The Absent Uncle - The first day of school

D.C, Schultz, Guest columnist

Here it comes; that almost a holiday, that day every parent takes so seriously – our kid, starting school, going up a grade, heading to a new school, and maybe this is the end of that school career – graduation.

For the Absent Uncle, in his working day, the first day of school had a total different meaning. It was going to be a long tough day, followed by another two or three tough ones fixing the problems that invariably arise.

In my working days I was the “bus guy”. All kinds of titles and levels of responsibility, but at the end of the day – if I worked in your school district, I was in charge of getting your kid to and from school.

I always loved buses. I rode one for an hour in the morning and in the afternoon to get me from our rural farm to school and back. I knew that route, the riders, our driver, and really enjoyed the whole experience. (Really, I did!)

I never knew that I would end up in the school bus transportation industry. I’ve never met anyone who planned on being the “bus guy or gal”. I got in the business as a part-time college job – never left – although I couldn’t figure out how I could make a living doing this. So along we go, finding different experiences, wondering what is coming next.

But when you do rise to a certain level, you find a whole world that centers around everyone else’s child. If everything works, you hear nothing. 

As it should. But the whole operation from requesting service, to routing, to training bus drivers, to making sure the school personnel puts the right kid on the right bus, to the traffic those drivers may experience, and the kids themselves – doing the right thing. Getting off at the right stop, listening to instructions from this strange adult (the driver), and not falling asleep during the ride home. Preparation (and paranoia) is the key ingredient. 

I could tell you stories. I should have written a book along the way. But let me tell you – that first day of school for the “bus guy” is a long day – and rewarding when your children are safely at home to tell you about the first day of school.



The Brandon Valley Journal


The Brandon Valley Journal
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Brandon, SD 57005
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