This past Wednesday proved to be very upsetting at work. At first, I was upset that I would be covering for another driver, but I settled down once I learned that the driver who normally operates the route I was doing was operating on his old route because that driver, aka “The Warden,” called out. His old route is the one that causes me a great deal of anxiety with the two brothers. I would rather be fired that having to do that route again.
It was a very hot afternoon, and I was taking my people home. I had the matron with me, who I know very well. I was in the right lane of the highway, approaching my exit. With the three day weekend approaching, I could see that people were driving like enraged maniacs. I just happened to look in my left side mirror when I saw a white car that swerved out of the left lane at a high rate of speed, and side swipe my bus. I clearly heard the crunch. She stopped dead in front of me, and so did I due to the shock. It was a miracle that I wasn’t rear ended! She pulled over to the shoulder and so did I. I wanted to run off a laundry list of curses, but I held my tongue. I hopped out and looked at the damage. Some scratches along the side, but thankfully, the A/C condenser was untouched. Thank the gods for that. The coach and driver air conditioning will not work without it.
You have no idea how much I wanted to yell at the driver for being such a clueless IDIOT! At least she came over to see if everyone was all right. My hands were shaking as I was calling one of the bosses. I was a total mess, but I had to hold it together. She told me to call the police, keep the A/C on, and one of the mechanics was on his way to look at the damage. A few minutes went by, and the police show up. He was a really nice guy. I explained to him what happened and I showed him the damage. Then he went to talk to the other driver. After speaking to her, he tells me that she didn’t see me. WHAT? How could she not see a red and white bus? I was sooo pissed, but, I held my tongue yet again. I gave him my license and the registration and insurance for the bus. As he was tying the accident report, the mechanic showed up. He took a picture of the damage, and he left. The bus was still roadworthy, thank the gods. Meanwhile, I had to keep the door closed because it was getting hot in the bus, even though I had the front and rear A/C on high. The water in my bottle was getting low, and the water because hot. Damn bus didn’t have a fast idle switch like the diesels to keep the A/C cold when not moving. I was upset with myself. If I had taken another route, I wouldn’t be in this mess. I should have bailed off one exit earlier, but I didn’t want to get stuck in the conga line of traffic at the light. I just did not want to be there sitting on the side of the highway like a dope. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the officer came to the door and handed me the police report, the registration, insurance, my license, and says I am free to go. YES!! There just happened to be a break in traffic, so off we went before the other driver had a chance. I still had the jitters, but everyone arrived home safely. I didn’t get home until three hours later. The accident happened at 2:45pm.
After I finished my morning shift the next day, I had to go into the office to complete an accident report with one of the supervisors. She is a pretty lady. I explained and wrote out what happened. I didn’t like seeing my name and address on the accident report, but it is a NYS requirement. Then in the afternoon, I had to take a post accident road test with one of the dispatchers. That’s when I got really mad. Why am I being treated like a criminal when the accident was not my fault? Now I have to do this road test. Ridiculous!! I started having flashbacks of my CDL road test in October 2001 and how nervous I was.
So after running the office mail, I pulled into the yard and had the dispatcher aboard for this ridiculous road test. I did it by the book. Both hands on the wheel, come to a complete stop at stop signs, stop at grade crossings and look both ways, and T turns at intersections, and I obeyed the speed limit. That was painful because I know the speedometer is off by 2 or 3 mph. An indicated 30 mph means I’m only doing 28, and an indicated 60 means 57 on Ford binnacles. The road test lasted only a few minutes and we went back to the office. I parked my bus and went aboard my usual bus, which was waiting for me when I got back.
When I went home, I was dead to the world at bedtime. I didn’t tell anyone at work about what happened. I did see two of our buses go by, so I bet those drivers must think I got pulled over for speeding since the police car was behind me. I don’t even care. Let them think what they want to think. Now, I REFUSE to drive on the stretch of road between exits 63 and 62 of the expressway. I’ll bail off at 63 and use the access road to bypass that vortex of crazy drivers. I don’t care what anyone says. I will not tempt fate.
My first accident with the company. And all because of a blockhead who “didn’t see me.” I can’t even pronounce her name, or even spell it. Well, at least it wasn’t my assigned bus that took the hit. I would REALLY be angry if that happened.
In other news, I learned that one of the matrons was fired this morning for sleeping on the job. I know who the guy is, and when I first worked with him, I thought he was useless. He is clearly not strong enough, mentally and physically, to handle the demands of the job. I know he was having words with his driver, who likes to do things by the book. Especially when it comes to comfort breaks. My guess is that he fell asleep on the bus after the work was done, and she reported him. One of the company rules for matrons is that there is to be no sleeping on the bus. It must have happened on Tuesday because I saw him leaving the office Wednesday morning. I bet he was getting a tongue lashing from the supervisor. To be fired on the Friday before a three day weekend really hurts.
That’s it for me. Thanks for reading my post. Have a safe Fourth of July everyone.
Remember to Be Your Greatest Version