Sunday, December 6, 2009

I worked long hours yesterday...

It is predicted to be a cold week up until Thursday and no precipitation. There seems to be a clamor, an anticipation that snow is imminent. Some dread it, others accept it and some relish in the idea of the cold whiteness that our landscape becomes. The Zoo Lights would be fantastic to view twinkling through snow and I will have to consider taking the Max. to the zoo if the snow stays around for me to take some ducats and wrap myself up and venture into the throngs of parents accompanying their children into the world of fantasy.

I signed in at the dispatch office at 3:45 pm on the 5th of Dec.and signed off at 1:46 am on the 6th of Dec. When I got to dispatch my fueling boss asked me if I could do him a favor and fuel the buses the other 4 drivers and I were taking to the Portland Zoo Lights shuttle service after we were done. I didn't really think about my sign off time and said yes. I don't think he had a clue to my sign off time. We got to the zoo and were activated, (just add water, kidding of course) and drove pretty steadily from that point until 10:15 pm. We carried over 1200 passengers from the parking lot a 1/2 mile away to the zoo and back on that cold Saturday night. Of course, we were in our warm buses. Some of the passengers were irritated that the coordination of the shuttle was not as efficient as it could be because there is no dedicated road for the buses and we have to creep through the car traffic that leading to the zoo, which is being turned around near the entrance only to become shuttle riders once they figure it out. People it seems are still attempting to count on luck for getting into the immediate zoo parking area, even though there is overwhelming evidence that their efforts will go unrewarded. And it seems there are a number of people who are unsatisfied with just turning around when directed to do so as though they are unprepared for this action and have to stop the whole line of traffic behind them to ask whatever questions or demand entrance of the security person, sometimes for as long as a minute which can seem like much longer when you are anticipating moving along to your destination smoothly much longer. When the passengers on my bus starting spewing to me how inefficient the shuttle was and how it could be remedied, I suggested they take thier ideas to the Metro, the people who run the zoo. Of course I didn't hear one person say, great idea, I'm going to do that. I don't really know what people are thinking because their actions tell a different story. I don't like to generalize, but there is probably a large percentage of professional drivers who have wondered what people are thinking when driving because of many actions that are executed that defy rational behavior. I usually just exclaim either out loud or quietly to myself, "What are you thinking?" when I encounter daily what some people consider as a normal transportation experience. It can be changed, but the people who make the decisions need to know. The people who make the decisions I suspect know what a cluster F&%K it is when they try to funnel thousands of people into a single two lane road in a short window of time. That's why when they visit the zoo lights, they get a special closed to the public preview and don't have to deal with the masses. I could go on and on and usually do, but for some reason, I've caught myself here. That's enough. I'm going to the metro zoo sight and register my observations to the authorities and see if there is a plan in the works to remedy this situation.

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