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DOB2RTO

DOB, Stress, and Death

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I was off for the past couple of days, then went in Wednesday night, for Thursday morning (night bus). On the crew window was a pic of a dispatcher who had a heart attack, while on the job. He usually worked Mon-Fri on the Bx5, Bx6 and Bx19 lines on those afternoons/evenings. His post was Southern Blvd and 163/Hunts Point Avenue. I've meet and spoke with him plenty of times as I have been on the Bx19, and a short time on the Bx6. Some drivers had problems with him, some didn't. I didn't. He was an old man about to retire in a few years. He was far from heavy. He didn't make it to see his first check. This is all to common at surface transportation. We have the same issues as RTO (except the steel dust), but we deal face to face with the public and fellow employees (who can also be a pain). Driving a bus, and being a dispatcher is a highly stressful job. It is a job most think they can do, but realize they can't. 33% turnover rate in 3 months. Having no protection/barrier from customer, at all. Getting it from all ends. It's crazy.

 

 

This made me realize that while I still remain at the DOB, to stop getting road rage with those signal-less, jackass cabs. Forget the customers trying your patience. Just do my job and not take home the stress. It is hard not to, but when now in my 1 year and 9 months, so many death notices have been put up for several drivers, one Zerega training facility head, who was going to retire within a year, and kept talking about he couldn't wait for that, and now one dispatcher who was going to retire, I really realize take this job with a grain of salt. I know I don't want to be here. I know I can't wait to get out of here. Hopefully in the next 3-6 months I will be gone with only 377 people ahead of me on the T/O list. Up here the goal is to do your 25/55 and retire. They say most die within 2 years after retirement up here. Too many don't collect their first check. You think you can be patient, you think you can get along with people, you think you can tolerate the public. You DON"T know until you work up here, and the public will change you at first. The rule is 5 years on the job, then you will get the understanding of the job.

 

Underground they carry more, up here you deal face to face with more. That's the difference.

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You have every right to be worried. its a tough job and a very stressful one. I never drove a bus in my life but I have ridden plenty of them to know what they go through. Its definitely not for the weak stomach. does the MTA have special programs or counceling for the stress that a bus driver encounters on the job?

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You have every right to be worried. its a tough job and a very stressful one. I never drove a bus in my life but I have ridden plenty of them to know what they go through. Its definitely not for the weak stomach. does the MTA have special programs or counceling for the stress that a bus driver encounters on the job?

 

Here is how it works here. We have weight and exercise rooms in some of the depots, also they have some gyms that they have contracts with, where we can go to work off the stress. It would seem like a good gesture, until you realize the ones trying to help you de-stress, are the ones causing you it most of the time. They know how riders act. They know their video tapes of how to deal with stress and the public, is outdated and do not apply in this environment anymore. They know this. They have to show you the old school stuff as they truly have no solution, less of dish it back out to those who F with you. Then that leads to more attacks on employees. Just accept it and let it go, is the motto here.

 

It's like asking your enemy to help you out. I've always said and have told supervisors, that "you all like creating the stressful environment, due to the fact that most will die from it before retirement, so the MTA can keep the pension money". Hmmmm........Maybe that's why they have the surplus.

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I truly believe that bus operators are the most underpaid for the work they do. Sure there's a lot more passengers when operating a train but how about a bus. They have almost a hundred people on a bus. They have the general public on the street. The cars, cabs, car service and kids.

 

It's a tough job that I'll admit I wouldn't be able to do. That is why I show the up most respect to bus drivers and their work. Like I mentioned before here, my neighbor is a bus operator on the 35/63 and just by the look on his face sometimes I can tell what kind of a day he had. I always stop and have a few words with him when ever I can.

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It really seems stressful, and rather humbling as well. Hopefully the job as a TO will alleviate this. Being a BO is a tough job from what I gather, good thing I'm sticking to the subways.

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I truly believe that bus operators are the most underpaid for the work they do. Sure there's a lot more passengers when operating a train but how about a bus. They have almost a hundred people on a bus. They have the general public on the street. The cars, cabs, car service and kids.

 

It's a tough job that I'll admit I wouldn't be able to do. That is why I show the up most respect to bus drivers and their work. Like I mentioned before here, my neighbor is a bus operator on the 35/63 and just by the look on his face sometimes I can tell what kind of a day he had. I always stop and have a few words with him when ever I can.

