Day 18 in DC


That was my day today.


I could have the protagonist of this story be a bus that goes by incognito and keeps changing its number so that it can keep appearing (or not appearing) in the story. Let’s say this post is kinda long because this guy performs but sometimes misses its cue…

Here we go! Since I don’t know how to write plays I’m just going to do this in my, erm, standard prose!


The “31 bus” arrived at 7:24 AM and dropped me off at 7:58 AM by this train station that was supposed to have the bus garage that I was looking for right next to it. Except it wasn’t. It brought me exactly a block from the right subway exit (and the garage), but there were like five directions you could take on the crossing it dropped me off on, so I went about two different ways first. Finally made it a bit late.

So while I’m all like, “Hey, I’ve been on time to work for two weeks now, which is A RECORD, so I’m not a lost cause yet” I get to tour a bus garage with actual FLOW DIAGRAMS and a superintendent that actually describes things to us (this other project manager-guy working on the same project and I) in detail.

I learn that I will actually get to be involved in working on the process control aspect of the bus garage’s renovation, both getting our meters hooked up to it properly (and making sure there’s memory, and whatnot) and adding a device so that we can see what’s happening and give the system commands from the WEB. But… gotta actually learn about process control first. Course 6 keeps sounding more and more interesting…

Anyway here are some pictures:

Look a bus wash!

Here’s the cyclone separator

That big tub on the left has wash water for the wheels, and that box thing on the right has the high pressure pumps for the wheel wash water. Thing is… it’s located right between the two wash lanes. And if there is something you do not want to happen here, that something would be water spraying onto those pumps. The superintendent and the project manager-type guy I was with were like “Oh, you know how these companies are. Why don’t you get this thing? Why don’t you get that? Sounds great on paper or the phone, but once we have it we’re like… uh…”

This is just part of what I have to make sense of (and add to) to do this process control thing. Lights come on when one of the conditions mentioned are met (ie something’s not quite right) and then someone often needs to open the box to see what the problem is and fix it/check if it’s fixed. BUT the box is like 5 feet away from the bus washes… and if there’s something ELSE you don’t want to happen EVER… anyway the system now isn’t too user-friendly.

After I got the diagrams, I go on a TRAIN (not a bus) and stopped at headquarters to drop off my direct deposit form. 10:40 AM – it was getting kinda hot.


Whoa so I’m on the TRAIN AGAIN, get off and wait for the bus. 11:40 AM. The F1. It must be 90 degrees. I check WMATA’s NextBus service on my phone and next bus comes in… 45 minutes.

Dressed in all black, had long black pants to go to the bus garage, out of water…

*eats lunch*

*reads about the history of myths, which isn’t quite as interesting as say the myths themselves*

*time passes*

Look it’s 1 PM! Where’s the BUS?

NextBus: No current prediction.

I’m calling the office and like “I have to go back and work from home because if I don’t I’m going to melt and then calling my mom and like “I’m melting I’m MELTING HELP ME” and then this bus turns around the corner…

And it’s our bus, the F1!!!!!!!


It must have been 90 degrees when I was sitting out there for more than an hour, because when we left work at 5ish (no, I didn’t melt – AC!!!) it was like 98 degrees. Maybe the max was 100 something?

SO. The other intern and I had left work. We’re walking to the stop talking about what we do after work. Exercise, go out maybe? Yeah, me too. I’m like “Sometimes I go to Barnes and… HEY THERE’S MY BUS!”

I’m running and get to the traffic light. The bus stop is on the other side. And the bus is about to go turning when the light changes and pass right by it. (Happened to me yesterday. Had to wait another half hour.)


(Our bus has lines!)

The driver’s looks at me with a face like ‘Just cross THIS street and come over’ and I’m like WOW okay that’s smart and I get on.

But I couldn’t really see the number of the bus from the side I was on. I’m ASSUMING my protagonist is in its F1 costume.

“5400 Tuxedo Ave.”

“1480 blah blah drive.” What?

“Kenilworth Ave.”

“Bellevue Ave.” Wha…what?

Okay where should I get off I’m going to be in the middle of nowhere and have to cross a highway or maybe I’ll end up in an asylum what should I do

“Cheverly Station.”

OH THANK _____

And that’s how my bus very nearly gave me heat stroke and a heart attack in a day’s work.


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