I work a four week rota. So every 4th Sunday I do duty 3672 which departs from the depot at 08 14. At Shiphay Lane, 1 min down the road I pick up a Zoo Keeper on his way to work at Paignton Zoo (as featured on BBC TV a few years ago). To get to the zoo he has to travel with me through Torquay and on to Paignton Bus Station where he must change to a 12A. Seems simple. Except for one little detail. The 12 I am driving doesn't get to Paignton until 08 43. The 12A has left at 08 40. The next one is not until 09 40. So a wait of 57 mins. Why I hear you ask doesn't he get the bus in front of me. That way he will get to Paignton in time to catch his bus. The problem with this is I am the first bus from Torquay to Paignton on a Sunday morning.
So I did what I always do. I got on the radio and asked the controller at Paignton to ask the 12A driver to wait a couple of mins until I got to Paignton. Controller said,"No problem."
As I was arriving in Paignton Bus Station an other driver was reporting that a horse had left it's stable and was running along the main road in to Brixham. So the controller got on the phone to the police and forgot to ask the 12A driver to wait for me. So I arrived, but the 12A had gone.
So the poor zoo keeper had either a long wait or a long walk.
As it happened we had a spare driver doing nothing who was able to run the zoo keeper up to the zoo so all ended well. Any way the Operations Manager will get yet an other memo from me, this one asking that the 08 40 12A should always wait in the Bus Station until the 12 arrives. A delay of two or three mins at that time on a Sunday morning is not going to be a problem for the 12A.
Any way, I headed for Brixham, camera at the ready for a photo of the horse running up the road but by the time I got there the stable door had been bolted with the horse well and truly in side.
P.S. If you missed Planet Earth on BBC TV to night then catch the repeat on Saturday. If you can't then get someone to record it for you. If you don't live in the UK then ring up your local TV station and get them to buy a copy from the Beeb NOW.