Friday, December 16, 2011

Things your Bus Driver wants you to know, but won't tell you.

Every so often I see magazines boasting, "12 things your doctor won't tell you" or " 100 million reasons your mother inlaws brothers wifes cousins fiancee doesn't like you". I thought I would put together a list of things that your Bus Driver wants you to know, but won't tell you.

1. When we tell you your child's pick up time is between 6:15 and 6:30 am, we usually mean that we will get there around 6:40. We tell you the earlier time so that you will actually have your child to the designated stop around the time we ACTUALLY get there. The same goes for afternoon drop off.

2. If you are the parent of an elementary age child, we cannot leave them alone at the stop unless you give us written permission. We also need you to be at the stop or at your door within eyesight of the bus driver.

3. We are NOT babysitters. Being late consistently to the afternoon bus stop will result in your child being dropped off at the sheriff or police station after we have dropped off all other children. If you do this once, we understand and try to work with you, but as a general rule, we do not wait for you to decide when the stop is. Be there when your child gets home.

4. UPDATE YOUR CONTACT NUMBERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot stress this enough. There is nothing worse than a crying child on my bus when I cannot get ahold of you because your FIFTH phone number provided for the child on my emergency contact card does not work because it is "disconnected". Not only that, your child's school often does not have updated numbers because if you changed numbers you likely didn't update either. Please make our lives easier by at least keeping one working number. Tracphone is cheap!!!!!!!

5. If we send a note home, please speak with your child about the behavior listed on the note. We don't write these notes for our own health, but for our sanity, please teach your child the proper behavior on the bus. Often, a note is a last resort and we will generally ask to contact you to discuss your child's behavior on the bus. Please note that we DO try to work with you as much as possible to prevent your child from losing his riding privilege, but if you continually ignore our notes, refuse to speak with us, or decidedly tell us that your child is NOT the problem, I guarantee THAT will be the last time I try to contact you about the behavior. I'll simply write your child up and let the school deal with them.

6. We did not suspend your child off the bus, the principal made that decision. Take it up with your child's school and do not threaten me. If you had worked with me in the first place to correct your child's behavior, you wouldn't be as ticked off.

7. If your child acts out, MY attention is on your child and NOT on the road. That puts the whole bus in danger each time I have to turn my attention to your child for crawling under the seat for the 50th time.

8. If we contact you by telephone at any time other than between the hours of 6 am and 8 am, and 2 pm and 4:30 pm. We DO NOT get paid. Please respect our personal time and our families by being considerate and answering your phone when we do call. When we can't reach you (see number 4) and you call my boss complaining that I never called you, that does NOT gain bonus points with me.

9. Say thank you once in a while. We get yelled at, told we are stupid, and have our stop signs and other lights ignored by people who are just in a rush to get from point A to point B. Sometimes a simple thank you is much appreciated and will go a long way when and if your child acts out on my bus because you have opened that communication line with me.

10. We do have the right to assign seats. Calling me to ask why your child has an assigned seat will not get you an answer, nor will it get your child to change seats. Your child is not the only one with an assigned seat and has probably been assigned a seat for a good reason. Also, asking for your child to switch seats on a bus that is already crowded three to a seat is usually not possible, nor is demanding your child only sit with such and so only in their seat. If the bus is crowded, we do what we can to provide space, but sometimes, its just not possible. Your child needs to deal with it, or stop riding my bus.

To Be Continued......

Be Nice or Leave,

The Bus Driver


Edna Lee said...

Grrrrrr. I agree with everything on your list. Not keeping contact numbers updated is one that really gets under my skin. HOW on EARTH do parents not see the importance of being able to contact them in an emergency. Many of the parents at my school use disposable cell phones, leading to a rash of "uncontactable" parents.


Damon said...

I don't think I rode the bus home very often, but every time I read your blog, I feel awful about the little twirp I must have been.

Thanks bus drivers everywhere. Your job sounds uniquely challenging!

Mizz C. said...

Mizz C. knew the day she put Little Mizz C. on the bus for the very first time that the bus driver was going to be a VIP in Mizz C's family, right up there with the teachers and the principal.

