London buses 'done brill' last week, by common consensus. As Southeastern trains gave up at the first flake of snow, it was the bus companies who carried tens of thousand of additional passengers to their suburban homes. The word on the platform is that this was mostly due to the bus companies threatening the sack to any bus driver who failed to pitch up for work, whilst the cosseted train drivers could curl back up in their duvets and throw a 'snow day' without penalty at the first snowflake. Everyone's expecting Southeastern to collapse again tomorrow, as staff anticipate the weather to get their Chrimbo shopping, and bugger the passengers. Every one seems to agree that the only way to get Southeastern trains working is to hand it over to the bus companies.
Every so often on a bus, a thuggish and threatening (and most times black) sociopath boards, and profers an inactive Oyster card to the reader with a snarl at the driver, then walks through. It's a brave driver who kills his engine, calls the police on his radio and relies on his plexiglas cab to protect him from psycopathic violence. But some do. Many more value their lives over London Transport's balance sheet, and let the evil bastards get away with it. When one such sociopath powerful bully was cornered today by mass police checking bus tickets, he pulled his blade and slashed a plod's throat in fury. I reckon bus drivers have more work related stress than I do, and that's saying something.
Today's London bus drivers can't drive for shit and I'll bet some of them have problems speaking English. They work long hours for low pay and move millions of legitimate Londoners as well as tooled-up thugs and sociopaths. They're every race and colour you can imagine, and gals and guys both. I don't think they should be paid more, or work shorter hours, or get free PTSD counselling, nor that their jobs should not be subject to harsh attendance conditions or easy dismissal. I do, though, recommend that we tip our hats to them. When the pussyfied train drivers give up, they'll be getting us and our workforces to and from work, and all respect to them.