 

That is why some of us wonder why we don't make the most. T/Os do have more responsibility carrying 1000+ at 1 shot, but the real stress is up here. The pay should reflect all aspects of the job.

 

Artics can carry 120 people. On the Bx19 line it will happen too.

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Here is how it works here. We have weight and exercise rooms in some of the depots, also they have some gyms that they have contracts with, where we can go to work off the stress. It would seem like a good gesture, until you realize the ones trying to help you de-stress, are the ones causing you it most of the time. They know how riders act. They know their video tapes of how to deal with stress and the public, is outdated and do not apply in this environment anymore. They know this. They have to show you the old school stuff as they truly have no solution, less of dish it back out to those who F with you. Then that leads to more attacks on employees. Just accept it and let it go, is the motto here.

 

It's like asking your enemy to help you out. I've always said and have told supervisors, that "you all like creating the stressful environment, due to the fact that most will die from it before retirement, so the MTA can keep the pension money". Hmmmm........Maybe that's why they have the surplus.

 

Man hang in there. Feel free to rant, talk, or anything like that to to ease the stress. All of you guys have to put up with a lot and for that I must say thank you very much. Have you tried meditating or reading a book? ;)

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Man hang in there. Feel free to rant, talk, or anything like that to to ease the stress. All of you guys have to put up with a lot and for that I must say thank you very much. Have you tried meditating or reading a book? ;)

 

Don't need that stuff as when I arrive home, I usually chill out and relax. This stress is on the job. Since Wednesday, I am now chilling out while on the job. I actually feel better, and time actually moves faster. Stress makes the day longer, calmness moves the day quickly.

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My neighbor the bus driver tells me he has his kids to take his mind off of the job when he gets off. I believe him. He has three to worry about when he gets home, and a wife.

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Yeah B/O is a very stressful job you guys get it from everyone. I believe this issue about why T/O's get paid more came up in school car and the reason is T/O's have to go on the roadbed to pre Inspect train or just to check out a Brakes In Emergency that requires T/O's to walk the tracks in tight area and dodge trains that are passing you. In RTO the death rate is about 5 to 8 per year. The leading cause of death among the RTO Family is Heart attack. Alot of our work programs got 40 Minutes Lunch break times on paper which is more like 25- 30 Minutes and every terminal got a fast food or a pizza place right at the entrance.

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Yeah B/O is a very stressful job you guys get it from everyone. I believe this issue about why T/O's get paid more came up in school car and the reason is T/O's have to go on the roadbed to pre Inspect train or just to check out a Brakes In Emergency that requires T/O's to walk the tracks in tight area and dodge trains that are passing you. In RTO the death rate is about 5 to 8 per year. The leading cause of death among the RTO Family is Heart attack. Alot of our work programs got 40 Minutes Lunch break times on paper which is more like 25- 30 Minutes and every terminal got a fast food or a pizza place right at the entrance.

 

40 minutes is the average time here, on paper. And Heart Attacks, well both divisions have something in common. McDonald's, Pizza, Taco Bell, Fried Chicken shacks, etc......, are our motto also.

 

The pay is $1+ difference, for T/Os and B/Os at top pay. That's actually a measly difference.

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40 minutes is the average time here, on paper. And Heart Attacks, well both divisions have something in common. McDonald's, Pizza, Taco Bell, Fried Chicken shacks, etc......, are our motto also.

 

The pay is $1+ difference, for T/Os and B/Os at top pay. That's actually a measly difference.

 

So its only a buck difference after all the progressions and other raises. Surprising, I figured it was more than that.

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So its only a buck difference after all the progressions and other raises. Surprising, I figured it was more than that.

 

Alot of B/Os, T/Os, C/Rs, RTO Dispatchers and Surface Dispatchers at top pay can make more than Superintendents. We can get overtime. They can't. And Superintendents are NEVER off. You can be called at anytime, especially if you are an accident investigator, like my trainer was/is.

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How is the training difference between the two jobs compared to each other time wise?

