Yep, this is how I feel, the look on the owl’s face says it well. Many times, there has been the quietest whisper: “Luv ya, Mom”. How can that distant, soft sound last ? How can I shut the world out so I can hear my precious son’s voice, again His matters. Why did I not think to save Shawn’s voice-mails ? Why did I think technology wouldn’t let me down? This school start-up has been the most awful I can think of, in 11 years. Many folks bickering back and forth. Changes in boundaries, or overflow. Parents upset because of lack of communication or explanation. There is a parent who blamed me for her child not getting off the bus, when her child never got on the bus—therefore, her child will never ride again-even though he had never ridden !!! The irresponsibility was cast onto the bus driver ??? Me. Here is a recall of another very trying situation: a school leader said nothing was working, everything was a mess. too many people not doing their job making more work for others. I told her things will be okay, everything is going to work out, it is just taking some time. We just need to figure out how to get everyone to work together. She informed me that nothing was going to improve, things were too bad. and that I didn’t understand her hardship –everything was just a big ( *** ) mess. I became frustrated and wanted to ask ALL involved: if they had their own child. I wanted to ask all if they had a child sick enough to be on life-support. I wanted to ask if they were ever asked to say “yes” to shutting the life saving machines off ??? I wanted all of them to know what was a true hardship, and what will continue to be a very long and weary hardship. No redo, no restart, no reshuffle, no chance for a better outcome. I wanted to ask all of them, which really was a hardship, theirs or mine ? I have come to learn, that until people have to decide about keeping life support going, they don’t know what makes for a hardship. No offense intended. I have also, learned that folks do not understand the guilt that floods through ones being-unwanted though it be. I know, first hand what is a difficult situation. So many times, I have wanted to yell at the top of my voice during this rough start to a school year===- I KNOW WHAT IS A HARDSHIP !!! Now how can we make this-non- life ending situation work !!! ??? Here is another situation that got my goat: Our buses are equipped with all talk/hear radios. There are times when wires get crossed and folks are misunderstood, or a request goes unanswered, or plans are changed and the bus driver is left out of the loop. There are times when others get involved and make a tough bus situation worse. Us drivers have passenger issues, parents, teachers, road conditions, bus annoyances and the all talk radios, to deal with. How frustrating and humiliating it is when asked, by one dispatch person, for a preferred location to meet a late livid parent, and then have to deal with another dispatch person-who seems to not have a clue as to what was already discussed, about said situation. Let me see if I can make this clear as mud. A parent was late. I was at the designated stop. I had student stop lights on, door open and stop sign out. I was waiting and looking, on a busy 4 lane Highway, with no divider in the middle-which means ALL traffic is suppose to stop ! Whom do you guess, is greeted by the middle finger waves ? I don’t imagine those horn taps were a nice kind of “hello”. It amazes me how loud some engines roar and how much rubber can left on the road, by other late people. The intended receiver was not any dispatch person—in fact not anyone from transportation, not any of the workers at the schools, not the parents who were late. The only one who gets blamed is the bus driver-who is surely at fault. Do you have any idea how hard it is to sckootch a 33,000 pound rig off the road enough for traffic to get by, while waiting for a late livid parent ? Do you have any idea what goes into keeping kindergartners calm-in their seats and quiet so the bus driver can communicate with people who are sitting in comfy chairs, air-conditioned spaces-with time to talk about who is going to bring what to an event ??? Frustrated ? Yes, to the max !!! When a driver is asked, while driving, making student stops, on bumpy narrow-windy roads—steering wheel in one hand, dispatch radio in the other-hoping it doesn’t drop out of reach, where would be the best place to meet the late livid parent ? The next stop, is usually the easiest, close and not out of anyone’s way. When I arrived at said location; no late livid parent. AND then a different dispatch person came on the radio. Wanting to know where I was, because the frantic parent was on the line, this new person didn’t seem to know the details of this trial. While waiting, bus off, for late livid parent, with much dispatch communications—I learned that a different stop had been chosen. In fact, I was made to look like an idiot, sound like an idiot to all the other drivers who were on GT bus routes, for mid-day runs. One more thing, the bus has what is called an ECS=engine cooling system, a fan to cool the engine. It is very loud-not much can be heard over it’s noise. To top it off, there were parents waiting for a late drop off because of the late livid parent. Another thing that adds to the frustration, we have all heard it and cringe: those remarks that demean a driver, in front of their passengers, and whomever else is in radio ear shot.. What made this worse, was that this one issue tied up the lines of communication for other drivers with difficulties. I am a dot crosser. I try to do my best, no matter the ache in my heart. I go above and beyond to try and make things work for all involved. I do not demean co-workers, I do not gossip, I try to be positive, and try to look for good in situations. I tend to care too much for all co-worker. I desperately try to make sure no parent has to wonder about the safety and care of their child. I try to take very good care of the bus assigned to me. Oh how a situation can add unneeded stress for an already stress filled day. Many may wonder why I say it was a stress filled day. It was a Friday, it was a 3rd. Shawn’s death day was on a Friday, on a 3rd. All the dreaded details from Shawn’s last days: the decision, the guilt, wondering what he actually knew about what was happening to him—an ache rages through my whole body, devouring any joy.
So many times, these past 520 days, I have just wanted to yell at EVERYONE -to SHUT UP !!! Their needless, uncaring, non-understanding noise is drowning out Shawn’s distant soft sound !!! His is the one that matters !!! It is his voice I so desperately don’t want to lose. Yep, that pretty much means I am selfish- We all have work / people/ life frustrations that make for unbearable days—. Oh, wait, a thought just popped in, maybe God sent this crazy dispatch situation as a distraction ? So, please leave me be. I need to get through this rough stage, and maybe someday I will want to care again, for others.
This is all for today. Bye for now.