Sabbatical as city bus driver in Edmonton leaves supervisor longing for past relationships
Friday June 10, 2011 — Ryan Rogers
Supervisor Alisdair Archibald has worked for the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI) for about eight years, but took a year off to try something different. His brief sabbatical from the inclusion movement reinvigorated his interest in building relationships with the people he’s met working for BACI.
Alisdair began his journey in the inclusion movement about 18 years ago. He took a long trip after graduation from university, like many grads, and when he returned, he needed to find work.
He was offered a front-line job working with adults and kids with disabilities in Edmonton. “I worked my way up through there and ended up servicing a children’s respite care in Edmonton,” recalls Alisdair.
After four years with respite care, he moved to the Pacific coast and found employment filling a maternity-leave vacancy with BACI. “Having all that supervisory experience, I slowly worked my way up,” says Alisdair.
He felt like a break for the field, and returned to Edmonton to drive city buses for a change of pace.
“I’ll admit that it got a little boring,” he says. “There wasn’t the same connection that you make, like with the guys that we work with. Yes, you meet lots of the public, but it’s not quite the same way you can form that bond and really get to know the people you’re working with, like you can in this industry,” he says.
Back with BACI, he says the work is as rewarding as ever.
“At the end of the day, you’ve made a difference in somebody’s life, and hopefully allowed them to do something they’ve never done before, or made them happier or somehow fulfilled a dream,” he says.
“If you can do any of those things, it makes work a lot of fun,” says Alisdair. “Those are one of the reasons why bus driving wasn’t as fulfilling.”
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