THE THICK PLOTTENS
About this time last year on the way out of Dolores and heading for Cortez there was a hand written
sign on the fence by all the Dolores School buses saying “Drivers Wanted”. Well at the time the
Census work had not kicked off and as nobody knew when this would start I decided to investigate
the driving job.
A run into Cortez, as they are the controlling authority for both school districts, and fill in all the
required forms. All seems to be running smoothly until I’m told by the Director that they have had
their budget cut and the position I’m looking for has been axed ! Great !!
Never mind, the Census kicked into gear in January and kept me employed until August with a ton of
driving and as that phase dried up the school bus driving job reappeared but this time in another
local town of Mancos. With schools out on summer break cranking up was slow but after the Casper
event things started to roll with Mancos paying for a host of things including another DOT physical and
drug testing. Since then I’ve been driving for them and usually end up driving about 50% of the route
runs on a weekly basis. I’m also told I’ll be getting some of the Activity and Sports team runs in
January on the touring coaches.
My favorite drive to date, the 71 seater Bluebird with all the bells and
Anyhooo, last Saturday Dolores had a little Christmas Craft Fair so Brenda persuaded me to go
along and see what was on offer. At the first stall a lady politely ask me how I am and all the other pleasantries and then asks if I remember her? To cut a long story short, I know I have seen her but
can’t remember the “where and when”. It turns out she is the drug testing lady and tells me that she
has just been doing a few for Cortez School district as they are hiring again.
Another trip to Cortez and yes, they are hiring and especially in Dolores. Hopefully this should now
all be easy with all my Mancos qualifications done all that will be required are some photo copies
and then the game should be on as all the weirdo/pervert background checks have obviously all
been done. In this day and age you can’t be too careful and thank God we have bus cameras to deal
with the “he said, she said” scenario or vice versa.
So, either a full route with Dolores, or acting as a Sub for both schools for the variety would be good.
Dolores buses are parked only 2 miles from the house so that would be excellent as well. As both
my Director, Wes, and senior driver Sharon, are away this week I’m hoping they will have all the
copies done by Thursday morning so that I can get the Cortez/Dolores ball rolling and maybe get a
few routes done before schools close for Christmas.
Ho, Ho, Ho
Thursday morning and back into Cortez to the glass shop to replace the entire arse end of the
Cadilac ! last Thursday I left the house just before 6.30 in the morning and it was ‘kin cold so I put the
rear defroster on and with scraping wipers set off. When I turned the ignition off at the Bus Barn there
is an explosion and the whole back window departs in a shower of small fragments. Very odd ! It has
taken a week to get a new one and been a bit like driving a sports car but they put it in this morning.
That gave me a couple of hours to waste so I elected to WALK, yes WALK, the 2 miles to the School
Bus Depot and hand in the copied paperwork.
With 2 miles of cardio completed the Director, Carol, says she wants yet more finger prints and
another drug test. Smile sweetly, say nothing, and get on with the task. Start the next 2 mile walk and
drop in at the drug testing station and once more meet up with Roberta who had started me on this
quest last Saturday. She rings Carol and says the last test IS good, so back to the glass shop where
the car is all finished. Off to the cop shop which I know only does finger printing on Tuesday and
Thursday afternoons and its only 1100 so better set the charm meter on FULL ! The charm meter
glows at max and by 1115 I’m all washed up and on my way back to the bus barn with another set
Carol is suitably impressed and tells me she has a Dolores route opening up immediately after
Christmas and wants me to do the route “drivealong” on Monday and then come in for some Cortez
Training on Wednesday…….. so far so good. Only problem I’m having is loyalty as I’m split between
the two school districts, but, as Brenda just pointed out this is 4 times the money and a vast
reduction of fuel expenses as the round trip to Mancos is 40 miles versus the 4 miles to the Dolores depot……….. + I will get to drive the activity and sports trips without having to wait for someone to give
me one they don’t want.
Small change in plans as Cortez ring and say wait until January! With Mercury in Retrograde I’m
hoping this isn’t a repeat of last year.
Rotate by Jan 4th !