 

First you go to 1 day of orientation in Brooklyn. The next day Zerega, which then you are assigned a depot to train out of. You then have 7-10 days of qualification. If you qualify on day 7, day 8 and 9 you learn the Orion V buses. Day 10 those who took that long to qualify, will learn the Orion V bus on day 10. You learn the other buses, depending on the depot you pick in to. I picked into KBG (Kingsbridge) in 2006, so I had to learn the artics. A 19-A dispatcher took 4 of us out of 6 to learn that bus (the other two got sent to Gun Hill to learn there). They do make you back them up. Then I picked in to WF (West Farms) in 2007, and I had to get qualified on CNG buses, which is a lesson and quiz shown and given on a CPU, being shown the controls, and how to respond to a CNG leak or fire. Pick into a Hybrid depot they show you that. If they put a new model into a depot, everyone gets trained on that. You have 3 weeks of line training (learning the lines from the depot you work out of), with qualified operators. Everything goes well, you graduate. Probation starts from day 1 (Orientation).

 

Want to shift (aka doing a trick or drill), you get trained by a Superintendent on that, which you drive through the bus wash, and back up an artic....again. This training is done only at depots with artics, because a shifter has to be qualified on shifting artics, no matter if their respective depot has none. They might pick into an artic depot later, and have to know how to back up those buses. I am shifter qualified (took that class this year). Believe it or not, very few driver are shifter qualified. You get 50 cents extra, if you do "pull-ups" and are shifter qualified. If you aren't shifter qualified and do pull-ups, you get paid at your regular pay rate. Pull-ups are just moving the bus up to the fuel pumps, or to the stop signs before the pumps. Shifters take it from there when they get back from parking buses.

 

T/Os do have alot more time to train than we do. ALOT more. The similarity is it will always be a learning process, until retirement.

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From what I've seen, it sure does seem like a very demanding job - especially with the busier routes in the outer boroughs, such as the Bx19 (I ride that one every day, and still, I've probably only seen one-tenth of what you've gone through). Just hang in there, brother. You've been through a lot, I'm sure, and you've got my respect.

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From what I've seen, it sure does seem like a very demanding job - especially with the busier routes in the outer boroughs, such as the Bx19 (I ride that one every day, and still, I've probably only seen one-tenth of what you've gone through). Just hang in there, brother. You've been through a lot, I'm sure, and you've got my respect.

 

That is why I was going to pick on the Bx7. The last run left on the board for that job only paid 40hrs, but I would of took it. Someone else jumped on that, so my choices were the RDO Floater on the Bx9, Bx1/2, or the Bx41 (some of these had the Bx55 mixed in for one day). I chose a straight Bx41 Floater, which I work evenings, and will be done by 0100hrs Sundays, 0100hrs Mondays, 2145 Thurs/Fri, and 2045 Saturdays. We talk in Military time here just like RTO. The times I mentioned before were wrong. Still to have an early Sat is a dream come true.

 

Oh and since you possibly rode the bx19 line longer than I have driven it, tell me is that the drunk/nutjob line? I have never has so many overnight. Maybe that's it. Overnight they come out.B)

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That is why I was going to pick on the Bx7. The last run left on the board for that job only paid 40hrs, but I would of took it. Someone else jumped on that, so my choices were the RDO Floater on the Bx9, Bx1/2, or the Bx41 (some of these had the Bx55 mixed in for one day). I chose a straight Bx41 Floater, which I work evenings, and will be done by 0100hrs Sundays, 0100hrs Mondays, 2145 Thurs/Fri, and 2045 Saturdays. We talk in Military time here just like RTO. The times I mentioned before were wrong. Still to have an early Sat is a dream come true.

 

Oh and since you possibly rode the bx19 line longer than I have driven it, tell me is that the drunk/nutjob line? I have never has so many overnight. Maybe that's it. Overnight they come out.B)

 

I hate to let you down, but the Bx41 is packed with drunks and nutjobs. I avoid that one like the plague. I'd almost rather walk up to the Concourse and take the (D) back to 167th Street. Most of the drunks and all, they come from Morrisania or Webster PJ's (between 168th and 171st). Several times, I've almost run into a physical confrontation with some people riding that bus, even in the daytime. Once you get north of Tremont Avenue, however, it's a clear ride. But yeah, at certain points, the Bx41 can be worse than the Bx19. Not to mention all the farebeats you'll be dealing with.

