I spend a lot of time in forums, on reviews websites, and on social media reading what people have to say about the Greyhound bus. I feel it’s part of my job as the Greyhound Guru, and to be honest it gives me hours of entertainment. People have lots of funny things to say about the Greyhound bus. And a lot of angry things too.
Lately, I have been hearing a lot of talk about buses leaving stations late because there was no driver available. And when I say ‘a lot of talk’ I mean like a few incidences every day. Just go on Twitter and search for ‘Greyhound bus’ and I promise there will be a 1/2 dozen people somewhere in the U.S. complaining about being stuck at a Greyhound station because there is no one to drive them.
This has always been an issue because, lets face it, things do happen. Bus drivers are human too so this means they get sick or have emergencies like the rest of us.
But lately it seems like it’s gone from and issue to an epidemic.
The reason for the current epidemic? Well from what I can gather it’s because Greyhound has an major driver shortage on their hands. I’ve haven’t received this through official channels but I’ve heard it enough to believe it. Plus I see Greyhound ‘Now Hiring Bus Drivers’ advertisements all over the internet. Like ALL OVER the internet. So I firmly believe that Greyhound is having trouble finding drivers.
And I can understand why. Daily I correspond with people who are nervous about just riding on Greyhound for a few hours or more. Can you imagine being on a Greyhound bus 5 days a week? Can you imagine being the authority figure that people are looking to when one of those Greyhound crazies starts acting up? Can you imagine getting asked the same questions day in and day out by angry passengers who were supposed to be home hours ago? Can you imagine driving that huge bus through all types of traffic, weather, and environments. Can you imagine having to smell that Greyhound bus smell (you know what I’m talking about) every time you are at work.
To me the life of a Greyhound bus driver holds no allure at all. They would have to be writing a pretty big check every week to get me in the drivers seat. And judging from what I’ve heard from some employees I don’t think Greyhound is doing that.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen some drivers who absolutely LOVED their jobs. I’ve come across some wonderful drivers who cared about their jobs, their passengers, and their schedule. I take my hat off and salute these men and women. I just don’t think there are too many people out there clamoring to fill out W-4 forms and join them in the ranks. It just seems like a high stress job with very few rewards.
So I don’t see the Greyhound bus driver shortage going away any time soon. Not unless Greyhound can find a way to outsource their driver jobs like they do their customer service jobs (a subject I intend to address at a later date).
So what does this mean for you and me, the loyal Greyhound passenger? Well it means delays at Greyhound bus stations. It means missing your next bus because of those delays. It means longer layovers and longer trips. It means a lot more hassle while you are on the Dirty Dog.
I bring this subject up not to bash Greyhound however. I wanted to write about the driver shortage so people would know what to expect. If you know what to expect you can plan for it. If you know there might be delays on your trip you can do things like booking your trip for a day or two earlier than usual. For instance, if you are taking Greyhound to your sisters wedding which is on Friday, book a trip that is scheduled to get you there on Wednesday. That way even if there are extreme delays you will still be there at the latest on Thursday, still a day early. I read about people messing important meetings, conferences, and life events all the time because of delays on the bus and I can’t understand why they just didn’t book an earlier trip. It will save you a whole lot of anguish.
Knowing that there might be delays will also keep you from going postal when the delays happen. I read tweets and comments from people all the time who just can’t believe their bus is late or hasn’t left yet. You can save yourself all the anger and frustration if you go into your trip expecting this to happen.
Yeah it’s not right, but it is what it is. There will be driver based delays on Greyhound trips for awhile in the foreseeable future and getting irate about it when it happens to you isn’t going to make a driver appear any sooner. It’s just a fact of life when you ride the Greyhound bus. So learn to take the delays in stride. Pull out your phone and listen to some music, talk to a fellow stranded passenger, read a book, strike up a conversation with one of the drug dealers that are always hanging around. Do something to take your mind off the fact that you are stuck and there is nothing you can do about it.
Worst case scenario if you just have to rant and rave, log on to Twitter and tweet about it. Be sure to tag me in your tweet, I’m @GuruofGreyhound, and I’m always looking for something entertaining to read…