A half single to showbiz success?

I couldn’t believe it as I started reading the poster on the bus the other day. As I strained to read the details, I wondered what other unexpected ideas this particular bus company was going to come up with, in what seemed to be a bizarre attempt at bringing a bit of, er, “X appeal” to the bus industry.

What I was looking at was a poster for, yes, “Bus Driver X Factor”.

Takes quite a bit of imagination, not to mention courage, don’t you think?

According to the press release, the aim of Bus Driver X Factor is to “find the best driver as nominated and voted for by Arriva customers”, based on criteria such as the driver’s tendency to be “smiling and friendly”, accompanied perhaps by such virtues as being “always prepared to help people getting on and off the bus”.
The regional finals (I’m not making this up, honest) promise to be exciting, as the drivers battle it out in the fight to be “crowned as the Bus Driver X Factor winner”, receiving a trophy and cash prize at the end of the competition.

I’m a bit concerned, though, that the drivers of the buses I use regularly might let the fiercely competitive atmosphere, which must surely be stirring up between themselves and fellow drivers, distract them from actually doing their job.
Suppose John (or Ian or Ken or whoever) is constantly dreaming of Bus Driver Glory, his head full of images of That Beautiful Moment when the Trohpy Is Finally Mine, that he speeds straight past the request stop, oblivious to the protests and frantic waving?
What of the pressure and inevitable media intrusion into drivers’ private lives (“Service 32 Exeter to Taunton’s Phil in Short Change Shocker”) that will no doubt accompany such an event?

We’re supposed to be on the look out for signs of consideration, but will the inter-driver rivalry render our bus drivers even more bad-tempered and snappy than before?