Today I watched the bus blow past the stop again. Fortunately I had begun calling transportation before that time so I had already been through 10 minutes of busy signals when it happened. As the kids clambered into the car distressed that they were going to be counted tardy, transportation answered the phone. As I read the person on the other end a firm but not over the top riot act the kids cheered me on and volunteered their commentary. Noah, “Yeah!” Ashley, “Who are you calling?” Alex, “Why won’t our bus pick us up?”
When the lady on the end of the phone suggested that we may not be standing close enough to the stop (a terribly busy road with many accidents) I started in with an excited series of questions like “do you mean you want me to have my kids stand closer to Northshore? What do you want me to do, have them in the middle of the street?” It wasn’t until she said, “I just answer the phones” and I replied with, “good. Now I want you to stop ‘just answering the phones’ and figure out a way to get this bus to pick up my kids!” that she decided to hangup on me.
30 minutes later the phone quit ringing busy and I had the pleasure of speaking with another person. By this time, the school secretary and I already had a discussion with the bus driver. Of course a few sentences into the conversation Cingular drops my cellular connection so I was right back to busy signals but this time for only about 4 minutes.
The discussion with the bus driver, a nice guy, went like this: Driver and secretary talking. I walk up and the secretary says, “oh! Here he is!” Greetings. Nicities. Me, “So what can I do to get you to stop and pick up my kids?” Driver, “I’ve never this stop before and I can’t be stopping and having those kids cross Northshore. Can you get them on the other side of the road?” The other side of the road is a 3 foot section of grass between the busy road and a privacy fence. “[I can’t have my kids stand on that dangerous road.]” Secretary, “Perhaps we need to have transportation move the stop.” My thoughts of course this means ‘put them on the other side of the road with the middle schoolers’ which as far as I’m concerned works for me. Me, “In the meantime, if I step out into Northshore, stop the cars, and act as a crossing guard, will you stop?” Driver, “Sure.”
Back to transportation. The next call gets me back to the person that hung up on me. After getting her name, I ask, “What can I do to get you to not hang up on me?” She replies, “Be nice. Don’t yell at me.” My reply, “First off, I didn’t yell. I’m an aggrivated father that has watched the bus blow past his kids stop 3 out of 4 days and 1 day it didn’t even show up. And you were suggesting that my kids need to stand on a dangerous road to get it to stop.” Next I make apologies and agree to not yell if she agrees to hear me out. I compliment the driver as being nice, explain the situation, suggest 3 alternative solutions as well as pointing out the numerous other students that would ride the bus if it wasn’t on Northshore, and she explains she will look into it and get back to me.