A Week in the Life of a Cadet
Follow a State Transit cadet over a typical week
Today sees me back at Brookvale Depot to produce my weekly performance reports for the three depots in the Northern Region. 3 months ago I was contacted by our Regional General Manager to work for him on a special project which involves analysing mountains of data and producing reports which are used to monitor and measure our performance as a business.
Since starting this project the management team have identified areas where we are doing great and areas where we could improve based on the reports I have produced. It is good to know that I have a direct impact on some of the decisions that are being made to improve the business for the general public as well as for our drivers and other staff.
After finalising the weekly performance reports I logged onto Satisfy call back a couple of customers and before I know it, it is time to sign off and go home.
As it is the last day of the month, today I concentrated on my Visual Management Project. The Visual Management Project is a series of graphs and charts displayed on 2 x A3 size posters that contain a lot of colour and symbols designed to attract attention. They are hung up in the depots and in the garages each month as a means of communicating our performance to the staff.
After lunch I spent some time trawling through Changeover data. A Changeover is when a bus needs replacing on the road for reasons such as accidents and breakdowns. Obviously these can impact severely on us providing a reliable service to our customers. One of the tasks I am currently working on involves looking at trends as a way of reducing this figure.
Today I spent most of the day working on the Visual Management Project collating and finalising the data. I now only have a small bit left to do to complete it and I expect that I will be able to display them on either Friday or Monday next week. Today was one of those days where the phone didn't seem to stop ringing. I also had to make a couple of trips to the garage and before I knew it, it was home time again.
Today I finished my changeover reports and sent them off to the depot managers to be used as a management tool. The feedback I received has been very positive. I like being able to provide the managers with useful tools to which they can improve their service for the customers.
I spent a bit of time in the afternoon tracking our progress of the KPI's that are published in STA's Corporate Plan. Still need to do some work on this as we are having a meeting next week to discuss the results.
I can't believe how fast this week has gone. Only one more day til the weekend and Father's day is on Sunday. Wonder if I will get breakfast in bed?
Today I am at Mona Vale Depot as Staff Supervisor. It's been a few weeks since I have been at Mona Vale Depot so I spend part of the morning catching up with some of the drivers. One of the roles of Staff Supervisor is to speak with 25% of your allocated drivers in a week so I use this opportunity to meet this target.
I knock off a few complaints off the system and handle a couple of admin tasks and then its time to head off to Brookvale Depot for a regional Staff Supervisor meeting/get together/brainstorming session. There has been a few changes in the Staff Supervisor positions in the region lately and the Regional General Manager wanted to get us all together and discuss a few things.
We share a few laughs, come up with a few strategies and get to know each other a little bit better. Good way to finish the day and the week.
Back at Brookvale and the first half of the day is taken up with my weekly performance reports for the 3 depots in the North. Some pleasing results this week for all depots. I started on a new project mapping out where the bus changeovers are occurring. I am looking for patterns and trends where they are taking place with hope of identifying something that will reduce this number thus making our service more efficient and reliable.
I spend a little bit of time researching how quickly we are responding to customer feedback for the General manager and then it's time to clock off and head home.
My last day in Schedules training. I have been doing the Day Only’s for Waverley Depot for about the last 6 weeks, after passing a manual scheduling course (literally with a pencil and paper – haven’t seen those since primary school!!) and learning the essentials of building Crew Schedules. I then got buddied up with a Scheduler and learnt from scratch how on earth to do anything in the Hastus system, and then progressed on to doing most of it by myself (and asking lots of questions where necessary as there is always something to learn!). Basically (as I have done today) we add in bus hirings into preexisting shifts as well as make necessary changes for meetings, rehab, special events etc. Very busy and challenging putting all the pieces of the puzzle together but I have really enjoyed working in this field.
Spent the morning learning to do more advanced Scheduling bits and pieces – it’s like a foreign language! But amazing what one program can do, and good to see the next step up from the Day Only’s as to more of the planning side of things. Completed my Schedules assessment – it took 2 hours of two of the Schedulers grilling me!! Yikes I told them I was no good in the afternoons and I needed an afternoon nap, but they took no mercy and it was a struggle! But I miraculously passed and got to laugh at another trainee who has to complete his in the morning. Am now a “Qualified Scheduler” – cool!
Had my first day in Charters training today. I’m not particularly interested in this area but trying to learn nonetheless! It’s good to see where the Charter bookings come from that we then have to put into the Daily Schedules (all the pieces fitting together!). Learnt how to use the CBS (Charter Booking System I presume?) but not very well, it seems like one of those programs you really need to know how to navigate through. I’m sure I will get it in time! The phone rings non stop in this area (which scares the life out of me – school office ladies calling about buses is not a pleasant concept in my mind!).
Sent to Burwood Depot to cover as Roster Clerk for the day. Was pretty excited as this was my home depot for a year and a half and was glad to go back and see everyone. If only I knew what was in store… Had a bit of a shocker with drivers spotting a new face in the roster room and deciding it was time to show me what they thought were mix-ups in the roster and expecting me to fix everything - which I managed to do whilst keeping everything abiding by Award conditions and Fatigue Regulations (which are oh so important and be must not breached!). It was a long and busy day but though I haven’t had much experience in Rosters I managed to get all the work in and Rosters printed and displayed at the appropriate time! Phew I am exhausted and my head hurts!
Back to Strawberry Hills for Charters, unfortunately the person I am training with is not here today and I am giving it a go to keep Southern Region Charters (for 3 depots) under control!! I have only had one school tell me how disappointed they are that we cannot book their charters for 3 days time as we require a minimum of 5 days notice due to Award conditions and Scheduling requirements (and since I have seen all sides of this I understand why!) All I am able to do is explain things such as Fatigue laws and Scheduling requirements and hope that they understand that the rules are there for a reason and hope they will consider this instead of asking us to breach them and putting school children at risk (which we won’t do anyway). Anyway other than this one event, it seems all crises have been averted and I have survived quite a hectic week. It’s been a challenge but I made it! Happy Friday!