving ability assessed sometimes 3 times on the trot!!!

87.  Working late shifts til 2 in the morning, having 2 days off then going back to work on extreme early shifts starting at 4 in the morning, surely this can't be good for our body clocks! Give us at least 4 days off between these rota variations!

88.  Passengers coming down stairs, when you are braking.

89.  People who can't decide if they want to get on or off.

90.  Colleagues who don't wave at you when you wave at them :(

OMG...I only wanna pay in £2.30!

91.  Waiting for 10 drivers to all pay their takings in on 1 machine, I wanna go home pleaseeeeee!

92.  Waiting to pay in, when the "subsidised" canteen are paying in.

93.  Being ignored by colleagues behind the output area, HELLO I EXIST, I'M REAL!

94.  Crying baby's or screaming kids!

95.  Slow leader.

96.  Text message saying "Wait at next stop for x amount of minutes"

97.  Passengers in cars, who snigger or laugh at you, when the driver deliberately won't let you out, some even flash their lights at you to let you out, but then speed up!!! So So Funny hee hee hee ha ha ha. You see me laughing *@&}head!

98.  Colleagues who front you out, have bad attitudes and hate everyone, including themselves!

99.  Kids who think they are all that! You travel on a bus mate, you are nobody!

This is the sub bus waiting for you!!
100.              Arrogant irresponsible controllers.  Driver "My brakes have failed" Controller "Do 1 more round and then run it in please, we have a sub waiting for you with a faulty oyster machine and knackered ramp, but it's all good" LOL
On a better note, most controllers are pretty decent, and help us out when we need it.
There's the odd one, that spoils it!

Well thanks for taking the time to read this, I'm sure a lot of you will be able to associate with all these issues we encounter and I'm sure there are many more I haven't included.

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1 comment:

  1. 101) Someone answering a question on your behalf! Passenger 1 = hello driver, do you go to canary wharf?
    Driver = no but............
    Passenger 2 = Naw mate this bus don't go to canary wharf if ya get the D3 that'll take you directly to canary wharf
    Driver = lol I said that without moving my lips!


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