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.


Pissedoffteacher said...

I am sorry it ended this way. Wish you the best of everything. Hopefully something better will come your way.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry this has happened but in the end, it sounds like it is the best thing to be away from the situation, which was not creating more negative and tense drama.
As they say, when 1 door closes, another door opens.

I have also been in a similar situation like yours 3 years ago and it was NOT PRETTY. But in the end,I am so much better not being there anymore and so many more wonderful opportunities have arose over the course of the time.

You have to keep on believing and keep the faith.

Terry said...

My friend works as a bus driver and also has a supervisor that drives her crazy. It can make it impossible to do your job. It is a shame you had to walk away but sometimes it is the best thing to do. I hope a better door opens for you soon.

Anonymous said...

Why didn't you call your union?

The Bus Driver said...

We don't have a union... now keep in mind, this job was separate from my actual school bus job. I worked two different jobs both of which have their ups and downs. I still drive the school bus, I'm just not driving the little white handicapped bus that this town offers as public transit.

Unknown said...

I wonder if you have ever heard of Barry Dorshimer. He also drove a school bus for many years. I wonder if his years of experience might help you out.

Lisa Stockton said...

So sorry to hear it. Everything happens for a reason. I'm sure something great will come in your way. Just be positive and don't be afraid to face life.

ChiTown Girl said...

I'm just now catching up on the Blogosphere, and I can't believe I missed this post last week.

I'm so sorry things had to get to this point before you had to leave. No one should have to put up with BS like that. Good for you for walking away. Stress like that is just not worth it. Lord knows, I understand. That's exactly why I had to walk away myself.

And, J is right, you can focus on school now, without all the distractions. And, I'm glad to hear you'll still be driving the kids. I would imagine that provides a bit of laughter in your day. =)

Angela Watson said...

Wow, I missed this post, too! Just catching up on Google Reader. So sorry that happened. Thinking of you.

sharin decosta said...

it is sad to know it ended on a negative note. wish you luck and success.