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Coast Mountain Bus Company

Size of company: Large (More than 500 employees)

Industry: Tourism, Travel, Passenger transportation

  • Stressful job. Will make you miserable.

    Once you graduate, be ready to work split shifts (4 hours on, 4 hours off and 4 hours again). You will be away from home for 12 hours but only get paid for 8 hours. Once your seniority gets better, you will be able to sign early straight shifts. It took me around four years until I was able to sign work that started at 4 AM and ended at Noon. If you want early straights and weekends off, good luck. Maybe in 15 years. I like weekdays off, so it’s all good for me.

    When you are a junior operator, most routes left for you will be the ones that go through Hastings. All the garbage routes that go through the Downtown Eastside. It’s going to feel like driving a free hop-on-hop-off but keep your mouth shut and don’t make eye contact. Doing this will reduce the risk of getting assaulted. Be ready to plug your nose at times too. Sometimes it’s a smell that you can never imagine.

    Once you finally figure out what this job is like, you will become miserable. After many years of driving through the Downtown Eastside, you will learn how messed up this world is. Dealing with people who are rude, grumpy, miserable and aggressive will start to get to you.

    Be ready to pedal to the metal because the schedules are tight. If you don’t drive efficiently, you will lose your break at the end of each side. It’s stressful when you are running late with the thought of having no time for a washroom break at the end. Not even a few minutes at the terminus to decompress if you are late. Passengers criticize you for being late. Some even scream at you. It’s not your fault, but you have to sit there and absorb everything. If you use the washroom anyways and leave late, there will be more people at every stop causing a snowball effect. Now you will be super late with a fully loaded bus. Every bus stop you pull into will have angry-looking people. Don’t look at them. It’s scary.

    Most of the time, the time they give you to drive from a certain point to another point is the same time Google Maps says it takes for a car. If you Google Maps search the same route and leave time for driving, the estimated arrival time is the same time you get. Sometimes even a few minutes less. Busses need to service stops, so schedules like these are hard to keep on time. Also, your break at the end of the line starts before you get to the unloading bay to unload passengers. It takes time to park the bus too. On paper, it may state that you have 10 minutes, but in reality, there will only be 5 minutes left before you are due to leave. The worst is when you are supposed to have 5 minutes, but after unloading the passengers and looping around, you have zero minutes left.

    Many drivers I know were once happy, but now they are miserable. Watch your mental state. Get help when you need it. This job will change you without you even knowing it. Your family will be able to tell.

    The co-workers you meet here are the best people ever! All your brothers and sisters. You can vent about everything to them. They will understand you.

    To survive in this job, you need to learn not to care about anything and not let things get to you. The easiest way is to keep your mouth shut, don’t look at anyone. Make your money and go home. The pay is not bad for a job that doesn’t require an education. 75k-80k/year. Sunday is 1.5x. The benefits are okay. If you end your shift passed your finish time, you can claim OT. Even 1 minute. Every minute beyond your finish time becomes 1.5x.

    On the bright side, no boss is watching you. You get to drive around for fun. You get to change your days off or hours four times a year. You get three weeks of vacation. If you bank your stats, you get an extra two weeks off. Know that you will always be late. Just stop caring about the schedule. Drive slowly and enjoy the scenery. Learn to love being late. Angry passengers will make you laugh.

    Posted on 24 November 2022 by Rater #19 | Flag as inappropriate

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