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!
Oh boy, I would be VERY upset. This is a STCUM driver that knows there are camps and children passing by there…totally in the wrong, children or not. Sorry for your stress filled afternoon!! Mama MOE
Thanks Mama Moe 🙂
Bad, bad STM driver! She sounds more like a truck driver. Exposing it on CJAD is the way to go AND if you don’t get a response from the STCUM which is atleast satisfactory, I would comtinue until I did. The last thing you need is this continued stress but, you’re showing your kids you have to be accountable for your actions. Tanya, I don’t know how you didn’t get on the bus and slap her when she blew you that kiss! She obviously is a little “Coo Coo” and I’m sure yours was not the first complaint. Sorry you had to go through that especially while you’re stressed to make an appt. and in traffic! I’ll be listening this afternoon!
Thanks so much for your support Holly. I agree completely and after multiple suggestions today from both radio listeners as well as Kim, I plan to send my letter to the STM by registered mail as well. I WILL keep everyone posted.
Tanya, unfortunately, this has happened to probably
more people than we can care to count.
They belong to a union, and unions seem to run our
City, Our Province , etc.
Until the lawmakers can swallow their dependance on
unions, nothing will change.
Unions started out to protect workers, but now have
become too powerful. So powerful, in fact, that
they even get involved in politics at home and
abroad, which is something, they should NOT be
allowed to do.
Perhaps, the time has come, for some person in power
to be able to change the status of unions and then
people such as this bus driver, who should respect
her job and the people it services, would adhere to
rules of a job.
We, the public, would immediately get reprimanded,
should we give the finger to a client or customer.
They feel too powerful. They ARE TOO POWERFUL. THE
TIME HAS COME FOR A CHANGE IN THAT STATUS.
Tanya, you are doing a wonderful job. Keep up the
great work. We are totally behind you.
I agree that unions were put into place to protect those that needed protection. Unfortunately, I do believe that some (not all) union members today have a “can’t touch this” philosophy. I do believe that this bus driver was one of those people. Her ‘kiss’ was so obviously contemptuous & ‘in your face’. It’s too bad that something that was created for good has over the years has evolved into what the union represents for many today.
I recently had an experience with a taxi driver who had obviously been fighting traffic for a while… While pulling in to the Ultramar gas station the maneuvering was a bit difficult. Apparently the taxi wanted me to move and I didn’t think I could pass yet. He was going crazy throwing his body in the car. Our windows were open and he rolls his down and in front of my 11 year old son he screams out “Ya f…… b….”! Lovely. Quite the impression to leave on my son of 11. Wish I had taken down his number but don’t think I wanted to get any closer. Love what you are doing with what happened!
Thanks for sharing, Dahna. This is one of the reasons I am complaining & making it public. We all have bad days, but at some point there’s a limit. People do seem to be losing patience more easily and are quick to fly off the handle. In my experience, the fact that the bus driver is in public service, was on duty, in uniform, a representative of our city’s public transit was the deciding factor for not letting it go. Hope your son didn’t put his lesson to good use …
An STM driver yelled at my 7 year old and her babysitter the other day – they were taking a city bus home from day camp and misunderstood him when he mumbled in French that the coin slots weren’t working and that my daughter didn’t need to pay. Can you imagine yelling at a 7 year old who’s trying to do the right thing by paying for her bus ride?!
That is INSANE!!!! I suppose that when a person is rude, they may not understand the concept of bringing up children to have manners & do the right thing. Wow. You should have called into the Kim Fraser Show when I was there today!
By the way, I just got off the phone with someone who told me that what troubled them was that if the bus driver in my instance could behave that way with me, imagine how she’d behave with a teen riding the bus on their own. I guess her concerns are well-founded.
I’m going to add here that I do NOT think that all STM drivers act this way. That said, NONE of them should. Being in public service, they represent our city. Disregarding for a moment that it is the taxpayer’s dollar that pays their salaries, it is horrific to treat a CUSTOMER that way!
Last thought: Take what happened with your daughter one step further and imagine if this had been a parent & child visiting from out of town. Can you imagine what they’d think about our beautiful city? What a story. Thanks for sharing, Liz.
Probably you were not the first one and not last one. t.
get her fired ! anyone in uniform, city,health, government must be respectful! she can work in a factory and use her “fingers’ more effectively!
thanks for sharing!
Thanks for the support, Violet! Exactly my thoughts about the uniform- they represent something larger than themselves & have to act accordingly. Thanks for weighing in & I hope to hear from you again 😉 Have a fabulous day!
these bus drivers create so much bad PR for the stcum. This drivers attitude needs some readjustment but she cannot lose her job for this. One day she will do it to the wrong person…bad karma does go around.
I am a stm bus driver and stcum doesn’t exist any more. Secondly our salary comes with the same deductions as yours. So just because we are paid with tax payers money doesnt mean we are getting hand outs. Finally yes I agree the driver shouldn’t have given you the finger. You should never park in a bus zone ever. We are forced to drop our passengers on the street. Some times our passengers are elderly and have a hard time coming out on to the street. cars behind a bus letting off passengers in the driving lane gets annoyed. Passengers stepping off the bus are frustrated as well. So yes after a thousands of times in a career some drivers may overreact and be inappropriate. We are trained not to even blow our horns at offenders.You guys are both wrong. Wrong iand wrong. I know the public feels we should be grateful and also graceful. The reality is we are just human and tax payers just like you. We also pay high union fees to protect drivers that are inappropriate. You should never park in a bus zone and teach your kids not to also.Think of the elderly who are impacted by this.