Why You Should Never Become A Bus Driver
You know, there’s a strange allure to the world of bus driving, isn’t there? The open road, the array of different faces and lives brushing against yours, the routine that, while monotonous, feels cozy.
Maybe you’re feeling that wanderlust or perhaps, you’ve got a yen for helping your community, one stop at a time. Or hey, maybe you’re just a fan of those big, sturdy machines, have always been, since you were a kid, holding out your hand to stop the yellow school bus.
Whatever your reasons, you’ve found yourself on this page because you’re seriously considering becoming a bus driver. And that’s fine.
But because I’m sad and have no life of my own, I’m going to play devil’s advocate. I’m here to tell you that there’s more to driving a bus for a living than just turning the ignition key and putting pedal to the metal.
8 reasons why you shouldn’t become a bus driver
1. The hours are ungodly
Buses don’t follow the same nine-to-five routine that most other jobs do. Nah, they march to the beat of their own drum.
It might be you, bleary-eyed, pulling out of the depot at four in the morning. Or it could be midnight, when you’re ushering home the last stragglers from the pubs. Often, it’s a mix of both, which, let’s face it, is going to make your body clock throw up its metaphorical hands in despair.
2. You’re stuck in a seat
Sounds simple, right? But consider this: eight or more hours a day, your tush parked in a seat, your hands on a wheel. That’s not the best for your health.
Back problems, cardiovascular disease, obesity—sitting for prolonged periods increases the risk for all of these. Yeah, you’re cruising through town, but your body might be cruising towards some serious health issues.
3. Dealing with the public
People are great, aren’t they? Except when they’re not. As a bus driver, you’ll have to deal with all kinds: the good, the bad, the ugly.
Angry passengers missing their stops, tourists unsure of their routes, rowdy teenagers, and the occasional person who’s had a tad too much to drink. It can all get a bit much, and it takes a thick skin to handle it daily.
4. It can get dangerous
While you may not be driving in a Fast and Furious movie, it doesn’t mean the streets are any less risky. Buses aren’t exactly the most nimble things on the road, and accidents, while not frequent, can be quite serious when they do occur.
Plus, in certain areas, there can be security concerns too. For instance, bus drivers are often the first point of contact for unruly or even dangerous passengers. You might be faced with a situation involving substance abuse, mental health crises, or even potential violence. Unfortunately, it’s not all scenic routes and cheerful ‘good mornings’.
And let’s not forget the unscheduled “excitement” that comes with driving in sketchier neighborhoods, where the risk of crime is high. Could be someone trying to dodge fare, could be a full-blown robbery. These are rare occurrences, of course, but the risk isn’t negligible.
There’s also the environmental risk to consider. Think about driving through extreme weather conditions. Whether it’s torrential downpour that limits visibility, icy roads that are slicker than a greased penguin, or punishing heatwaves that make the bus feel like a traveling sauna, you’re expected to maneuver that big vehicle safely, come hell or high water.
5. The income
Bus driving isn’t the worst-paying job, but it’s not going to make you a millionaire either. Depending on where you live, you could be taking home anything from minimum wage to a slightly above-average salary.
So if you’re looking for that ‘lifestyles of the rich and famous’ kinda vibe, you might want to reconsider.
6. It’s a stressful job
Let’s not forget the elephant in the room: stress. Traffic, passengers, tight schedules, vehicle maintenance – it’s a lot to juggle. Long-term stress can lead to burnout, depression, and other mental health issues.
7. You don’t get to have a bad day
Even when you’re not feeling it, as a bus driver, you’re expected to be the face of cheery customer service. Bad day? Feeling under the weather? Sorry, no one’s really interested.
You’ll need to strap on a smile and greet each passenger as they board, answer questions with a sunny disposition, and generally keep the atmosphere light and pleasant.
8. Driving fatigue
After hours behind the wheel, navigating traffic and wrestling with a bus through tight city corners, the last thing you want to do is drive some more. But that’s the reality for many bus drivers.
Whether it’s commuting to and from work, running errands, or simply going out for a leisurely drive – the charm of being on the road can quickly wear thin. You might find that you can’t stand getting behind the wheel outside of work, which could affect your social life.
Wrapping things up
Life as a bus driver isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay. It’s a job that comes with a unique set of challenges and pressures that not everyone is cut out for. And while the open road might call to you, it’s worth considering these points before taking the leap.
If after all this, you’re still keen on donning that uniform, well, kudos to you. There’s honor and adventure in keeping a city moving. But if you’re having second thoughts, don’t sweat it. There are many paths to wander down, and not all of them require a steering wheel.
Find your journey, wherever it might lead.