So she said: "If Little Mizz C. is ever a problem on the bus, let me know." But Little Mizz C. was never was a problem. Mizz C. taught all her pups how to act on the bus so as not to distract the wonderful bus driver who had to share the roads with too many impatient, bus-passing, horn honking, distracted drivers.

Mizz C. and her family were very lucky to have the same excellent--and cheery--bus driver for many years. So, yes, three cheers for the bus driver, the bus driver, the bus driver . . .

Janet and Brian said...

How about....Please believe a small fraction of what your child tells you about me or what happens on the bus. I, for my part, will only believe a small fraction of what your child tells me about you and what happens in your home.

Concerned Parent said...

"A Parents Point of View"

I don't usually respond in forums; however I don't think everything you said is fair. I am a parent of four and I have three different bus drivers two are wonderful and one who is pretty old and a big jerk.

I am at the bus stop on time with my elementary child who before today has not been written up (he has a substitute driver who is also old, rude and angry). He has never been given an infraction from the morning driver or his regular driver how is out sick nor has he been in trouble at school.

I ALWAYS say "Have a great day" to the Bus Drivers, both of them each morning. I give presents to my Bus Drivers and teachers on holidays including Valentine’s Day and Bus Driver Appreciation Day in October also end of the year presents. I don’t appreciate rude, nasty, harassing Bus Drivers so they get nothing.

It would be nice to receive a note if my child is misbehaving so I can correct the problem instead of a ‘go straight to jail (principal) card’. And since parents are told not to speak directly to the bus drivers with complaint it makes it hard to have that heart to heart talk you speak of in #5 of your rant. However as long as we have nothing but nice things to say we can chat it up!

I can’t help it if instead of retiring; the old mean Bus Drivers wants to drive kids around that they don’t particularly like. If you don’t like children maybe this is not the job for you.

If you’re upset because you “don’t get paid enough to deal with this crap” maybe this is not the job for you. If you’re upset because parents are complaining about your horrid attitude and your response to a child is to get up in her face and say “run and tell your momma that!” maybe this is not the job for you!

It’s been a long time but I can remember riding the bus it wasn’t as strict as it is now, I know times have changed and bus drivers have a harder time and in some areas a dangerous time. I also realize that some bus drivers use physical appearance to determine a child’s worth.

Just because my son has braids doesn’t make him a thug, if they would take the time and not be discriminatory they would know that he is in all Honors classes, has been in Gifted and Talented since 1st grade, and made a perfect score in math on the standardized test, just because you don’t see a father outside doesn’t mean there is none, he overseas making sure is children can afford to get into Duke. Because of these bad eggs my daughter is working hard to get into a different H.S. so she wouldn’t have to get the residual harassment from her brother.

I actually use riding the bus as a punishment since my son had a C on his report card, I can be certain that he will have all A’s on his progress next month, so I can continue to drive him into school.

Hear, Believe, Repent, Confess, Be Baptized!

Anonymous said...

AMEN!!! here's a few more: 1)especially on cold nasty days..PLEASE DO NOT stand @ our door & go on & on..& ON about what little johnny did last night or how he loves ___. we don't care that much...sorry. besides..we have a schedule to keep & we might be running late 2)if your pre- school age child is screaming..DO NOT make him or her get on the bus!! it makes our job of safely driving difficult. 3) parents/guardians: update the contact list!! if you send someone to get the child that is not on the list..they don't leave w/them! 4) if your child is NOT's greatly appreciated IF YOU CALL AHEAD & LET THE BUS GARAGE KNOW!!! TY! 5) dear mv drivers: leave us some room!!

Anonymous said...

How about the bus driver who blasts music, constantly talks bad about the children to the driver aid. Then makes up stories that now she can read lips? writes your kid up for moving mouth, she said bitch? OK! When I was a kid rode the bus and the bus driver drove. Thats it! Now they gossip, yell at kids for no reason,because it would be difficult to see what the kids are doing when your eyes are on the road. I guess this is just like our justice system in US. Guilty til proven innocent.

Jeff said...

Very well written I am a school Bus Driver to.

AJ said...

