Some Drivers Won’t Go Out Of Their Way To Be Nice

, , , | Working | June 24, 2020

This takes place a good twenty-five years ago, when I am ten. We live near a loop in the bus route, so if we miss a bus we can just cross the street and wait for it to come back down the same road four or five minutes later.

Me: *Boarding the bus* “One child return ticket to [School], please.”

Driver: *Gruffly* “Where’s your [School] card?”

This is a sort of bus pass that [School] gives out to prove you qualify for the child fare.

I check all my pockets and realise I’ve forgotten it.

Me: “I’m sorry, I think I left it at home!”

Driver: *With an attitude* “Well, it’ll be [full adult price], then.”

It should be mentioned that I am very clearly a child, in my school uniform, and we live in a very small town where all the drivers tend to know everybody by name. The cards are rarely used unless there is a new driver, but this guy has been around for a while. I know he knows me.

Me: *With anxiety kicking in* “But my mum only gave me [child price]. I don’t have any more money. Please, if I don’t get this bus I’ll be late to school!”

Driver: *Mockingly* “Well, if you run fast, maybe you can get home and get your card before I come back! Haha!”

He shooed me off the bus and drove off quickly, still laughing. In a panic, I ran home as fast as I could. 

Just a few doors down from my house, I took a corner too fast and ended up flat on my face with a badly sprained ankle. I screamed so loudly that about half a dozen neighbours came out to check if I was okay, along with my mum who, luckily, hadn’t left for work yet. 

Of course, I never did catch that bus, and I missed about two weeks of school while my ankle healed. I never saw that driver again, and years later, mum told me why. Apparently, many of the neighbours called the bus station to complain when they heard what had happened. Mum raised h*** about it, too, of course, and she is the scariest woman you’ll ever meet when it comes to strongly-worded letters of complaint. 

In hindsight, I feel a little bad for the driver, as it wasn’t technically his fault that I was a clumsy child, but maybe taking his bad day out on children wasn’t the best career move.

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