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A Day In The Life Of A Community Transport Driver
July 5, 2017
On Tuesday the 28th of April, I set out with a camera to capture and better understand what it’s like to drive for ComLink. I wanted to see what it was like, right down to the fine details.
Shane was selected for his upbeat nature and reputation. I had many questions for him, like who were his clients? What were their stories? What adversities came with the job and how did Shane overcome them? ‘A Day In The Life’ is the first in a series of videos which will be available on our Facebook page.
I met Shane early at his Buderim house. On a regular working day, I’d still be having breakfast, but Shane was dressed, ready to go and helping his daughter get ready for school. It was my first time meeting Shane and he immediately came across as warm and open. A big part of his job is building rapport with clients, and Shane is a natural at it.
Shane knows that to avoid any unforeseen circumstances he has to arrive early for each destination. As we drove to pick up our first client, I turned the camera on and decided this would be the perfect time to begin.
How did you start working for ComLink?
“I’ve had many varied jobs, ranging from having my own business to working security at pubs and clubs and everything in between. I find that basically this is the first job where I’ve really been appreciated for the skills that I have, which is communication and the ability to make people feel comfortable.”
As we went from client to client, I noticed how Shane would tailor his mood and atmosphere, depending on who was in the car. ‘Some clients don’t want you to open the car door for them, others do,’ Shane explained to me. It was all about reading the client and making sure no one felt uncomfortable – everyone had a story to tell, and everyone was at a different place depending on where they were at that moment. As Shane drove, I asked more questions.
Can you explain what a typical day as a driver for ComLink is like?
“A typical day, depending on your roster, can start anywhere from around 5 o’clock in the morning, and the latest I’ve gone to is about 7 o’clock at night. It’s a matter of juggling because you’re out on the road pretty much by yourself. You have the office there as backup but it’s your responsibility to try and make sure that you get the clients to where they need to go on time, whether there’s traffic events around or not. If things don’t go your way then you can always call the office as backup.”
Even as we pulled over for a bite to eat, the office staff called to say Shane’s schedule had changed, which meant finishing lunch early. This truly was an ever-changing office. Between runs, Shane had regular spots he’d return to – usually nature spots, off the main roads. Another perk of the job was that one was able to learn their surroundings well. Every chance I had, I kept the camera rolling as Shane had a lot to say.
What have you learned while working as a driver for ComLink?
Basically, the one thing that seems to resonate is the more they keep their sense of humour, the better they’re able to deal with what’s going on in their life. If there’s one thing I’ve noticed it’s I need to keep my sense of humour in this world, because it will get you through a lot of hard times.
Finishing lunch early also meant we were able to finish our run early, – business as usual, Shane would tell me. A fun thing about driving for ComLink was you never knew what to expect. Our last clients were an amazingly optimistic bunch. As Shane put it, the more you keep your sense of humour, the better you are in this world, and they knew how to keep their humour well.
Interested in becoming a community transport driver for Be? See our volunteer opportunities today!