All of the above happened in the span of 5 hours on one field trip, towards the end of a Very. Long. Day.
That fateful Friday, I had stupidly accepted two field trips on the same day. Now let me preface that by saying, I've done this before with no problems, but it DOES make for a very long day in a big yellow limo. What complicated the day was that I had to complete these field trips IN ADDITION to my regular driving job. So my day consisted of the regular Morning Route, Field Trip number 1, Afternoon Route, and finally Field Trip number 2. Somewhere in the ensuing chaos, I had to schedule time to eat and go to the bathroom. This meant I leave the house at about 6 am, and don't get home until about 11 pm.
The first part of the day went off without a hitch. I drove a route in the morning, then transported a group of very well behaved middle school students to the bowling alley and then over to the mall food court for lunch. Naturally, no kid wanted the lunch packed by the school, so I managed to score about 12 free lunches in the end.
We make it back to town on time for me to drop in at home, drop the lunches off, stick them in the fridge, go to the bathroom and hit the ground running again. The afternoon route has no major problems. I'm hoping for poor weather so that my night field trip is cancelled, but no such luck.
The second field trip of the day is to a nearby blueberry field where some random guy has a telescope set up to view the various items in space. The field trip was designated for 6th grade middle school science students. Two of us drove for the trip. The school trip coordinator, Mr. Floozy, separated the students into two groups, boys and girls. I had 60+ boys on my bus, the other driver had the 70+ girls. I also had another male teacher on my bus named Mr. Military. The girls bus had Ms. Principal, and Ms. Science.
The drive only took 10 minutes, but Mr. Floozy kept trying to tell me how to drive. "Slow down, theres a car there! Don't run into that car!". Once we got to the turn off to the field, he insisted on telling me that the road was "hidden" even though there is a BIG YELLOW ROAD SIGN pointing out where the entrance is and a STREET SIGN also designating the road. I see it, ignore him and turn properly. We maneuver into this field on paths meant for a 4 wheeler or smaller tractor. Mr. Floozy then informs me that I have to make a very tight, almost u-turn, with this bus, on unstable ground in the field. I radio the other driver to hang back a bit to watch what I do, then copy me. We turn in the bus and Mr. Floozy has a panic attack because the other bus ISN'T moving! UM NEWS FLASH - I TOLD her NOT to MOVE! He then tells me no less than THREE times that the other bus MUST park BEHIND me... NOT beside, BEHIND. *face palm*
By this time, the kids notice the TWO port-a-potties in the field and the Itty Bitty Teeny Bladder Committee (IBTBC) strikes about 3 quarters of my packed bus. Naturally Mr. Floozy decides to plow ahead letting me know that the girls will go first with the activity, then the boys. But until then, the kids are to remain ON the bus. Yep. 60 BOYS, packed 3 to a seat on a bus, in the middle of a blueberry field in the middle of nowhere. THIS is going to end well!
By this time, the IBTBC is just aching to get off the bus, Mr. Floozy steps off and takes Mr. Military with him, leaving ME in charge of these rowdy boys. I had assumed that Mr. Military would be back to check in on the bus, NO LUCK. Over the course of three hours, the kids were herded on and off the buses, in freezing cold weather to look at the stars, constellations, moon, and planets visible in the night sky. A majority of this time, I was ALONE in my supervision of the boys on my bus. The girls were thankfully supervised by Ms. Principal. Towards the end of the evening, getting on and off the bus got to some of the girls and they started to feel ill and claustrophobic. Finally Mr. Floozy wrapped up the exercise and informed me that we were taking them to a nearby Dairy Queen for Ice Cream and Soda.
Let me get this straight.... you want to travel to a nearby Dairy Queen to pump 130+ kids full of sugar, and expect to keep ORDER?! ARE YOU INSANE?!?!?!
Mr. Floozy gives me directions to the DQ and complains when I go in the wrong entrance. I bit my tongue and prayed that the words Shut The F--- Up would not exit my mouth at the wrong time. Again, the girls went first at the Dairy Queen, leaving the boys to watch in dismay as they flooded the restaurant and took forever. Mr. Floozy disappeared off the bus leaving me with Mr. Military. We were finally down to the last half of the boys waiting, when Mr. Military stepped off the bus momentarily to remind the girls that there were boys waiting.
One of the boys took this exact moment to punch another boy directly in the nose. I happened to be looking up in my mirror and saw it. I stopped it, but not before the boy who got punched tried to fight back. Nose Boy (the one who got punched) came up to me with a bloody nose. I got him to calm enough to tell me who punched him. I called Puncher Boy to the front to have him readily admit that he punched the other boy. Mr. Military returned to the bus and handled the situation, called the principal of the school (who was not happy) and we returned to town. Nose Boy's mom finds out her son was in a fight and goes apeshit. She calls the cops then comes up to me and asks me if we have video on the bus. I reply calmly yes, we do, and that I would have it pulled. At this point, I had unloaded, was ready to go home, and the cops show up. Eventually I DID get to go home, but not before I was completely exhausted and spent.
NEVER AGAIN will I do a field trip for Mr. Floozy.
The Bus Driver.