Casual Bus Driver: Glenice Fisher

Role

Permanent/Casual Bus Driver

Qualifications

Specialist Physiotherapist for 42 years; Current job qualification is a Statement of Attainment as part of Certificate III in Driving Operations, including MR license and Transport Authority. I intend, as does my employing company on my behalf, to complete this training as it becomes available.

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Can you tell us how you ended up in your current role?
A number of years ago I found myself occasionally needing to take the bus home from hospital after cancer treatment, and saw posters on the walls of the buses asking for drivers “We want you to drive our bus”. At that point I never really considered this as a possible future job, but it must have sat in the back of my mind.

I recovered my health and returned to work as a physiotherapist, continuing in that role for another two years. I then retired. After enjoying retirement for a little while, I discussed with my husband the idea of returning to work. When we looked at various options, training as a bus driver emerged as something I was very interested in and wanted to pursue.

How long have you been in your current role?
Since August 2012

What does your job involve?
A permanent school run, with various local charters between the morning and afternoon school runs during term time. Money handling and the use of Translink ticket machines. Keeping my nominated bus clean and tidy inside. Being responsible for routine pre-run safety checks on the bus each day.

What role has training and up-skilling played in you getting your current job?
An absolutely essential part. I had never even sat behind the wheel of a big vehicle before the training for my bus licence in the few weeks before gaining my current position.

What do you love about your job?

  • I am intrigued by the precision needed in placing a big vehicle from Point A to Point B, and love the chance to practice this on a daily basis.
  • I love working with, as colleagues, so many people with widely varying backgrounds.
  • I love the camaraderie and spontaneous coaching and assistance offered by people in my work environment when they know you’re willing to learn, and the encouragement to “give it your best shot” that comes right from the top in my employing company.
  • I love working with and welcoming the passengers that are carried on my runs each day.
  • I also love the variety of charters that take me to and from various situations that I can practice new skills and maneuvers with my bus.

What attributes do you think best suit this type of work?
Patience; liking people–both as passengers and work colleagues.

What advice would you give someone looking to work in the industry?
Don’t be dismissive of this job as a valid and very different option. Don’t be afraid of tackling the gaining of a big vehicle driver’s licence–there are great trainers around. Look carefully at the employing company and its objectives, make sure there’s a fit.

Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Five years ago I would never have imagined wanting to or being able to drive buses. Who knows what the next five years will bring?