Monday, January 21, 2013

The Day I Quit Transit

Wednesday, November 7, 2012 was... one big emotional day. I started the day off with a headache, called out from the bus shop, still didn't feel good by the time it was time for class, so took that time off too. I had to meet someone at 10:45 am ish, but the meeting got pushed to 11:30. So I took a few minutes and ran over to transit to pick up my Wednesday night schedule. That's when everything changed.

Usually I am in and out of the office in a few minutes, with a few perfunctory polite words to C the schedule supervisor. Within seconds of me stepping through the door, C says, "I need to talk to you about your time Ms. Bus Driver." I think, "Oh great, what now?" and turn to face her.

Several months back, we had a meeting which was a "get on the same page" meeting where she tried to get me fired for taking time off, violating the time off policy, and basically not doing my job. The meeting was between me, the big bossman J, and her. We each had an opportunity to speak and when it was my turn to speak, C was very rude and disrespectful, and insisted on scoffing and trying to speak over me. I have had a target on my back since I started working for Transit.

I have had incidents in the past where C has complained about one thing or another and where no matter what I do/did, it wasn't going to be enough. For example, two weeks before the November 7 confrontation, she complained about the way I parked at Wal-Mart. Apparently the fact that I pull in the fire lane at Wal-Mart to drop off and pick up just like everyone else does must be wrong. I'm usually only there for a mere 5-10 minutes at any given interval.

Weeks before that it was my uniform shirts, and still weeks before that, it was any number of things such as ... gas in the bus (if the bus is left with less than 1/2 tank people complain and it comes back on me), on my cell phone (keeping in mind, I usually only call people for business on my phone), uniform shirts again (not wearing them on weekends - which again.. is bull), parking at K-mart (fire lane issue anyone?), taking x, y, and z, home and the time it took me to take them home within an hour and a half time frame when they live in 3 different areas of the county all about 12 miles apart and are picked up at 3 different spots as well. But back to the issue at hand.

C has another employee pull my time sheets and proceeds to tell me that I am to record time a certain way on the top part of my sheet while pointing to the top of the sheet. Fine, I can do that, no problem. I tell her that I will. Then she points to the bottom part of my sheet where I put my in and out times. We are supposed to record the time in and time out per stop (or stop set) in order for them to complete payroll properly.

I've recorded my time in and out the same way for four and a half years, and now she is calling into question the WAY I've been doing it. Now she wants times to be exact since after all no one can do it the way I've been doing it. Okay. Fine. Still feeling a little miffed, but no biggie, I can comply and I tell her so, very calmly.

Then she points out on my Monday sheet where I had 30 mins from the time I dropped off my last pick up and got back to transit. I politely pointed out that the bus had less than 1/4 tank of gas in it and needed to be refilled and that the fuel stop was marked down on my sheet. Having not succeeded in frustrating me, she switched tactics and claimed when I took Mrs. G to wherever, it always took exactly 1 hour.

As an aside and to explain how we keep time - Mrs. G lives 20 mins outside of town. So if Mrs. G has a pick up time at 8:30, I clock in at transit at 8:15. I get out to Mrs. G at 8:33 to 36 ish, pick her up, by the time we get back to town its about 8:55 and we are only at the outskirts of town. It takes 7 to 10 minutes to cross town. If she wants to go to Mc Donalds, it takes that time to go across town, so I'm dropping her off by 9:03-9:05, and another 7 to 10 minutes to cross town to go back to transit again, since transit is on opposite side of town than Mc Donalds. I clock back out at 9:15 though I may reach transit any time between 9:13 and 9:17. Again, all depending on traffic. I try to keep it consistent. Since I typically clock in and out on the 1/4 hour marks to make it easy to record time... I may be getting there at 8:18, and getting back at 9:18, but to keep it consistent and easy to calculate i just round down to the 15 minute mark. The same applies if I get there at 8:12... and out at 9:18.... I will round up to 8:15, then round down to 9:15, again keeping it consistent and actually shaving 2-4 mins off my actual time.

