Q&A Mrs. Carolyn Ready, Bus Driver

Mrs.Carolyn+Ready+smiles+and+waits+for+Mr.+Mcallister%2C+Assistant+Principal%2C+to+give+her+permission+to+leave+Lake+Central.+She+has+been+a+bus+driver+for+17+years.

Mrs.Carolyn Ready smiles and waits for Mr. Mcallister, Assistant Principal, to give her permission to leave Lake Central. She has been a bus driver for 17 years.

Kevin Holechko

Q:What is a typical day like for you?
A:My day starts at 6:03 a.m. when I leave the bus barn to start my route. I go until 9a.m. The kids really make the job a lot better and just more wonderful.

Q:What is the worst thing that has happened to you on the job?
A:“A car slammed into the side of the bus [which was] a new bus but other than that my 17 years has been uneventful, thankfully.”

Q:Would you know how to repair the bus if it was to break down?
A:“No, we have great mechanics and they actually encourage us not to fix the buses. Should the bus break down though, we always have a way to get in contact with them, and if we are far out, we can always contact the police or fire departments.  If it’s something simple and the mechanic can talk us through it, we usually will do it, but that is very rare.”

Q:What is your best route?

A:I have two best [routes]. [When I drove] bus 72, the kids and parents were great and very supportive. My other favorite [route] would have to be the one I currently have. The kids and parents are equally awesome and very nice. I really do enjoy the route.”

Q:What do you do during the day while you’re not driving? Do you stay with the bus all day or go home?

A:“The only time I stick with the bus is when I have field trips. Other than that, I go home and take care of personal belongings.”

Q:How long is your day?
A:[My day is] about six hours altogether. However though,  you also have to do seating charts and call parents, plan out your route etc. The nice thing is I don’t have to take work home with me.”

Q:Have you ever had to kick a student off the bus?
A:“[I had to kick] A high schooler, because of how bad he was in school. [Bad behavior] usually carry over to the bus, and eventually, he was banned from the bus. Other then that, I may have to tell [a student] he can’t come tomorrow or the next two days, but I personally have never had to.

Q:What was your worst year on the school bus?
A:“It’s actually not how bad the kids are, but how bad the winters are [that make the year bad].

Q:What does bus driving mean to you?
A:“I retired from my office job, and a year later, I [began] driving  the bus. I wanted to avoid working summers. I find driving the school bus [to be a] freedom though. You are your own boss, and you don’t have to always have to worry about submitting paperwork or meeting deadlines; you’re also not hooked to a nine hour work day. I personally think though if you don’t love kids,  you can’t be a bus driver because you have to love the kids in order to do this job, and this is what I love doing. ”

Q:Any last comments you want to add?
A:“The job can be frustrating; the idea that all bus drivers are mean and odd people really isn’t true. In the end we are people too. It’s just another job, and like school it won’t always be easy. At the end of the day the good want to get the kids to and from school as safely as possible.”