Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Pulling Out The Cranky Pants
Today I am not happy – really not happy. I’m going to be putting on my cranky pants as I write this blog. So, if you are not in the mood for a rant and would prefer to find the secret to happiness, I suggest you go here, here or here.
Almost two years ago I wrote a post titled RTFM. I wrote about Ashley having to adjust to yet another change in bus drivers and bus aides, something that unfortunately she has had a lot of practice doing. And it always amazes me that no information – that would be absolutely nothing – is shared with the new bus staff – even though Ashley has been a student in our school district for 10 years now and has a file that takes 3 women or 2 burly men to lift.
Well here we are again. Tuesday morning, Ashley’s bus was 30 minutes late. I reasoned that perhaps the rain was slowing traffic down, or maybe one of the other students was running late. But no…. The bus was late because there was a new driver, a new aide, and a new route. Did anyone bother to tell me about these changes? I think you know the answer to that question.
So, as the bus pulled to the end of our driveway and I tried to assist Ashley onto the bus, she splayed her arms and legs like a dog fighting to not go into a bathtub and refused to get on the bus. Instead of two women, there were now two men – two men we have never seen before in our life. I’m sure passing through Ashley's mind was our talk about stranger danger.
So, as the male aide is reaching to help Ashley up the steps, he says in a normal speaking voice, “Come on Ashley.” Once again I start my spiel about Ashley’s deafblindness. The aide says, “OK,” and then, “Come on Ashley. Let’s sit down” again in a normal speaking voice. This time I say a lot louder (perhaps he himself is hearing impaired), “SHE IS DEAF. SHE CANNOT HEAR YOU.” And again I get “OK.”
After I assist Ashley in sitting down, I tell the aide and driver that Ashley has seizures. They both say in unison, “OK.” Neither asks what the seizures look like or what they should do.
I’m fuming at this point and as soon as the bus pulls away, I am on the phone to our school’s transportation office. I am treated like I am 5 years old, and am told that bus routes often have to be changed and that I need to deal with it. Umm um. That’s exactly what I am going to do – deal with it.
So a little while later, my scathing email is traveling cyberspace on the way to the school principal. I know she is not the correct person to deal with this issue, but I also know she will help me if she can. She calls a few minutes later and says she has forwarded my email to the Director of Transportation. She tells me to call her back if by late afternoon I have not heard from anyone.
It’s 1:30pm and I haven’t heard from anyone…..I’ll certainly keep you all posted, which is more than I can say for my school district.
Ok, it’s later in the evening and I did hear from the transportation office late this afternoon. The person on the phone began by apologizing profusely – good start, I'm thinking to myself. She then goes on to tell me that the bus route and driver/aide team are being restored to what they were – another good thing. Finally, the transportation person said she was going to contact the school to get a copy of Ashley’s seizure health plan – even better, but why did I even have to suggest that in my original email? More apologies follow and I am assured that all will be well.
I really hope it is. For now, I'm taking off my cranky pants.