Monday, July 30, 2012

Three Cheers For The Bus Driver, Bus Driver, Bus Driver

Do you guys remember that song (Three Cheers For The Bus Driver)? We used to sing it all the time on the bus in the morning. I lived up in the mountains, and we mountain folk rode school buses to school. I had the best group of people on the bus, EVER. We would sing all sorts of songs on the way to school and crack up our bus drivers. It was SO much fun.

Oh...and in case you're feeling ripped off because I didn't finish singing to you, the lyrics go like this:

Three cheers for the bus driver, bus driver, bus driver
Three cheers for the bus driver, bus driver ________. (Insert your bus driver's name)
He screams and he cusses, he wrecks all the buses
Three cheers for the bus driver, bus driver ______.

Weren't we cute? We rocked.

"So, why are you singing to us about buses, Whitney?" I'm so glad you asked, pretend question asker person!

We're talking about buses today because I rode on one recently. Well, actually I rode on three. See, my plane got into DIA at 5:10 a.m. the other morning on my return home from Anchorage, Alaska. I boarded that flight at 10:40 p.m. Alaska time, and pretty much practiced the art of head bobbing all the way home on the flight. Why is it an art form? Because few people can fall asleep and wake up for every flipping turbulent we hit for 5+ consecutive hours like I can. What can I say?--I'm gifted.

Because of this long, long, long, overnight flight, I wasn't quite feeling at the top of my "airport game" when I deplaned. I got off the flight, walked over to the luggage carousel that they told me I could find my things at, and then I headed down to where the bus was supposed to pick me up and take me out to the Pikes Peak Parking Lot. No biggie--I'd actually parked there during my last trip to Hawaii. I had this. I knew where to catch the thing, and how to get back to my car in...

Wait. Where is the flipping bus? Where did the bus go? The sign hanging where the bus used to pick people up said that it wasn't picking people up there anymore. As a matter of fact, it was not even picking people up where people get picked up on shuttle buses at DIA. So where did it go?

Upstairs. They moved the stupid bus pickup upstairs for the Pikes Peak Shuttle. They moved it up to passenger drop-off. What? Who planned this garbage? Why do they have shuttle buses now picking passengers up where passengers get dropped off? Isn't that a little confusing? Not only that, but they pick you up all the way across the street from passenger drop off. True story. So now, as if airport travel and safety wasn't stressful enough, we all get to haul our bags across the street at passenger drop off. You know--passenger drop-off...where everyone drives like madmen and they have airport police there to give you tickets if you can't fling your passengers and their luggage out on the curb within 10 seconds and drive off. Yeah...that passenger drop-off. So now not only do you get to play, "Where's my flipping shuttle bus?" but you get to be an actual live member in a human game of Frogger while trying to cross the stupid passenger drop-off area.

The sign in the airport said that the bus would pick passengers for the Pike's Peak Lot up outside of door 611. I finally located door 611 and saw a bus sitting out there. So off I went. Just like Frogger. I dodged a Mercedes. Then an F-150. I almost got clipped by a frickin' Prius, but you know what they say about those people--they spoofed Prius owners on South Park once for thinking that they were better than everyone else for having a hybrid and thumbing their noses at all the rest of us gasoline abusers.

I finally made it across the street to the bus with my enormous bag. I was actually pretty impressed because, as someone who is severely packing challenged (I always get close to the 50 lb limit), I made it at a surprising 47.5 lbs--and that was after adding bear paw salad scoopers that I bought in Alaska to my load. I lifted my enormous bag onto the bus, took my seat, and was glad that I was almost at the end of my journey.

Wait a second. Wait a second. Where are you taking me? This is not the direction of the Pike's Peak Parking lot--the lot is on the left! You just took a right! Where are you taking me, bus driver person???

We pulled into some parking lot where there were a bunch of people in work uniforms. Are you kidding me? What is this? I got out of my seat and went up to the bus driver. I said, "Excuse me, this is the shuttle for the Pike's Peak Lot, right?" To which she replied, "No ma'am--OH! are you a passenger? This is the employee bus! I didn't see you get on here!" (Yes, lady--it's pretty tough to not see the chick with the 47.5 lb giant pink suitcase who can barely lift the stupid thing onto your bus, who then sat down right behind you. OMG...don't quit your day job because TSA would fire you).

She paged "headquarters" and let them know about her little stowaway SNAFU. She told me I'd have to ride back up to the airport, and catch the other shuttle bus to the Pike's Peak Lot. I said, "The one that is outside of door 611 just like you were?" She said, "Uh huh." Awesome. So happy for the clarity that came with all of those airport signs. Good thing I don't have sleep deprivation and jet lag...NOT!

To make matters worse, the bus picked up the employees waiting in the parking lot, literally drove ten feet to the next little area to pick up more employees, and then stopped the bus, made everyone get off, and said, "Sorry--I'm going off shift." Come again, say what? You just picked up a bunch of people, drove them 10 ft., and now you're going to dump us on the side of the road and peace out? What the hell kind of operation is this, anyhow?

So there I stood--just me (confused, PO'd and seriously jet lagged), my super-sized pink luggage, and 30 of my new DIA employee BFFs all standing on a curb wondering what just happened to us. Where did that bus driver have to go that she couldn't finish her route? McDonald's? Was her Egg McMuffin reaching critical temperature under the warming lamps? I was starting to reach the end of my rapidly fraying rope.

After about 10 minutes of thumb twiddling with my new posse of DIA peeps, another bus came to pick us up. So BACK TO THE AIRPORT I went. Talk about a moment of deja vu. Yay! I just went in a complete circle. Woot!

I got off of the bus, right outside of good old door 611, and walked about 10 ft to the bus behind mine. A very nice gentleman on the curb asked me if I wanted the Pike's Peak Shuttle. I was like, "Um...yes." Then I explained my little circular tour that I had just had around the greater DIA area, and how it was very confusing with the new setup that they had. He felt so bad for me that he put me on the bus. I was the only person on there. He lifted my luggage onto the bus for me. Then he explained to the driver what had happened. The driver closed the doors immediately, and off we went to the Pike's Peak Lot. Just me. I had my own personal bus! It was like a limo for lost blonde girls that they felt sorry for! It was the "special bus" because I WAS special. So special that he turned into the Pike's Peak Parking Lot, passed up all the sorry suckers standing there waiting to be picked up with their luggage, and took me right to my car while they all had the, "What the crap?!?" look on their face that I had sported earlier when I got dumped like a redheaded stepchild on the curb of the employee parking lot with all the other DIA orphans.

I finally made it home at about 8:30 a.m. and was able to crawl into bed so I could work that night at the hospital. I only wish they didn't have a "NO TIPPING" policy in place for the shuttle bus. I would've tipped him extra plus given him Bus Driver McMuffin's dumpy tip to boot.

Three cheers for the bus driver!

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