 

If there's one other Bronx route I'd recommend you avoid, it's the Bx17. Prospect Avenue = Druggie City. Even in the afternoon.

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I hate to let you down, but the Bx41 is packed with drunks and nutjobs. I avoid that one like the plague. I'd almost rather walk up to the Concourse and take the (D) back to 167th Street. Most of the drunks and all, they come from Morrisania or Webster PJ's (between 168th and 171st). Several times, I've almost run into a physical confrontation with some people riding that bus, even in the daytime. Once you get north of Tremont Avenue, however, it's a clear ride. But yeah, at certain points, the Bx41 can be worse than the Bx19. Not to mention all the farebeats you'll be dealing with.

 

If there's one other Bronx route I'd recommend you avoid, it's the Bx17. Prospect Avenue = Druggie City. Even in the afternoon.

 

I've worked the Bx41, and every other line out of Kingsbridge. Besides the opinionated Jamaican women, it's not that bad of a line. It does get alot of people though at 149st, and at Fordham Rd. The reason why I get so many now on the Bx19, is because I work overnight. That's the time where those who drowned their sorrows away, get on the bus. Even if I had seniority to pick overnight, I would never do it again. Not even in RTO, unless I had no choice. I worked the Bx17 once (most runs are combined with the Bx15 now), and it wasn't bad at all. The West Farms operators already singled out the Bx15 as the Methadone line, and the Bx19 and Bx36 are the blood money lines. The Bx17 is the school alley line.

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When I first started as a T/O they put me on Midnights and hated it. I mostly worked the (D) Line and sometimes the (A) Line. I'm glad those days are behind me but sometimes I think about giving it another try because its so quite on Mids.

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When I first started as a T/O they put me on Midnights and hated it. I mostly worked the (D) Line and sometimes the (A) Line. I'm glad those days are behind me but sometimes I think about giving it another try because its so quite on Mids.

 

I'm glad my mid-nights are over. It ain't so quiet up here on some lines (Bx19, Bx41, Bx15). I worked it since October till this past Saturday (Jan 5th), and have never adjusted to it. I know I lost alot of sleep during that time, as I got only 3-4 hours of continuous sleep on my work days. Now back to afternoon-evenings-night, which I don't mind. Bx41 here I come on Sunday. Then I can pursue even more Tower Isle poon-tang, (even though I did go out with one I met on the Bx19 line).

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I use to just get 4 Hours as well most of the time. One of the car cleaners I know seen the diffrance in me he said I looked better on my worst day on the PM Tour then I did reporting to work on the overnight.

I keep myself on the PM's its the best tour for me right now.

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When I first started as a T/O they put me on Midnights and hated it. I mostly worked the (D) Line and sometimes the (A) Line. I'm glad those days are behind me but sometimes I think about giving it another try because its so quite on Mids.

 

The Only times in RTO i worked Midnights was in Schoolcar when we took a light train down the road, and when i worked the trash train with the 2015 or 2045 report time at 239 Yard when i was XL on the West Side in the A Div.

 

That wasnt too bad easy money... :cool: :cool: :cool:

 

I can pick Midnights if i wanted and have good jobs as well as RDO's but im not too cool on those crazy G.O's..

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That drove me crazy you sign on and see 5 G.O Notices and have to understand all of them. I'm been local both ways from 205 St to Coney Island thats a drag. Then you got to watch yourself if your Local S/B on the 6 AV Line that approch signal better have a Yellow D on it or you may be going on the (F) Line. A TSS told me if you move up to the H/S they still can't change the route. Never found out if it was true or not.

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That drove me crazy you sign on and see 5 G.O Notices and have to understand all of them. I'm been local both ways from 205 St to Coney Island thats a drag. Then you got to watch yourself if your Local S/B on the 6 AV Line that approch signal better have a Yellow D on it or you may be going on the (F) Line. A TSS told me if you move up to the H/S they still can't change the route. Never found out if it was true or not.

 

If that Tower "fleeted in" your route the TSS is right they cant change it you brought that Line-up Its Yours..

 

Thats why i dont move past these approach Signals in the B Div if i "see" something not right(DEKALB) i stop the train.

 

Remember West 4th Tower is one of the "Older" Towers in the B Div..

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