Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hello, Bus 52? I'd Like My Child Back, Please

Apparently if I want comments I need to write about testicles. Not that I get tons of comments here, but six is double my usual two or three. I'm afraid my boys will give me more opportunities to write about testicles than I care to have, but feel free to throw me a comment even when I'm writing about other subject.

Like, oh, I don't know, not having the bus show up to drop off my child today.

That's right. I walked out to the bus stop with Sam and Alex a couple minutes before Amelia's drop off time. The bus didn't come and didn't come and didn't come. At 20 minutes late, I decided it was time to worry. We live less than a mile from the school and she's the first child off the bus.

I called her teacher, who confirmed that she had put her on bus 52. Jeff called the Transportation Department, and they radioed the bus and confirmed she was on board and would be dropped on in five minutes.

It wasn't five minutes.

Amelia's bus finally arrived a full 30 minutes late, and she was the only child left on the bus.

First, I was relieved she was there. Then I was annoyed, but willing to accept that she is on an alternate day schedule and mistakes happen. So I said to the bus driver, "Was there a problem?

"No, no problem," he replied. "She's an alternate day kid and I just forgot to make the turn."

WHAT? No problem? Believe me IT IS a problem.

No apology, no concern, just a laissez-faire attitude that it was no big deal that I didn't know where my five-year-old was for a good 20 minutes.

Then he said, "She wasn't upset or anything."

Gosh, that makes it all better then. So what that she's not upset? Her mama IS!

As he pulled away Amelia looked up at me and said, "Mom, I got on the right bus!" She was very concerned, and while she wasn't crying she was upset. When the other kids were all getting off she started to wonder if she was on the wrong bus.

Next call for me was to Transportation. After I explained the problem to the dispatcher, I told her I wanted to know how they were going to address the issue with the bus driver.

She said, "I guess I could talk to him."

You GUESS? Really? Apparently no one responsible for transporting our children to and from school really cares whether they get where they are going at all, let alone on time.

I took a pass on Ms. "I Guess I Could Talk to Him" and left a message for the District Superintendent instead. I asked him to call me back and let me know how this issue had been handled and to answer my questions about the policies that are in place to prevent this. We'll see if I get that call.

On the complete opposite end of the scale was Amelia's teacher, who called me back an hour after we spoke to make sure Amelia had gotten home safely. Mrs. M. asked if Amelia was upset, and assured me that from now on she would remind the bus driver that he had an alternate schedule child on board and she was the first stop. And she said she'd report the problem to the principal.

For her to even call me back was incredibly kind and very reassuring. Mrs. M. shouldn't have to remind the bus driver that he needs to drop Amelia off, but I'm grateful she's willing to do so.

Because apparently I can't count on the Transportation Department to do their jobs.

© Trippin' Mama 2011


Aunt Mary said...

A couple of years ago here the bus dropped a kindergartener off at the wrong stop (the kid really did't know- I think it was day 2 or 3 of school) there was no adult there so the boy took off in the direction he thought was home. After he walked across the busiest road in town and who knows where else, he was picked up by the police who were looking for him by this time (over an hour past when he should have been dropped off). He was fine but I am sure his mom was not. Glad Amelia made it home and was safe and I am sure after you have your say- they will have a way to make sure this doesn't happen again to Amelia or anyone!

Jen said...

The bus sucks. I can't tell you how many issues I had last year with Hayden and the bus. It was unreal. It seemed like I was calling them every week for a while with one thing after another. I hate the bus. If I could, I would bring him everyday to school.

I hope this doesn't happen again for you.

Victoria said...

hi, i have been a quiet follower of yours for a long time and you always have me laughing at the stories and mischief your sweet boys and daughter create. i love reading your blog!

i would have been furious as well, it isn't a package delivery it is a child!! shame on the bus company for not caring and being rude!

so glad she made it home safely though and she stayed strong :)

Christy AKA Trippin' Mama said...

Aunt Mary, that's pretty much my nightmare and the scenario I'm trying to avoid. Yikes!

Jen, not what I want to hear, yet reassuring (AND sad) that it's not just us who has bus issues.

Victoria, welcome! It's nice to have you add your voice around here. You are right, it is a child, not a package! Well said. Glad you enjoy the blog.


Suzy said...

Glad that Amelia's teacher is so caring and responsible ... if you have any more problems with that driver, it won't be because no one at school is watching out for your little girl!

Aunt Sheryl said...

As I read this, I knew exactly how you were feeling in that moment. Interesting how we handle many problems calmly, but when it involves our children we go crazy and will move mountains to fix it?!! That connection to our kids has always amazed me!! And it doesn't go away, even when they are grown. Glad everything turned out well

Abby said...

That is horrible. My boss had a similar situation. On his daughter's second day of Kindergarten she was supposed to be on the bus to take her to Kindercare for post school care, but instead they brought her home. He happened to be working from home that day and was VERY suprised when the door bell rang!