The next day Denice and Bart, the director of Public Transportation made a spot inspection of the main Public Transportation depot.
Denice said, “I read the contract and ‘Management’ can operate the bus as long as they have a commercial license and we do not operate the bus without a ATU member on-board. You do have a license, right?”
Bart said, “Of course I have a license.”
“Good.” Denice said. “Because we are going to take the next bus that comes into the depot…number 24-066 by the look of it, and you are going to drive us around the route.”
Bart said, “That is not necessary. I can tell you everything you need to know.”
“Excellent. You can answer all my questions while you are driving the bus.” Denice flung back cheerfully as she boarded the bus. She asked the driver to vacate the driver’s seat so Bart could drive. She installed the driver in the seat immediately behind the driver’s seat.
“Let’s roll, Bart. We have a schedule to keep. Put the hammer down.” Denice said.
The bus lurched and stalled.
“You know, I could understand this being an issue if this was a manual transmission, but this is an automatic. Come-on Bart. Giddyup!” Denice said.
Bart attempted to restart the bus. It coughed. White smoke belched out of the exhaust. Finally the motor caught but not without filling the bus with diesel fumes.
Bart put it in gear. Once again the bus lurched and stalled, but this time emergency lights came on and an extremely loud alarm message played “Please exit the bus by the nearest exits. Use emergency exits if flames are visible.” The message repeated over and over and over.
Standing on the pavement ten feet from the bus stop Denice told Bart, “That is the most disgraceful display of incompetence I have ever seen. You clearly need motivation so we are going to repeat this exercise once a week until it is no longer a problem. You have one month to get this squared away, otherwise it will no longer be your problem, it will be your replacement’s problem. Have I made myself clear?”
Bart’s face was red. He clearly wanted to say something but was thinking better of it. “Yes ma’am. I understand.”
”Get out of my sight.” Denice said. “You have work to do.”
Walking away from the bus stop Denice called Liz. “Liz. Let me know if the Transporation department fails to put in orders for at least sixty-thousand Callors of bus parts in the next twenty-four hours. I am looking for orders for injector pumps, sensors, wiring harnesses, transmission oil cooling lines, clutch-packs and the like.”
“That’s right. I want you to tell me if they DON’T put in an order. It means I need to start looking for another head of Transportation.”