Sunday and back to work after a weeks holiday. Start at 07 58 so I was waiting for the first bus at 07 45 which turned up on time and promptly broke down. Fine start. The radio on the bus wasn’t working too well so down to the phone box to let control know what was happening. Ten mins later the spare driver turned up to get me to work and the fitters arrived to get the broken down bus going.
A couple of things that I had missed while I was on holiday were the fact that there had been a fare increase which started to day and it was the Torbay Half marathon which meant the sea front would be closed and we would have top use the diversion for the duration of the race.
On the first trip I started ten mins late but was soon back on time as early Sunday morning can be very quiet down here in the bay. On the way back from Brixham the race had started so there was a little delay compounded by the number of times I was held up while people got used to the new fares. A couple of people were a few pence short of the new fare and I had to chip in about 40 pence of my own money so the could travel. I know there have been notices on the buses about the fare increase but notices on buses are like adverts on TV. So much in your face that you ignore them.
Then down on the Strand heading for Paignton. The diversion was quiet a long one, missing out nine stops so every one who got on was asked where exactly they were going and if they were effected the problem was explained carefully and the nearest stop where they could get off was pointed out to them so the knew in advance what was happening. One gentleman, no sorry, I will change that, one male person said that my offer to stop at the back of the Grand Hotel was even better than the normal stop in front of the Hotel. So off we went.
As we got near to the Grand he came up to me and demanded to be let off at the next stop. Had he asked nicely I would have let him; but he DEMANDED. So I refused and told him the back of the Grand. He then shouted that he had had a quadruple heart bye pass operation and I was going to make him walk miles. I suggested that if he had a heart problem he should sit down and not get so stressed out. He called me a not nice name suggesting that my mother and father had never married, at least not each other. Now this would normally get some expelled from the bus pronto but as that was what he wanted I told him to go and sit down. He did so complaining loudly but an other passenger told him to shut up. “The driver explained when you got on.” She pointed out , which probably sent him a little closer to his next heart operation.
He then came back and continued his tirade of abuse. I was all calmness and sweetness and when we finally got to the stop I opened the doors and wished him a nice day. He may have had a quadruple heart op but he sure ignored any warnings he may have had re stress and the need to stay calm no matter what.
It may seem a nice idea if we could let people get of anywhere when we are on a diversion but it usually takes longer round the diversion and stopping to let lots of people of all over the place adds up to more and more delays. Not fair on those on the bus and all those waiting further along the route. If the delay get serious them it can be hours before the bus gets back on time and hundreds of people can end up being delayed long after the division is finished.