Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Here's an interesting thing. A friend of mine is taking a few days off because he's having a baby tomorrow. His wife is scheduled to have a C-Section because their baby is breech and a week overdue. Even though everything should be fine, he is anxious because in his homeland this condition was almost always fatal for the mother. Think of that. She will be fine simply because she lives here and not there. Do we even realize how nice we have it?

This must be an extension of the earlier post about taking things for granted.

This is a nice alternative to the news I heard this morning- a man who delivers the diesel fuel to our bus company returned today after three weeks off. He was off because he had come home to find his wife dead on the floor in their house.

What would you even do?!

Another employee of our company recently found his grandson dead in their basement, he'd committed suicide.

A day of extremes. Make sure you tell your family you love them. Don't go to bed angry with anyone. Reconcile as soon as you can. You never know what day is your last.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

School Bus Drivers

In my line of work we can often see the absolute worst behavior the kids of today can provide. Transporting students to and from school is a job with a lot of responsibility. Each school bus driver is responsible for the safety of every single child on their bus. The demands on a driver's attention are just plain overwhelming. To be aware of everything around that size of a vehicle is daunting enough. Then add the other drivers in a metro area like the Twin Cities. On top of that there is the weather (which is becoming less and less of a problem every day this time of year, thank God). But the worst distraction for a driver on a school bus are the very students they're working so hard to protect and transport.

The attitude that manifests in some of these kids is astounding, vulgar, disappointing, and sometimes down right evil.

When there is a problem with behavior on a bus, the driver's only course of action, really, is the almighty Write Up. That's all a driver can do. Threaten to do it, and then actually write them up. Whether or not the write up has any effect or consequence for the student is entirely up to the school and/or school district. It's sad when the school falls short on that end of the process. This just shows the student that there is no negative effect for them for their actions on the bus. Almost every time I've had to write up a student with that horrid attitude, their reaction is- "Go ahead! Write me up!" I've heard that so many time.

The sad thing about this is there are plenty of adults who are exactly the same. This rant exists because of an incident at my work this evening with one of these bus drivers. A very minor situation of not following a simple simple company rule- a rule that exists to help all the drivers and their ability to safely maneuver these large buses in a very small yard and park in a way that allows the next drivers room to do the same. This one driver didn't follow this stupid little rule. No level of informing him that he had to worked. It very quickly blew up into a vulgar shouting and threatening scene! Not by any action, but by word I was actually threatened! They wanted to resolve the argument outside, physically! This person drives your kids home every day! The remarkable thing in the end is upon mentioning a write up for the behavior, his response was EXACTLY as a students would be- "Go ahead. Write me up".

Parents: make a point to meet your kid's bus driver. Divine what kind of person this is. There are a lot of wonderful people driving school buses. And then there are...

This rant is about the problem students. While it is a real problem, there are hundreds of students that ride the bus with no problems at all. Those that abide by the rules, treat others with respect, sit safely, and act mature are wonderful and deeply appreciated by all bus drivers. Thank you to every one of you kids who fit that description. You make this job quite rewarding.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mood is a Choice

Here is the idea today: Do you realize the effect you have on the people around you?

I work with someone who seems miserable. I suspect the circumstances really have nothing to do with me, but are outside the work place. The problem spills over to the co-workers and effects all they encounter. I allow this to impact me more than I ever should. Nothing I do is ever good enough and they are able to find something wrong with my best efforts. I go out of my way to try to improve the relationship, but that is either not recognized or not appreciated. Everyday I need to work with them and its something I do not look forward to every time. I even take delight in relaying information that might upset them!

This morning a short conversation with them was completely different. I could sense a happiness in voice that has been missing for several months. For the first time in a long time we seemed to be on the same wavelength.

What amazes me was the effect hearing that had on my mood and attitude toward the person and for the day in general. I wonder if they felt as much relief as I did. Did they recognize my reaction? Did the conversation flow easier today for them as it did for me? Does my attitude to them have the same effect on their day? These things I do not know. But I do know that it's all so much better when the mood is positive.

What frustrates me about this is that I strongly believe most of this comes down to choice (whether we realize that or not). And that means this person is, probably subconsciously deciding to be miserable. Even though they'd probably rather not be miserable if they only realized it was a choice!

Maybe none of it is choice and it's all beyond our control determined by chance and chemicals! Perhaps some people just are not compatible.

There must be some kind of science or study to psychic wavelengths or something along those lines that explain how some people can communicate near flawlessly and understand each other so well, while other people cannot, just simply cannot no matter how much effort is put in. Maybe it depends on body chemistry and/or circumstances.  I suspect it is heavily influenced by your role and position in your family, like where you line up in your sibling's birth order if you have siblings at all. A few years ago I worked with a school bus aid on a route and we enjoyed this kind of communication and kind of had a theory mapped out about it. It'd be cool to find out if there really is this type of study.

Monday, March 14, 2011


I like how if you focus on one word and say it over and over, the word sounds really strange. I suspect its a take it for granted thing. When it starts to sound strange you have broken this and are no longer taking that word for granted.

Take it for Granted is an interesting phrase, actually. I think I take that phrase for granted. Who granted it?


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