We pulled up to a very nice house. The WheelTrans driver got out to open the side door and I watched as a brilliantly dressed elderly man and his daughter made their way out of the house down a ramp that was installed with taste. As they approached the bus and greeted the driver the young woman, in her mid-twenties, excitedly talked about her upcoming day. Her movements with the walker were stiff and jerky but she still made her way along with confidence.
Father got on the bus and assisted her with her seat belt and then wished her a good day. There was love in his voice as he spoke to her. She again started talking with excitement about the day and the special activities planned at her day programme. He smiled a genuine smile and told her that she was lucky to have a day that she could look forward to.
As he got off the bus the called the driver over to him. He looked at her dead in the eyes and said, 'I'm trusting you, you know that don't you?' The driver, taken aback, nodded her head. 'As long as you understand that you are carrying my daughter and that I am trusting you with her ...' Again, the driver nodded.
We drove in silence for the rest of the trip. The young woman was dropped off at her programme and then I made it to work. As the driver was unclipping my wheelchair she said that she was new to the job, that she'd only been driving for three weeks. I asked her how she liked the job and she said, 'It's a big job, there are a lot of responsiblities, but I like it.'
Just as she was leaving me at the door she turned and said, 'Did you hear what that man said to me?' I told her that I did. She said, 'that's how they should start our training as drivers, he gave me chills, I'm always going to remember what he said.'
'So am I,' I thought.
Around here, a little girl got on the bus to preschool but never got to school. Happily they found her shortly afterwards. All alone, still sitting in her place on the bus.
Sometimes all you can do is trust the word, but its hard.
Sorry... I meant to say "All you can do is trust the world"
That's a lesson we could all stand to learn, isn't it? Wow.
I'm glad she really listened.
That's great. Sounds like the bus driver is on it, and she really took in what the father said. There was an incident last year in NYC, similar to what Sharon was talking about, where a man with a disability was found at night, buckled into his seat on the bus. The bus was parked in the lot, and the man's family had been in a panic all day since he didn't come home from his day program, and the transportation company had been stonewalling them. The man was fine, but can you imagine what an awful experience that must have been for him? Your driver was right, that's how they should start the training, with words from clients and families!
In addition to hearing words from clients and families, drivers also should hear stories like yours.
Also, stories like the one where Dave was left outside his work building on a freezing day a while ago. That blog post (and some subsequent ones) would also be good reading material for drivers.
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