Then it dawned on me.... I realized that C was just trying to pick a fight. If there was a real issue with the way anyone was recording their time on their sheets that she should have called a company wide transit meeting in which case the issue should be discussed along with the proper way for recording time covered. I then told C that I was not going to argue and stood up. She said, "Its not about arguing." and I again repeated I am not going to argue and went to walk out the open door. She again tried to call after me and raised her voice to get me back inside the office.

I snapped. I turned around and pointed my finger at her and shouted at her, "C, I AM DONE! EVERY WEEK IT IS SOMETHING DIFFERENT, I AM DONE!" And with that, I walked out to my car while hearing her STILL trying to talk to me and get me to come back in the office.

I lost it. I cried. I had a break down right there in my car. I called my parents. I cried some more. I kept crying all the way to my 11:30 appointment. I cried when I left my 11:30 appointment to go to lunch with my friend. I cried at lunch. I called the big bossman J and told him effective Nov. 7, that I am giving my 2 weeks notice. He asked why. I told him that I could not work with C. I have tried for 4 and a half years and still cannot work with the woman. He said "Okay, that gives you more time to focus on your school, and I'll take care of it on this end. We'll work it out."

I cried after I got off the school bus. I cried off and on for the rest of the day. I am relieved, but at the same time, angry that I let her get to me, upset that I couldn't fix it, and frustrated. I will NOT be bullied! EVER!

I'm free.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Public Service Announcement for Parents and a General Update!

First off - I want to apologize to anyone still reading this blog for my lack of blogging. I started a new chapter in my life - namely going to school for Accounting, and the time has just not been there to enjoy a past time of blogging. Speaking of Accounting, I pulled a 4.0 GPA for Fall 2012 semester and made the president's list for my achievement. I'm proud of myself. By the end of this semester, I will be in possession of a certificate qualifying me as an "Office Accounting Specialist", which basically means I will have mastered the skills necessary to do basic office accounting procedures. Now, to just get a job in the field!

In other news, I quit transit in November due to some irreconcilable differences between myself and the schedule lady. One day, I will post about what sent me over the edge and caused me to quit. The good news now is that I have plenty of time to focus on college and pursuing a career that will be much better.

Now - on to the main reason for this post. This is a subject that all parents need to read and understand.

1. Your child's regular bus driver will eventually need a day off now and again. Chances are good they got sick and the absence is unplanned. So, usually, buses will have substitutes on them.

2. Please be patient with a substitute. They don't know your child personally like the regular bus driver does.

3. If your regular stop time is X. Please be AT the stop ready and waiting to go. The substitute will try to run the route on the same schedule as the regular bus driver.

4. If you see a bus that is a different number from the normal bus, but you see the bus picking up at OTHER stops that are along the route or near your house, chances are good, the bus route has a substitute who is driving a spare bus. Additionally, there may be a mechanical problem with the original bus, and often a regular bus driver will have to drive a spare. It happens.

5. If your children get on at two separate times, please make sure both are at their regularly scheduled stops. Don't tell me that I picked up your older child on the first run, but that your younger child did not get picked up especially since I come by your house TWICE. Your older child was AT the stop, your YOUNGER child WAS NOT.

6. Calling in on me and lying about the reason your child missed the bus is not an excuse. If you saw me coming and were AT the stop like you claimed you were, clearly I would have seen you and made a concerted effort to press the brake pedal.

7. Telling me how the regular driver does it does not help me. I am not the regular driver. I depend on other children to tell me where to go, and often (as was the case this morning) I only have a route description with ROADS only, no stops on it, so I am forced to look for children who should be AT their stops. (Sense a theme here?)

8. BE AT THE STOP - Not coming out of the house, not waiting at the doorway for the bus to roll by, not expecting the bus driver to beep the horn. Every other child can make an effort to be at the stop, yours should too.

9. Getting upset at me because I did not stop directly at your driveway but only 10 feet from it, is NOT a big deal. Deal with it, I'm not perfect. I'm human.

10. Have a nice day :)

The Bus Driver