I will be leaving soon for law school but I was the youngest driver hired, and I loved every day of my job. We did a 3 Tier system in my district which means we drove High School, Elementary, and Middle Schoolers. The demographics of our district ranger from homeless-rich! AMA

Proof: http://i.imgur.com/sQ4Vxk9.jpg

Comments: 151 • Responses: 63  • Date: 

Insane_Drako27 karma

Not a question, but my thanks. I was heavily bullied in elementary and highschool, and one of my bus drivers always made my bad days turn into good, even for just a few moments.

He's the one who told me not to worry about losing my first job (at.. Oh, 13-14 years of age) after two days of work, while my step father berated me. He's the one who played his harmonica while we got on the bus, chatted with me and asked me how I was doing. He's the one who brought his sculpted boat paddles, and asked me what interested me.

He made me feel special and loved. I can see that's what you do, and always remember that it'll always stay with us (26 years old now).

Thank you.

SamStoleMyBanana16 karma

I wouldn't put up with it! I'm glad that your bus driver didn't either. People don't realize the stuff kids go through on a daily basis, they hear of this thing called "bullying" but since they never see it they don't believe it actually exists. I can assure you it DOES exist and it ruins lives.

Hope you are doing better now!

Insane_Drako5 karma

I am =) I enjoy every moment of my life, and I'm glad I pulled through. It was thanks to people like my bus driver, people like you, who took our pain seriously and urged us to recognize the wonders of the world around us.

I'll be starting my own family in the coming years, and I hope my kids get to have someone like you too, to drive their bus!

SamStoleMyBanana6 karma

There are many like me out there believe me!

BiPolarBear5128 karma


SamStoleMyBanana9 karma

Its amazing how in tune Bus Drivers are to situations. We love every kid on our bus. No matter if you are gay, bi, transgender, fat, ugly, white, black, Indian, Cuban! When you are on OUR bus you are no different from ANY ONE ELSE!

BiPolarBear5124 karma


SamStoleMyBanana5 karma

Well you always have a friend in a Bus Driver!

InfamousBLT6 karma

Jesus. My bus drivers just yelled at me, threw stuff at the kids, and even hit us now and again. I didn't know that good bus drivers existed.

SamStoleMyBanana2 karma

YIKES! I hope this wasn't recent!

InfamousBLT3 karma

Oh naw, 10+ years ago now. I stopped taking the bus in 9th grade because of the abusive bus driver. Was about a 15 minute bike ride to school, and on bad weather days my neighbor (an upperclassman who had a car!) would take me. Sucked when I was not able to escape the bus though...I always dreaded my bus ride. I'm glad not all bus drivers are like that! I always assumed they were all miserable hags, haha

SamStoleMyBanana3 karma

I hope that bus driver lost his/her job and was arrested!

kak09k26 karma

Keep in mind a law degree doesn't equate to riches or a luxurious lifestyle. Study hard, stay in the top 25% of your class, network as much as possible, and never turn down an interview.

Best of luck in law school.

Source: Attorney.

SamStoleMyBanana9 karma

Thank You Sir! I've worked hard to get where I am at, when not on the bus I was going to lectures, networking events, and everything else in between. I scored a 177 on my test and that got me some recognition. The more I look at some Lawyers I know I don't know if it's worth it? I'm excited but at the same time I was offered a pretty great gig utilizing my Marketing degree.

TrollinAtSchool4 karma

It's still definitely worth it, at least, if someone else is paying for your education. It just took me about 18 months to find a job after graduating and passing the bar. And I don't really even need to be licensed for the job I took.

SamStoleMyBanana3 karma

That sucks man! I'm hearing the same thing from friends who have gone before me.

toaster_o19 karma

Have you and the janitor ever teamed up to steal all the kids' lunches and then smoke weed and eat all the lunches?

SamStoleMyBanana27 karma

Who would steal 30 bagged lunches?

Rico_Rizzo5 karma

I'll tell you who it was... It was that damned sasquatch!

SamStoleMyBanana2 karma


mjh8414 karma

not gonna lie, this AMA is a lot more interesting than I thought it wuld be, thanks!

SamStoleMyBanana11 karma

Thank you! I don't think people understand what bus drivers go through so I thought it would be fun to give an insight to it.

franticantelope8 karma

Any favorite methods for dealing with loud/annoying kids, or was that not an issue?

SamStoleMyBanana18 karma

The best method to deal with the loud kids was reminding them that there were camera's on the bus and that they heard and saw EVERYTHING! My bus was one of three that didn't have one but I had them believing they were there. Buses have little tiny holes in the ceiling and I told them the cameras were situated up in the ceiling.

libertati7 karma

I knew it! Liar!

