Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pollen Did It

The little boy who lives across the parking lot from me is obsessed with the transit bus that I drive regularly. He can't help it, he's 4. He usually requests a "ride around the parking lot" in the bus. Occasionally, I let him. I also let him operate the door, and he always asks questions about the buttons and knobs on the panel at the front of the bus. He's absolutely adorable. Today, he and his mother were out in the parking lot having some "outside" time and I pull in on the bus. He runs to the door after I get parked and informs me of some very important news.

Busboy: Ms. Bus Driver, guess what!?

Me: What Busboy?

Busboy (very authoritatively): SomeBODY put stuff all over our car this morning, but I washed it off all by myself!

Me: Oh really? Who would do such a thing?

Busboy (knowingly): "Pollen" did it!

I must set out to find this "Pollen" and make sure he is brought to justice!


The Bus Driver

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Overheard - BonBons

Most of the time, the morning routes are uneventful. Kids are just waking up, are still sleepy, and are often quieter in the morning. Not the case with BonBon Girl. BonBon Girl is in everyone's business. I don't think that child sleeps at night, she always seems so wired up. She acts out enough that she has earned herself a permanent front seat. Unfortunately we still have to remind her to sit down and turn around. She tends to tell the other kids what to do, and again, we have to remind her to mind her own business several times during the route.

Anyhow, the following exchange happened between BonBon Girl and another child on the bus this morning:

BonBon Girl: When people get pregnant, they eat BonBons!

Other Child: Ew....

BonBon Girl: What? Its just chocolate! They eat Twinkies too!

Somehow, I really don't want to know what started that conversation!

Nibbling Chocolate(and NOT pregnant)!

The Bus Driver

Monday, February 21, 2011

Good Morning or Good Afternoon?

Ms. Elderly is back with a third installment. To fully appreciate her, you need to read Part 1 and Part 2.

I recently picked up Ms. Elderly and Mr. Stroke for BINGO. They go play bingo at a local church twice a month. It's this huge event and they go play anyways even if they don't win anything. I pick up Ms. Elderly first and head over to Mr. Stroke's house. Mr. Stroke recently had a haircut. I mentioned it, and Ms. Elderly pipes up with, "I like him better with longer hair, its more curly and fits him better." Nothing like saying whats exactly on your mind huh?

I let the lift down to get Mr. Stroke and his powerchair on the bus, and I hear the following exchange between the two as I'm raising the lift.

Ms. Elderly: Good MORNING Mr. Stroke!

Mr. Stroke: Good AFTERNOON Ms. Elderly!

Ms. Elderly: It's not afternoon, its MORNING.

Mr. Stroke: I beg to differ it is AFTERNOON, its after 12.

Keep in mind, this happened at about 12:30 NOON, BINGO doesn't start till after 1:30 pm and both are going early to get good "seats" for the activity. In fact, they were the first there. I climb back into the bus in time to hear Ms. Elderly retort back with, "I guess it IS afternoon then."

When I returned to pick them up around 5 pm, I mentioned that I was surprised that Ms. Crazy - another regular transit rider - wasn't on the bus. Ms. Elderly had something to say about that as well.

Ms. Elderly: Well Ms. Crazy gets a ride from Mr. GuyDownTheRoad. He lives down the road from her about 3 miles. She has ridden with him a couple times, so I guess they're an Item. Well, thats what I think anyways!

Forgive me if I dissolved into fits of laughter at this revelation. If that wasn't enough, this took the icing on the cake.

Ms. Elderly: I brought home two pieces of cake. We had cake for dessert at BINGO. I didn't win anything this time, but I did bring home the cake. No icing though, thats bad for diabetics like me. I hope I can get the cake inside before my daughter finds out I have it hidden in my walker!

Licking the Icing,

The Bus Driver

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Messing With Bill Collectors

Okay, so this post has nothing to do with driving a bus, but it was too good not to share.

I admit it, i'm not the best when it comes to paying my bills on time, all the time. I do get to most of them by at least the 2nd or even 3rd notice. Not really, but occasionally, I do have bills that slip my mind. These are usually unpaid balances on a medical service that I received ONCE way back when. Normally, I'll get a bill like that in the mail, think nothing of it, then when it hits second notice, will send out the money because it slipped my mind the first time.

Two years ago in December 2008, I had a Sinus CT scan done. I thought nothing of the visit since I did not have a co-pay. My insurance covered it all, or so I thought. December 2010, I get this random phone call from an 888 number stating I had a message waiting. So I called back and a lady answers with, "Hello?" No indication that it was a company she worked for, no indication that it was a creditor looking to rectify a bill, NOTHING.

I explain my random phone call from the number, and she places me on hold with a rude, "Hold on." Then she comes back and says very snippingly, "You have an unpaid bill of $6.86 from *Radiology* for a CT scan back in 2008, you need to pay it now." It caught me off guard and being that it was right around the holidays, my first thought was that it was a scammer trying to get my information. My second thought was that if I hadn't seen a bill initially (back in 2008/2009), then I have no idea what she was referring to. Keep in mind, she answered the phone very unprofessionally, so I was right to be cautious. I told her, "Send me a paper bill, because I need to double check with my insurance that I do owe this amount. I also don't feel comfortable with giving my credit card information over the phone." She retorted with, "We wouldn't take your information anyways, there would be a 10 dollar charge to have it processed if we did."

So I hung up and waited. Two weeks later, a bill did appear in my mailbox. I had gone through my insurance claims and found the one claim they were referring to. Again, at this point I had no recollection of receiving a bill for the services at the time of the service. I put it on my "to do" clipboard and ignored it, thinking still that it might be a scam. I got another call from the same 888 number. By this time I was getting irate because they answered the phone in the same snippy tone. All this was over a bill for something that SHOULD have been simply written off. We're arguing over 6 dollars and 86 cents here.

I called the *Radiology* place directly and, after reaffirming they DID send a bill, I got told, "You're not the only one who owes $6.86." Now you pissed me off and insulted me. I had half a mind to get the money in small change, tape it to the envelope in duct tape and send it off duct taped like Fort Knox. I ended up getting a money order instead, costing me 45 cents. I also had to provide my own stamp for THEIR return envelope. So, I did the next best thing. I typed up an itemized Invoice, billing them for the cost of the stamp and for the cost of the money order. A whopping 89 cents. Looking back, I should have included the cost of the paper too. Hopefully, I pissed off the person who opened it, saw my bill to them and thought, "This is Stupid!"

My sentiments EXACTLY.

The Bus Driver