It’s been a few hours since this afternoon’s incident and so I am calm & thinking clearly and what happened is still not OK. What happened? So glad you asked!
I was going to pick up my 3 eldest children at Sunny Acres Day Camp which is located on the John Abbott Campus. I had to pick up a little earlier than usual as my daughter had an appointment. I had spoken with the camp in advance. They explained that they would have my kids waiting in the office and that I should just park & come in to get them.
I arrived at camp 10 minutes later than planned but it was still 10 minutes until the start of pickup time. I drove around the front of the line & asked the director how I could get my kids as the line had already started to form and there was no parking in sight. I should explain that there is a lot of construction on campus right now and things are quite messy. (That said, just earlier today I thanked the camp office for their handling of this not-so-ideal construction situation). She pointed to the side of the building & suggested that I park & run in to get them. I parked. I switched from speakerphone to regular and my 4-year old daughter got unbuckled and came out of the car.
I honestly can’t remember if she shouted or honked, but when I looked up, the STM bus driver who was parked at the side of the building was motioning that I needed to move my car. I answered that I was told by the director to park & just to run in & get my kids. She then proceeded to give me the finger! I couldn’t believe it! I told the person I was speaking to on the phone that I’d have to call her back.
The security guard then came & told me that I couldn’t park there, that this was the way the bus would go out. I explained that it was just to run in & get my kids and that I had been told to park there. He told me I needed to move. I asked where. He said to go “over there” pointing to the other side of campus or “behind the building” neither of which were feasible to get my kids before pickup, especially with my 4-year old daughter in tow.
I got my daughter back into the car & before getting in I took note of bus ID# 31-033 as well as the fact that it was the 210 John Abbott. I then said to the bus driver “You ought to be ashamed of yourself, giving me the finger in front of my kid”. She responded by blowing me a kiss. I then said in French that there are a lot of people without jobs (thinking that she didn’t deserve to have this one).
I realized that we’d be late for the appointment & there was nothing we could do about it. I got into the line with all the cars and called the camp office to ask them to please send my kids (who were already waiting in the office) out with all the other kids. They went over & above the call of duty and sent them directly from the office to my car with a staff member. I was able to leave.
For the record, the bus driver never left her parking spot. My kids commented that she had a funny smirk as we drove by.
I was fuming. I realize that I may have parked in the wrong place. My bad. Fair enough. Maybe the camp director made a mistake, or maybe she didn’t. Maybe I misunderstood her, these things happen, but there’s a way & there’s a WAY!
What did I do to deserve the finger? As I was fuming out loud..repeating over & over again that I couldn’t believe she gave me the finger, it occurred to me…we pay her salary! Not directly of course, but seriously, our hard-earned tax dollars are used in part for that purpose.
How dare an STM bus driver, in uniform, on her bus, on duty (or was she?), give anyone the finger???? She could think anything she wants about me, but she doesn’t, in the course of her duty, get to act on that in this sort of way. Or maybe she does…she’s unionized after all.
I am still furious, although I have calmed down. I have sent a copy of this story to the STM and hope for an appropriate response. An apology or assurance that she has been disciplined would be nice. As I understand it, bus drivers make a decent living & I know some very decent people who would be very happy to have her job right now.
My son’s comment was priceless: “Her parents must be very proud”, he said. Yes, he was being sarcastic. I checked just to be sure.
Am I out in left field? I don’t think so. Please tell me what you think about this situation. I could use some support!