All of us probably have dream jobs that we still aspire to: racing car driver, ballerina, astronaut, business journalist (spot the odd one out). But James Harris, an 18-year-old from Miami in the US, had a slightly stranger ambition: he apparently wanted to be a bus driver. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the necessary licence – so instead he allegedly managed to get hold of an official uniform, and steal buses from the local depot on at least three separate occasions in June and July (one of which was after he’d been bailed on an earlier charge). Now police have finally caught up with him, he’s facing three counts of grand theft and burglary.
But this wasn’t your typical act of larceny. After taking the buses from the depot, Harris drove them around the correct routes for several hours at a time, picking up passengers (without pocketing any of the proceeds), and then returned them safely at the end of his ‘shift’. Which you could argue is technically more like a volunteer gaining work experience than a thief… And it isn’t a short-term infatuation: according to his family, Harris has apparently been obsessed with buses since he was a small child. That’s an admirable degree of commitment to your chosen career.
Of course the thefts do raise some rather embarrassing questions about the security at Miami-Dade Transit, since this entirely unqualified driver was able to wander in and drive off with a massive bus (it’s not like borrowing a biro, after all). And it does seem to have taken an awfully long time before anyone realised what was happening. Police are apparently investigating whether it was an inside job: two bus company employees have been suspended pending an investigation of whether they helped him get hold of the uniform.
But although our respect for the law is unwavering, we can’t help feeling that this kind of enthusiasm for working life should be nurtured. After all, if you’ve been on a bus recently you’ve probably been driven by someone who clearly has no wish to be there whatsoever – so it seems a shame to lock people up who want to do the job voluntarily...