A Bus Driver's World, and How to Change It!
Changing the world
Sounds ridiculous doesn't it? But it's true, I've always been one who wanted to change the world! And I still want to! I'm still crazy enough to think that I can actually change this world and make it a better place for everyone in it, or at least a better place for everyone that I meet.
Okay, now that we've got that out of the way and now that you probably think I'm totally bonkers for thinking that I can change I'll try and explain a little of my thinking and we'll see where things go from here.
First of all, I probably need to explain a little bit here on where the heck this hub is coming from? The kernel that started the process that led to the writing of this hub actually started with a conversation I had with a work colleague the other day.
The day had started in the normal way and we were in the ops room getting our schedules for the day, I've been working a shift we affectionately call the 'three bros' as it's a mixture of driving through some of the rougher neighborhoods here in Hamilton, Okay, they're not as rough as some cities, but things can get a little 'entertaining' in them if you're not careful. Most of the folks who drive the buses don't really like them as they've had trouble on the 'runs' but I really enjoy driving those routes and I've never had much trouble there!
When I said that I got the reaction, "How the hell do you manage that?"
Well, here's the answer, see what you think.
Changing the world (one person at a time!)
By now, you're either thinking that I'm a total 'basket case' thinking this, or you're saying to yourself 'How?'
You already know the answer 'in your head' but getting it down to where things really happen, into the heart and through there to the 'will' is the longest twelve inches in the world!
Let's face it, most of us know these things, but actually using them to make a difference is the biggest hurdle we face right? I know for me it is. There's times when I really don't want to do it, but then that's when I kick myself in the proverbial butt and ask a simple question, "What sort of day do you want today?"
"What sort of day do you want today?"
Do you want one that's going to be busy, stressful and at the end of the day you're going home exhausted to face whatever's been going on at home and 'well, what will be will be!' Or do you want a day that's pretty stress-free, yes things might go wrong and the boss gets upset at the situation, but that's his (or her) problem and it's not going to ruin your day!
What do you think?
Your attitude governs your altitude— John Maxwell
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.— Book of Habakkuk 3 verse 17-19
I'll be honest, I was going to put those verses as a 'video clip' for you to sing to but when I looked at what was there, man they got the mood so wrong!!!! Yes, I did say wrong!
See when I read these verses I think the prophet was getting angry. He was angry that these things were happening, and he was angry that someone or something was trying to steal his good attitude, he was basically saying. "Listen buddy, you can try all these things, BUT YOU AREN'T GOING TO STEAL MY JOY!"
That's where we start, deciding each and every day who's going to be in charge of the day, is going to be circumstance, or is it going to be you?
The first lesson in changing my world is "who's in charge of my day?"
Now I know that half of the Christians here are going to be saying, "Shouldn't it be Jesus?" and the answer to that is "Who lets him take charge, isn't it me?"
We're the ones who decide how our days are going to 'play out' and we're the ones who make the decisions on what we allow and don't allow in our days. Do I want to live a life that Jesus would be proud of? Well here's a little of how it plays out.
In the average day on my bus, I'll see between 200 and 250 passengers. They come in all shapes and sizes, from the little newborn with Mum looking after her to the 98-year-old running faster than most kids a quarter her age.
The millionaire to the 'bum' or 'no hoper' for a job, and they all want just one thing, to be treated with respect, yeah sure, they usually want to go someplace in the city, but more than that they all want to be treated with a little respect.
Starting the run, I try and get out on time, if it's a cold wet day no one really wants to be waiting in the rain, you do that more than you have to and you're going to be grumpy! the bus has usually been cleaned the night before, but I'll do a quick check before letting people on, just in case anything's been missed (you'll be surprised how many mobile phones and umbrellas I've found on buses!) and we're off.
The first passengers get greeted with a "Morning" or "Hello" and a smile. I also always stop the bus, put the handbrake on and make sure that I give each passenger my full attention. Some folks just simply want people to notice them, is that too much to ask?
Here's a trick I haven't told the other guys yet, but one I learned makes a big difference, if I'm running late first thing in the morning (hey I may have had to fix things in the bus before leaving the yard!) I apologize to each and every passenger on the first run. Why? because they may have been stood in the rain, or the cold wind, saying sorry just breaks that 'grumpiness' down a little!
The funny ones are the ones who're running for the bus in the morning, sometimes I'll see them down the street running and waving frantically hoping to catch the driver. Those I'll have a little fun with usually saying something like "Just made it!"
One time I was doing a new run (not long after I first started) and almost every stop I was waiting for people, then just as we got into town I had to call into the Ops center to get some info for a passenger, they gave me the info, but about two minutes later called me back telling me they'd given me wrong info and 'here was the new info'. Unfortunately, as I was listening to the radio and not watching as I missed the turning I was supposed to take, so I told the passengers. "Sorry folks, but we've got a bit of a detour on as I just missed a turning"
The whole bus erupted with laughter as about ten of them (I had a full bus of about sixty) said. "Hey, you gave us all breaks this morning, If it wasn't for you, we'd all be half an hour late, I think we can manage to give you one!"
Ain't that true though? When you give someone a break they often give it straight back.
How do you start the day?
Changing the world
It doesn't matter who you are, one thing that everyone responds to is being treated with respect, that doesn't mean that they can abuse you, and anyone on my bus who tries that finds out pretty fast that there are rules on my bus, and I don't change them for others!
They learn that while I'll be treating them with respect, I'll also be doing the job properly, and that means that some of the things they 'got away with' isn't going to happen on my bus! Fizzy drinks and Ice cream are out on my bus, and there are times when I'll ask them to move seats (especially when they're sat in the seats by the wheelchair bay and I get a person in a wheelchair getting on, or an older person with a walking frame).
"Come on! Pull the other one!"
I know, it sounds ridiculous, doesn't it! How the heck can things like this change the world? I mean it sounds just silly, doesn't it?
Well, it doesn't happen overnight, and being totally honest, if anyone told me this I'd be wondering how the heck can it work, but it does!
I've been driving the bus now for about four years, and I love it as much today as I did when I first started the job! Yes, I've had times when people have been rude, gruff, abusive and even once had firearms on the bus.
Okay, that one I wasn't too polite in telling them "there's no f#@$^%g way they're getting on the bus. That one was amusing as the guys actually asked me why not!
"Because you're carrying two items that aren't allowed on the bus"
"There's a canister of lighter fluid, and a replica pistol" (I thought no one would be dumb enough to walk around with a real one)
"It's not a replica" I was told, "It's a BB gun"
"Well guess what" I was pretty rude, but then there was a bus load of very relieved passengers literally 'out of the firing line' "There's even less chance of you getting on" (I didn't tell them that armed police were on the way!)
It is possible to change the world, but you do it one person at a time, and you do it one event at a time.
What do you think?
Do you think that the way you treat just one person changes the world for the better?
Try it and see.
This is a bit of a 'half-baked' hub not just asking for a little 'tolerance' in a pretty intolerant world (don't believe me about that? Then listen to the news and see what's going on in the world) but saying that when you give people a little respect a surprising thing happens, they give it back!
It doesn't happen 'overnight', usually for me, on the bus, it takes a couple of days for the person to transform from the 'grump' on a Monday to the guy (or gal) who's saying "Hello" and "thank you" by the end of the week, and guess what, once they start and they see others giving them the respect they've always wanted, they give it back and their world has changed.
Anyway, this is a hub asking you to try it and see. So do so and let me know what you think in the comments below, maybe even go away and try it for a few days then come back and let us know how you went with it.