SamStoleMyBanana20 karma

Out of 300 buses only 4 didn't have cameras.

NOAHA2028 karma

Did you ever have to pull over to leave the driver's seat in order to check on a kid or stop a fight or something?

SamStoleMyBanana27 karma

I pulled the bus over one time and that was when (notorius bad bus) Middle Schoolers counted to three and threw an open pop can up on the front windshield, opened ALL emergency exits, and screamed "FIRE!".....I didn't say a word. I pulled the bus over, took the keys out of the ignition, closed all emergency exits, cleaned the pop up, got on the radio and let them know what happened. Returned the kids to the school and every single one of them had to call their parents to come pick them up!

OttawaNLer24 karma

I didn't say a word.

The looks on their faces must have been priceless.

SamStoleMyBanana20 karma

"Priceless" is an understatement.

Karacent-9 karma

Wow, that's supper shitty, I'm guessing it was 1-2 people's faults and the whole bus PLUS their parents were majorly inconvenienced for nothing.

SamStoleMyBanana28 karma

It was pretty much the entire bus, there were two kids who did nothing and I drove them home.

SgtCrinklecream3 karma

Nice guy.

SamStoleMyBanana1 karma

There are others better than me!

SamStoleMyBanana13 karma

I believed in the motto "Just get them home" as long as no one was in danger, and all my kids were safe. I wouldn't pull a bus over because it didn't solve anything. You have to learn to pick your battles, a lot of new drivers don't understand the philosophy.

Calamity_Payne8 karma

Ever loose any kids?

SamStoleMyBanana15 karma

One of THE WORST radio calls you can get is base telling you that "Timmy didn't make it home". But you saw him get off the bus......Luckily it always ended up being that Timmy went over to Billy's house and didn't tell his Mom and Dad. Then after the last stop on every route I would pull the bus over and check to make sure no kids were asleep in the bus. I made the mistake one time not to check and at the end of the day I went to to my final inspection and saw a kid asleep. It was the most gut wrenching feeling EVER! That's why you should ALWAYS check you bus, and luckily I did because THAT story ALWAYS makes the news!

Calamity_Payne3 karma

Any kids who you wanted to loose?

alienware14 karma


Calamity_Payne-6 karma

was the meaning lost in that extra letter? Were you unable to figure out what I meant when I hastily typed a question, do you need exact spelling all the time to have the first clue what's going on?

SamStoleMyBanana8 karma

I responded to your question, I knew what you meant.

SamStoleMyBanana9 karma

There were some "not so great" kids but you put them up in the first seat for a couple of weeks and get to know them, then before too long they become your favorite. Sometimes you just have to look at where they come from and understand that even though they are 13 or 14 those kids are doing more at that age then I am at 27. So no, I loved every kid that stepped foot on my bus.

StoryDone8 karma

Most frustrating parent?

Most BS call made, by superiors?

Weirdest trend you've seen?

SamStoleMyBanana13 karma

-Parents who don't believe what you tell them. "Sally would NEVER do that! She is an angel!" Yeah! You're right lady I totally like to to call you and tell you that your daughter called me a "Fat C*NT!" because that's something I LOVE to do. I hated calling parent's because they NEVER wanted to believe anything and they would always side with their kids.

-My Superiors and I got a long great. I never complained, I was always on time, hardly missed work, and was always happy! But if a parent would call in and complain loudly enough they would tend to side with the parents more.

-Being out on the road you see A LOT of weird things. As far as bus driving goes we are now required to signal them to board on a right side pick up. Where before you would just open the door and they'd get on. Now we have to treat it as if it were a left hand pickup! SUPER annoying. A lot of people would run our red lights like NONE OTHER, and go around us when we were stopped at Railroads.

StoryDone8 karma

Most crazy story?

Which education group was easier to drive to/from school?

Favorite memory?

Favorite kind of cookie?

SamStoleMyBanana26 karma

-I had a kid get on the bus the day after Halloween and scrape the dog crap off his shoe onto the floor heater and it started to bake. The smell filled the entire bus and a girl said "I'm going to puke, I'm going....." it she projectile vomited and it started an entire chain reaction of Middle Schoolers throwing up. I still can't stand the smell of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

  • I loved my Elementary Kids. They would laugh at all my jokes, loved when I dressed up for each holiday, and loved when we did sing a longs!

-Macadamia White Chocolate Chip Cooke.

mavdude4108 karma

You dressed up on holidays?? You're the best bus driver ever, period.

SamStoleMyBanana4 karma

Santa was a favorite! The looks I would get from not only the kids but also other drivers was GREAT! I loved it

taocn8 karma

School committee member here: what don't we know about your job that we should?

