I left home this morning a minute or two early. Once I leave my apartment, I have my routine down to a science. I know when the three CAT buses are going to go by. I know when to expect the redneck in the Bigfoot truck with all of the hunting stickers to go speeding down Hillsborough Street. I look for the lady to walk the little white dog who hates to go for walks so early in the morning. (He's really cute. He'll just stop and look at her like, "really? Isn't it too early for a walk?") I know when to expect the guy who works at the Citgo station. Seriously, y'all, you can set your watch by these people.
Imagine my surprise when I am passed by a 105 bus while walking to my bus stop! There should not be a 105 at that point on Hillsborough Street at 6:54 AM. Either it's my bus too early or the other bus too late. I waived at the bus, but it just kept going. From this, I surmise that it's not Sarge, but rather the bus before running very late. Sarge would have stopped. I sit on the bench and wait. I see a bus coming and get up. They've been scrolling these messages (take it easy, Triangle Transit, etc) on their signs which make it hard to tell what bus it is. Turns out it's an express. Again, I sit. This guy walks up. He's a nice guy, been taking the bus for a while, works for Big Tech company, nice guy. As he's about a half a block away, here comes another bus. Again, I get up. Turns out that it's another express. This one stops for me. I verified that it was the Durham express. I told him he wasn't suppose to stop there and turned to talk to Nice Guy. I told him I had no idea where our bus was, another one came by late and the express just stopped for us. Basically, the transit world has gone crazy. We begin chatting about what time I was there, what buses went by, etc. Finally Sarge rolls up and off we go. Keep in mind, Sarge is a former military man, and as such, he hates to be late. He gets a little cranky when he runs late.
We're driving along and it's clear we're going to arrive late at the Transfer Center in spite of the fact that Sarge is haulin' ass up I-40. He call the disptcher to tell her we're running late, he has a packed bus, please hold the buses. She replies, "10-4." As I understand it, "10-4" is bus driver speak for "okie dokie." We're driving along, still running late. My bus happens to run every 15 minutes and we're going to meet other buses that run every 30 minutes, so they will hold all of the other buses until we arrive. We're getting closer and the dispatcher starts telling the buses to go. Sarge gets on the radio and says, "I told you I was running late, asked you to hold the buses, and you said okay. I am right here on Davis Drive." (We were litterally around the corner, watching the buses pull away. To which the dispatcher replies, "10-4, you are correct sir." and then she tells Platform Four they can go. At this point, Sarge gets a little prickly. He had apparently told the dispatcher before he even got to my stop that he was going to be late. Three times he told her. And I was still 30 minutes late to work!