As many of you know, I had an “experience” with an STM bus driver this past Tuesday. To make a long story short, she gave me the finger & when I called her on it, she slowly & contemptuously blew me a kiss…I guess you’d say a “Kiss Off” of sorts. If you want the whole story, click here
I was furious after the incident and wrote to the STM as well as to CJAD news & several newspapers. As some of you may be aware, Kim Fraser at CJAD invited me to speak about it on her show the very next day. I did so gladly.
Several callers felt that I should just “get over it” or that I should have just flipped a finger right back at her, but I don’t agree. Flipping one back would have brought me down to her level. As far as “getting over it” goes, this would have been easy had it come from some random fellow citizen, but not from someone in uniform, representing the STM of our city. I was happy to see that there were also many callers who saw it from this perspective as well.
In my letter to the STM, I had requested (1) that this employee be disciplined and (2) an apology from her.
I am happy to say that yesterday I received a call from Danny Provost, Chief of Operations for the STM. He heard me out and asked to confirm the age of my child. He offered the following for informational purposes: On construction sites, motorists tend to do a lot of parking in the wrong place, blocking buses. As a result, bus drivers are not thrilled when they find themselves in construction situations. That said, he made it clear that he was in no way condoning the type of behaviour displayed in this incident.
With respect to my first request, he told me that he, personally, would be meeting with the driver. He explained that she would be asked for for her side of the story. He assured me that she would be reminded that she was not trained by the STM to behave in this way, and that this type of behaviour is not acceptable. STM drivers are trained to behave in a manner that promotes respect between themselves and other motorists. He further explained that he could not divulge what happens with an employee’s file as this is an internal matter.
With respect to the my request for an apology by her, in front of my child, he told me that he has never seen that happen before. He also believed that it would be highly unlikely that I would see this bus driver again as their routes change frequently. I was thinking and may even have suggested that it could be arranged, but clearly this wasn’t going to happen. In any case, I had already explained to my daughter that this is not a nice thing to do and we don’t behave in that way. This is the part that I am prepared to “let go” because I’m not the type to stand on ceremony and a little something inside me says that the apology wouldn’t be genuine anyway. This part is not worth the energy.
Overall, I am glad that I took immediate action and that I didn’t let it go. The STM response was timely and Danny Provost put his best foot forward in dealing with a bad situation. Yes, it makes me feel better that the bus driver will be reminded that this is not OK, because maybe she’ll think twice before doing it to someone else. People in uniform who behave this way give a bad reputation to the organization they represent. Mr. Provost understand this and is doing something about it. I thank him.
I often keep complaints to myself because I realize that service providers may be having a bad day. There are, however, situations situations that are so overwhelmingly unacceptable that something needs to be said or done. I hope this story serves as an example to my kids that sometimes, you need to just speak up and that speaking up can sometimes effect change.
When something happens to you, do you speak up or do you keep it to yourself, sharing just with your inner circle of friends & family? Does it depend on the situation? Please share your stories, I’d love to hear from you.
Have a wonderful weekend,