No Thanks To Your Ferry God Driver

, , , , | Working | October 16, 2020

When I am around ten, my mom and I go on a ferry as walk-on passengers on the way to see my dad. On all other visits, we have either driven or taken an intercity bus.

Right before the ferry docks, I somehow get separated from my mom, but I know that we are supposed to take the bus from the ferry, so when the announcement comes for all passengers to make their way to the vehicle deck, I go down to the bus. I get there late, and she’s not in the line. I assume she’s on the bus waiting for me, so I approach the driver and tell him that my mom’s already on the bus, and he waves me on.

I get on the bus and look at everyone as I walk past until I get to the back. She’s not there. But I know she said we were supposed to get on the bus, so I know she’s going to turn up any minute. I keep craning my neck to double-check all the seats for her hat in case I somehow missed her, and I watch for new arrivals, but I don’t see her.

Eventually, the bus starts to move, and I still haven’t seen her. At this point, I’m scared, and I just sit there stewing in fear, not knowing what to do, until the driver gets on the intercom.

Driver: “Is there a [My Name] on board?”

I walk back up to the front of the bus.

Me: “Yes, I’m here.”

Driver: “Go back to your seat.”

And he gets back on his radio. Once we arrive at the depot, he brings me to an office where a couple of very nice ladies look after me while I read a book and wait for my mom. When she finally shows up, she is upset but oh, so relieved.

Turns out, I had misunderstood what she’d said. We were supposed to get off the ferry together, walk to a city transit stop, and take THAT bus into town to meet with a friend of hers. When she couldn’t find me, she did what any parent would do and FREAKED THE H*** OUT. She actually delayed the next ferry’s departure by half an hour while the crew searched the entire ship for me until someone thought to contact the intercity bus and realized what had happened.

I told later told my mom’s friend my side of what happened. Her friend laughed bitterly, shook his head, and muttered:

Friend: “‘My mom’s already on the bus’… God. Don’t they check tickets?!”

At the time, I didn’t quite see what the big deal was. There was a mistake, it was fixed, problem solved. Now that I’m older… I hope that at the very least that driver got a very severe chewing out from his boss for letting a lone child get on his bus with nothing more than a vague excuse.

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