Wednesday, October 03, 2007

How many bus drivers does it take to change a lightbulb?

The mechanic that works on our school buses is located in another county, some 45 minutes away from the west center. That makes quick fixes nearly impossible. And in the past I have not been given permission to do any repairs no matter how simple the job may have been. When one of my headlights burned out today, I dreaded the thought of cancelling school for some of the children just to visit the preferred mechanic. So, I asked my site administrator if I could do the job. After consulting with the administration, permission was granted.

How hard could the job be? I was figuring 15 minutes if all went well. Try to picture the old sealed beam headlights. You will remember that most were attached by four screws and a chrome bezel of sorts. Fairly straight forward, right? The only problem was that my screw gun snapped both tabs off the bottom of the bezel. Okay, what now? After calling Diesel Pro and NAPA, I found that the part was only available through a junk yard (which would probably break the same way) or the dealership. Thirty-eight dollars later, I had the dealer's bezel and a new headlight installed just in time for our mid-morning route. My bus monitor joined me at the bus as I turned on the head lights. I had replaced the wrong headlight!

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