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The Wheels Go Round (That Was a Dirty Trick)
As told by my husband who was a great teller of tales.
In the early years, my husband paid his dues and drove overnight runs more than once. Since then those runs have been discontinued.
As a driver you got to pick 3-4 times a year the runs you would drive or what was called "the Board!" On the board, you drove whatever runs were available for the next day due to vacations, etc.
As most runs go, the easiest are the Earlie's. On these runs you come in around 4:30 am and drive a trip or two and then go to lunch. After lunch you drive another run and finish up early in the afternoon. Some might call these banker's hours but the early wake ups are not for everyone.
There are Split Shifts that you turn in early, drive a part of the day and then take a two or three hour break before coming back to drive the rest of your runs. These normally cover both rush hours and could be considered tedious or energy spending.
Since the overnight runs have been discontinued, the last of the run types is the Bummer. On this type run you turn in late afternoon and drive until the run you are driving discontinues for the night (the Bummer). Then you take the bus back to the garage.
When you work the board, you normally have very few years on the job and are doomed to pick what is left, "the board." These drivers may luck out and fill in a mostly earlies or they may end up doing the bummer. It all depends on who is off that week or who has called in sick. In my early days, this could land you a premium job or driving a charter on some trip within the state. Being an authority we were not permitted to take trips out of state.
This following actually happened but my husband may or may not have been driver since he was such a good story teller.
The Dirty Trick
It had been a long week and this was my last night before I got a day off. I was a young father and when I was home my baby girls kept me busy and awake. So, I didn’t get much sleep. These all night runs were killing me.
Towards midnight I drove into town through what is called "the Strip District" and one of the city’s ladies of the evening got onto my bus and went to the back. I can’t say I didn’t watch her in my rear view mirror and she was an eyeful. She had on a miniskirt and an almost see-through blouse. Over that she had a shawl that she was letting fall off her shoulders steadily in a luring sort of way.
As we approached downtown and all the downtown stops, she didn't make a move to get off. When we got to 10th Street which was known as the Red-light District, I stopped my bus for my lay over and called out that this was the end of the line. She sidled up the aisle letting the shawl drop off her shoulders hovering close to me. I was no saint but like I said I was tired that week and really didn’t want any of that kind of company on my break. I knew that the other all night run was due to pass us across the street and that the driver of that run was an older man who was getting ready to retire soon. So I passed my problem off on poor old Charlie. I handed the girl a half-used book of transfers and told her to go see Charlie tonight. With a wink, she did as I asked and the last I saw of her she was getting on Charlie’s first trip out of town that night.
The next morning when I turned in, I saw Charlie. He was stammering all over the place explaining to the dispatcher and anyone else who would listen what had happened to him the previous night. I laughed all the way to my truck and home. I’m glad nobody but the missy knew it was me who gave her the transfers.
© 2011 Laura L Scotty