SamStoleMyBanana19 karma

I am personal friends with our school Superintendent and most of our School Board Members (that made me a target at the compound, since it was all Union and they talked against my friends but it's whatever!) so I was always happy to report to them the good things going on at the bus garage.

Being a school bus driver is for the most part an easy job. But it's the only job that you have to be a parent, teacher, counselor, and driver. You are transporting 75 students in a big yellow tube in rain, snow, heat, and cold. It is a very mentally draining job, try driving with a route sheet in one hand, and finding roads in areas you are unfamiliar with and picking up/dropping off kids at a certain time, it gets to be very daunting.

I personally would go to school plays, sporting events, give money for lunch, book fairs, and anything else that a kid needed help with because their parents didn't care, couldn't afford it, or in rare cases forgot to give them the money (so I would get paid back). People don't realize that Bus Drivers are some of the nicest people and have a heart bigger than their buses. But some are GRUMPY, and MISERABLE and give us a bad name...I stayed away from them.

I would say that we have so many things to worry about that people don't understand. Laws, regulations, routes, etc! We need to be able to adapt on the fly.

jr_rock7 karma

I graduated from a school that was #10 on the U.S. news list while I was there, I'm a member of the bar in good standing, but I don't work as a lawyer. My goal in life for the last seven years has been to get out from under the debt, and I finally did it a few months ago. I spent three very stressful years in school when I could have been earning money or at least having fun and it took me seven years of working a job I wouldn't have chosen if I didn't need the money to pay it off doing other work. My recommendation is don't go unless someone else is paying for it or you're independently wealthy. A google or newspaper search will show you plenty of reasons why, e.g. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/business/09law.html . Being a school bus driver could be the last job you ever loved...

SamStoleMyBanana9 karma

I got a scholarship so I will probably give it a year or two.

jr_rock5 karma

Congrats on the scholarship. I hope it works out better for you.

SamStoleMyBanana5 karma

Thank You!

Korkinator7 karma

What was your favorite part of the job?

SamStoleMyBanana6 karma

Being able to effect a kids life in even the littlest way possible. The smiles, the hugs, the love for knowledge.

Emighty7 karma

Was Otto Mann from The Simpsons your source of inspiration?

SamStoleMyBanana10 karma

Besides the fact that we were drug tested monthly I would say "no". But I have to be honest I was about as chill as he was, those kids just wanted to treated like you and I!

Circlejerk_Level_9007 karma

Does a bus driver job fit very well around a college schedule? I am a 21 yr old guy who lives at home and attends community college. In the summer I already drive shuttle buses full time for a canoe rental company but I was wondering if it is feasible to hold down a school bus route during the school year. I live about 15 minutes from a large school bus garage and they are usually hiring every fall.

SamStoleMyBanana8 karma

It was VERY rough, I'm not going to lie! There were a lot of sleepless nights. If I EVER felt like I was unfit to drive I would take a personal day. We had them so why not use them? I would schedule my vacations around Finals, and I would talior my class schedule around my route!

Typical Day: 4am- Wake Up 5:45-Pre-Trip Bus 6:45- Start Route 9:15- End Route 10a-13:30p- Classes 14:30- Back for Afternoon Route 17:00- Park Bus 18:15-21:00- Classes 22:30-00:30ish- Homework/Study

I would study during layovers, and fit homework in WHENEVER possible. So it's possible but you have to stay focused!

Circlejerk_Level_9003 karma

thanks for the input! I might be attending online college sometime in the near future when I'm done at the community college so it might work for me to run routes.

SamStoleMyBanana3 karma

Good Luck....It can be very draining but just keep your eyes on the prize.

dude9er9er2 karma

What is a "pre-trip bus"?

SamStoleMyBanana2 karma

We have to do a "pre-trip" where we make sure the bus is safe for daily operations. It's required by law that all buses go through a pre-trip inspection.

Climboy551 karma

What were weekends like?

SamStoleMyBanana1 karma

Homework, OSU Football in the fall, Homework, Studying, Catching up on sleep! The usual stuff.

funkseoulbrotha6 karma

How old are you?

SamStoleMyBanana8 karma

I'll be 27 on 9/11. I was hired when I was 21.

SgtCrinklecream3 karma

How do you celebrate your birthday?

SamStoleMyBanana3 karma

The same way the people who celebrate it who were born on December 7th! Cake, Dinner with friends and family, and all the other fun stuff!

Yukaeshi1 karma

Hey you're only exactly 5 days younger than me!

