If I can be honest, I think things began to go downhill once it was revealed you didn’t have to wear seatbelt. Where I’m from it’s mandatory. It’s a federal freaking law. Not here. Not Detroit. They claim it’s a danger factor. Come to find out, it’s because most seatbelt weren’t in working condition anyway, but I’ll get to that in a moment. Last time I checked, if danger comes your way, it doesn’t take long to take a seatbelt off, and if you’re treating people right — the chances of someone causing you harm is minimal. I’m more worried about bouncing out of the drivers seat of a moving bus after hitting one of these notorious Michigan potholes.
After two weeks of waiting on Ashton Kutcher to arrive and tell me I was being punked, it was time to go outside and let the class get familiar with the buses. It was the start of the snowball turning into an avalanche for me. The countdown to expediting my entrepreneurial endeavors had begun.
Somehow it made sense why Detroit had so many people driving around with one headlight. But there is no reason why so many buses should have one headlight. There were buses with actual baseball size holes in them, some buses looked as though they just came back from war or something. These weren’t ordinary dings, nor wear & tear, but more like people tearing shit up!
How is one supposed to feel safe when there is literally duct tape holding together mirrors? Holes in the windows that look as though actual bullets struck them.
Pre-Trpping a bus is a federal law, but apparently the law doesn’t apply to this place. Sometimes these people pre-tripped, sometimes they didn’t, depends on who it was. Even when it was done, it was certainly a lot less to do then I was used to. Thorough is not a term I would use to describe in my experience with this company.
Essentially, you gave the bus a once over, and you were on your way. A brake test? What’s that? Again, federal law does not apply. I can recall a time when we did a parking brake test, the brakes failed, and the trainer wanted me to keep trying so we could take the bus out.
The day we had to choose between heat, or a working horn, is the day I knew it was time to go. My soul screamed at me that it was time to formulate my exit strategy. First of all, it’s FEDERAL LAW (there’s those words again) to have a working horn. For so many reasons. But to have to choose between something lawful, and something that can keep you from having an accident, and something that is a luxury, is mind blowing. Yet, there we were. The day before, the headsign stopped working in the yard so the trainer decided to take an advertisement down from inside the bus, flip it over and make a sign.
Jokes were flying around about it, and everyone is laughing, but me. It was downright embarrassing to watch people the same color as I, continually settling for less. It doesn’t help the reputation that black people run everything into the ground. This is a black run company, in a predominately black city. And both are in shambles.
Excerpt from my upcoming book titled: Malcontent (Failing my way to Freedom)