Hi well I'm ticked off right now because I'm a 13 year old who got switched seats because this little girl's parent said a girl my age said shut up to her. Their is not even a 13 year old girl on the bus! So now I have to sit next to a second grade boy who will not shut up and keeps punching me. In my old seat I sat next to my good friend kayden who is my age. So I would love to know why bus drivers do this stuff aimed at teens

Anonymous said...

I have to say not all bus drivers should be bus drivers. My sons bus driver is wonderful abd I love him...Yet my daughter has a bus driver that ha cussed at children and screams all the time. My daughter has never got in trouble but I reported him for some behavior I saw and I left my name with the bus barn. the next morning the bus driver made my daughter stay on the bus and told her that he knew her mother called in on him and told her if I called again he would write her up!!! Well the firstthing I did was immediately call because nobody much less a adult man is going to threaten my daughter. the director said he is going to pull the tape to hear what was said. I am beyond upset and if this driver is not firer my next step is contacting the superintendant and then i will go to our local news until this bus driver is removed!

Anonymous said...

Bus drivers in general are nice however there are a few that need to get a different job, I do believe the comment that was made by a driver on this blog that they don't care about little johns life because they have a schedule to meet., The comment was rude and it shows to everyone that not all of them are nice and if you don't like your job just quit cause someone with a smile will take it and cherish it.
Bless the nice drivers and the rude bunch karma will get you.

Anonymous said...

If you are talking about blue slips(kicked off for a few days) number six isn't fully true. Where I'm from, it is usually our bus driver's decision of from the bus station.

Anonymous said...

I partially agree with your letter. There are wonderful bus drivers and there are those like my kid's bus driver who is constantly yelling, huffing and puffing. Constantly making comments on how many people are stupid (sure, everyone is stupid). Publicly posting FB comments about how kids are rotten, messy and they yap yap yap. Writing kids up because they are too chatty or sing in the bus. But exclusively talking about how she loves this particular kid in her bus sings this song for her every morning. Yelling to parents off the bus about how the kid misbehaved in the bus today. Unprofessional in how she handles issues and present herself as bus driver. Also, any Bus drivers who always talking about how disturb they are about the kids and parents and other drivers just find another job that won't cause you much stress. If you don't have the patient it takes to do the job, maybe you should stay away from jobs that involve kids and parents or any human. How is it there are wonderful bus drivers who are pleasant, kind and teach the kids about bus safety not but yelling but reasoning. Even if stressful for them they know how to handle it because they know about self control and are creative. So i is not so much about the kids or the parents or other drivers all the time. It is how YOU choose as bus driver to handle your day from within Objectively!

Anonymous said...

Bus drivers and the bus companies should be thanking the customers (the riders).

Talking public transit here, as it is the only industry that I purchase service from but am not told "Thank You".

Retailers, utility companies, insurance companies, - all thank me for doing business with them, but no public transit company(driver)has ever thanked me for my purchase of transport service.

An industry where customers routinely thank the company (driver), but the company (driver)does not thank the customer!

Unknown said...

Its bullshit i got thrown off the bus and reported for calling a kid a bitch after he beat the crap out of me and breaking my nose brw he never got in trouble she never fucking reported him

Anonymous said...

Okay, you sound like a good bus driver. My bus driver literally hates kids. She didn't care that I have suffered 3 allergic reactions on her bus that were so severe I required 2 trips to Immediate Care, and had to have a breathing treatment those two times. By the third time I had an inhaler. I was 25 seconds late for the bus today, and less than a minute late yesterday, so she wrote me up. My bus stop is a 1/4 mile from my house. The reason I am late is I have a sleeping condition, and so I am not a morning person, and my parents can't drive em to school. I can't miss any more days, because I have already missed 24 days because of allergic reactions. She screams at the gay girl on the bus, and she mocked me for getting a pixie cut by calling me a little boy. The entire route hates her. What should I do? This has been a source for bulling. I was already written up once because I had a severe asthma attack from something a high-schooler was spraying in the back of the bus and I couldn't breathe at all.She knew what was happening, but told me to speak up, when I couldn't speak at all. She is terrible!