SamStoleMyBanana1 karma

Hello fellow Virgo! :)

scithion6 karma

Do you feel that you are going for reduced job security?

SamStoleMyBanana9 karma

Not at all! All my life I wanted to be a Lawyer or a Pilot. So I'm happy to be following my dreams, maybe once I retire from Law I can go back to driving Big Yellow!

peytron60006 karma

What is something that the kids did or said that you just could not stand?

SamStoleMyBanana9 karma

Anytime bullying would go on I would nip it in the butt quicker than sh**. I wouldn't tolerate it and the kids knew that I was that way too.

The kids who would take FOREVER to get off are who made me the most upset.

mjh846 karma

did any of the HS girls have a crush on you?

SamStoleMyBanana13 karma

God I hope Not!

mjh846 karma

what kind of music did you play? (if allowed at all)

SamStoleMyBanana11 karma

We weren't allowed to play Top 40 radio, or heavy metal. I would always listen to easy listening (70's, 80's, 90's, Now) even though I couldn't sing I would get on the Mic and belt out a Billy Joel, or "Ice, Ice, Baby"! ;)

jednorazowa6 karma

Why did you love your job?

SamStoleMyBanana14 karma

How could you not love a job that you woke up at 4am for every day? To see the smiles on kids faces, the people who I would layover at schools with (that's what we call our rest between routes), and being able to effect a childs life in the littlest way possible. It was an AWESOME feeling teaching them something they didn't know. We had "Fast Fact Friday" where I would give them all kinds of trivia and if they knew the answer they got their names in a drawing for a big gift at the end of the month. So it was fun to see them get excited about the littlest things.

mjh845 karma

where are you from? were you able to live off a bus driver salary?

SamStoleMyBanana5 karma

I live in Ohio. No! I did it to help me offset the cost of college, I scored high enough on my LSAT that I got an almost full ride scholarship to Law School. I will go back and substitute drive when I have the time to just get my "fix". It really is a great job but it doesn't pay SQUAT! You start off at $16.49/hr and a typical route is between 4.5-6.5hrs a day! So it's perfect for people who are retired, or have a significant other who has has a good job.

Nickved5 karma

This sucks. where I live there is major kick off over drivers wages,

"The average salary for a bus driver in the Isle of Man is £38,500. The basic salary is £24,300 but can be boosted by overtime."


These pricks have no idea how good they have it compared to elsewhere.. They also get paid for their lunch hour.

SamStoleMyBanana4 karma

WOW! I think our most Senior Driver (22yrs) is making about $25/hr.

PounderMcNasty4 karma

What number am I thinking of?

SamStoleMyBanana4 karma


elcheecho3 karma

how much would your bus driving job at to pay for you to be indifferent to going to law school or keeping that job?

SamStoleMyBanana4 karma

It's not about the money for me! As long as I can pay my bills, and have some play money left over I'm good with being poor and happy! ;)

elcheecho4 karma

so being a lawyer is going to make you happier, compensation not considered, than being a bus driver?

SamStoleMyBanana3 karma

We'll see! I don't know yet? If I'm not as happy as I think I will be then I can always go back to driving a bus and living in my parents basement I guess? ;)

elcheecho3 karma

i guess that's what i'm asking. surely there's a number at which point you will find it hard to decide whether to go to law school or keep driving the bus.

SamStoleMyBanana3 karma

I was only making $19,000.00/yr driving a bus.

elcheecho4 karma

i give up :(

SamStoleMyBanana3 karma

My dream is to own a house and live comfortably.

SamStoleMyBanana3 karma

I'd like to be paid at least 35,000.00-40,000/yr!

pellinoor2 karma

Consider being a public defender, if trial law interests you. You seem to genuinely care about people, no matter what their background is. You're highly motivated, but the money isn't the most important thing; rather, you want to do the right thing.

Having worked a few years ago with some public defenders, I can safely say they're among the people I respect most. They believe in treating every fairly and aiding them with their rights, no matter who they are or what they've done. And they do it for what's not nearly enough money, but the personal reward, of having done a stellar job despite all the obstacles (prosecutors get all the love , and funding, from the state).

SamStoleMyBanana1 karma

Thanks for the input! That was great to read, thank you so much.

wolfdad9993 karma

What was the moment you realized: "This is gonna be a good job."?

