Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Straight From the Horse's Mouth

A few nights ago, in a roundabout way of getting home, I ended up on the 22 and heard an interesting conversation which I thought I would pass on.

Time: 6:47 p.m.
Stop: Church and Duboce

I'm sitting in the back, on the left side of the forward facing quad seats. Across from me is a smirky man wearing a Giants hat, next to him is a bored looking guy with headphones on, next to me is a guy with a hat wearing a huge camouflage jacket and behind all of us is a Muni driver who just got off a shift.

When the Muni driver got on he was really friendly and started talking to everyone. He sort of reminded me of that one kid in high school who knows everybody and is super comfortable being all loud and chatty.

Camouflage guy and the Muni driver start talking. I'm not sure what they started talking about but my ears perked up when I heard Camouflage saying he used to be in the Marines and has since had multiple surgeries on his brain and was left with "almost no real bones in [his] body!" He has to go to Stanford all the time for testing, takes pills at multiple points in the day and keeps a strict diet of fruits and vegetables. Muni driver, also a former Marine, is shocked that Camouflage can't eat meat. "Have you been to Safeway recently? You can get those big Niman Ranch steaks for real cheap!" Camouflage says again that he can't have meat, but if he did he would get it at Foods Co. He shakes his head, "They have much better prices."

As we start going up Fillmore, the conversation turns to driving the bus. Camouflage is impressed by the drivers since it's such a hard job. Muni driver explains how he applies the same principles from the Marines to his job driving. The principles? "Staying physically strong ... and remembering [he's] in a position of service." They talk about finding purpose in the Marines. Then they started talking about drugs. I think I zoned out for 20 seconds or something around that point thus the disconnect in subject matter. (Or is it?)

Muni driver explains that there is a drug policy in place now where if you test dirty you're unable to drive for two years. The two of them agree that it's a good, forgiving policy, especially after Muni driver explains that within his first three years, before the policy was in place, 900 drivers were let go. Nine hundred?!

The driver continues throwing big numbers around saying, "Currently we're 700 drivers short, so we're hiring." Marine guy says he might be interested. Muni driver is thrilled and gives him a bright orange flier. "Yeah, they're interviewing on the 17th, 18th and 21st, just down at 401 Van Ness. Just go right on in on the first level!" Marine guy gets very excited and says he might do it. He hops out at McCallister and Fillmore.

Muni driver stands up as the bus pulls away and fans the rest of the papers at me, the Giants guy and the man with headphones. "Anybody else want to make $27 an hour?"

The Giants hat guy exclaims, "Twenty seven dollars?!"

"Yeah, and $41.41 after eight hours!"

I momentarily contemplate quitting my job.

Giants hat guy and I exchange the same wide-eyed look. He says, "Wow," under his breath.

The driver laughs and walks to the front. Giants hat guy smirks at me. Headphones guy hides behind his sunglasses and remains unfazed. Oh, Muni.


But seriously, if you're in the market for a new job and you've always dreampt of a career in Muni, now is your time!

In other things, my life is starting to slow down and this NoLineLeftBehind hiatus is almost over. I promise to post more new, exciting explorations very soon. Watch out!


Rachel said...

Oh, man, can you imagine if we all quit our jobs and drove for MUNI? You know we would rock it completely, right?
Come back soon!

Anonymous said...

I'm, Cheach the school bus driver!

Plug1 said...

thanks for the sidebar link, we linked you back.

TWENTY SEVEN bucks an hour? i am in the wrong racket.

Angry Maverick said...

Actually, the AVERAGE pay for a MUNI driver is $28, the second highest in the nation. You can bet that it's even higher for those above the average.

I enjoy your posts so POST MORE POSTS!
Keep up the good job of riding MUNI! I'm hoping to one day bump into a female with a notebook and camera someday (referring to you).

reverbking said...

Ok, so you have to have lived in the 70's to drive a Muni vehicle. This i'm sure of, also there is a 90% chance that you will not get the job unless your stuck in 70's(meaning: coming to the year 2008 via a time machine from the year 1975)

Alicia said...

Did he actually say you get a raise to over $41 an hour after working 8 hours?

Seriously, why am I going to grad school?