SamStoleMyBanana23 karma

I was there for four weeks and it was the day before Christmas Break. I was a substitute driver at the time (you drove whatever route the driver was off). It was for a route through the "poorest part" of the district. I got all my kids a Christmas present. It was something simple and little, a little boy took the bag, looked at me and said "This is going to be a Good Christmas. My Mommy said that Santa wasn't coming this year because his sled is broken." It broke my heart and it was the only thing I could think about. I got back to the Compound and looked the kid up. My parents and I went out and bought a Tree, Food, and Gifts. The Mom (My age at the time 21yro) hugged all of us and cried. Luckily I come from parents who think of others before themselves and aren't poor so they were HAPPY TO HELP! Thats when I knew I would touch lives.

gabacha4 karma

Thank you for doing that and telling us the story. I hope you get law school to translate to that kind of helping people with their lives.

SamStoleMyBanana5 karma

That's one of my biggest fears about being a lawyer, I don't know if I have the heart to be one. ;)

gabacha3 karma

Civil rights attorney, family law? Defense attorney? Labor law? Legal Aid groups exploring right to education, and similar issues?

I didn't have the brain wired that direction for professional-law - but I know people who really earn a comfortable living, have those chances to give back to the community that aren't just about the job- and feel fulfilled - doing stuff like that.

The ones I know - always cool, would come talk to my HS students, I'd volunteer some. Welcoming, and definitely easy to network with? ACLU, community pro bono, Legal Aid outfits, hit a meet-up or just volunteer.

(I'm not pushy, not intentionally. I just think smart people who also care about the world - awesome!)

SamStoleMyBanana4 karma

I have an interest in Corporate Law but that field is VERY competitive. So I have my eye on Family Law as well now.

friedpikmin3 karma

Trying not to cry at my desk... You are a wonderful person!

SamStoleMyBanana5 karma

There are many more just like me, if not better. :)

potionboatchild2 karma

Reading this has made me miss riding the school bus everyday! Thank you for caring so much about your job. I have had bus drivers who cared that much. I was always a very quiet kid, but somehow my bus drivers got to know me and really cared. Just know it made a big difference. I'm now studying to become a teacher, and hearing about your side of what makes our public school system keep going is sure to help me one way or another. Thank you for this AMA!

SamStoleMyBanana2 karma

Good Luck! Your eyes will be open to a whole new world.

RedFail2 karma

what is the weirdest fashion trend among HS girls or boys you've seen around?

SamStoleMyBanana1 karma

SHORT ANYTHING! I was always worried that the boys were going to do something to the girls that would make the news.

nanliao1 karma

What types of kids were simply a joy to drive and interact with? How can we be better bus riders as adults?

SamStoleMyBanana1 karma

The elementary kids were THE BEST! I also had the privledge of driving a handicap route in the morning, and those kids were so much fun! We would sing, tell jokes, typical stuff you couldn't get away with on the route with non-handicap kids because they would just roll their eyes and not partake. Those kids were my pride and joys, and they knew it too!

LilySapphire1 karma


SamStoleMyBanana1 karma

I would participate in EVERYTHING if I was given the opportunity. Field Trips were the best perk of the job.

48041483021 karma

What do bust drivers do between the AM and PM shifts?

SamStoleMyBanana2 karma

I went to school...

For the most part it was when they would get errands done, sleep, have sex with eachother (I'm not kidding! It seemed like bus drivers would sleep with other bus drivers. With me being the youngest it made me a target but NO WAY JOSE! I wouldn't touch them with my enemies d**k!).

Star_rider2 karma

Oh my god, are you telling me my fat mean ugly bus driver from elementary school might have had sex with the other bus drivers?...Dafuq

SamStoleMyBanana1 karma

Yeah! It was pretty gross!

throwsawayp1 karma

You're making a mistake. Go back to driving buses; law school will not avail you.

SamStoleMyBanana6 karma

We'll see how I like it, I have scholarship so I'm interested in seeing how it goes for a couple of years.

thelowend1 karma

Im a university bus driver that also drives lots of summer camps with kids ranging from k to 6th grade. I can handle those kids for more than 2 hours at a time. I eventually want to get a school bus endorsement - any advice?

SamStoleMyBanana4 karma

The only piece of advice I can give is "pick your battles". It will make your life so much easier not worrying about the littlest things. The ones who worry are the ones who turn grumpy and miserable.

draw4kicks1 karma

Does your username have a story behind it? It sounds like something a middle schooler would say. What's your fondest memory of the job and how did the kids react when you told then you were leaving?

SamStoleMyBanana2 karma

I have too many memories to name. It was my life for the past five years, and the best memories are the ones I'll remember as I'm sitting in class this fall and see a bus go by. I would have to say the stuff you hear on the radios are the best. With 200 buses on one station you hear some FUNNY stuff.

I hinted to my kids that I might not be back this coming school year, I didn't want to upset them too much because for some I was their only friend. I will go back to their schools and see them because I'm going to still be considered a District employee.