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Do we really owe him anything?
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amother




Mistyrose


Post  Tue, Dec 27 2016, 8:58 pm
Forgive me for being long, but I don't know what to do. My son goes to a yeshiva-based UPK in a nearby neighborhood and the school has sponsored transportation as a large percentage of the class lives in our neighborhood. A private person driving would be about 15 mins, but the first day my son came home on the van it took him 45 mins and my 4 year-old, who is nervous by nature put up such a fuss about going back on the van that I made him a deal, that if he goes to school on the van, then I will pick him up. The school is situated on a street that makes it difficult to drop off young children, so I can't drop off so well--or I would, and I work nearby the school and finish around the same time as they finish so it makes it easier for me to pick up my 2 boys--my older son if he would go home on the bus would get home before me, so I "kill two birds with one stone" by picking them up. In the morning, the pick up time is similar for my two kids.

Fridays the driver takes my son after school. Until after y"t, it was "home" but now my DH has a different schedule on Fridays and I need him to go to my babysitter's home. When we switched the location the driver put up SUCH a fuss about the switch. (p.s. the location where he parks the van over shabbos is quite near where he drops of my son--I've seen it there twice, so I can't imagine that it's so out of his way)

Then right before Thanksgiving, I got out early from work and was SUPPOSED to be home by the time my son got home, but I what was supposed to be "in and out" at the mechanic--we had discussed it before, turned into a 3 hour job b/c it was a really big and non-safe problem, and I was stuck with no way to get home. I had to think quickly and told the driver to take my son to the babysitter--who is almost ALWAYS home and a reliable person, was dealing with her son who was sick (I didn't know at the time when I made these plans) and went to the doctor 2 blocks from her home. Because we mis-cheshboned the time she was late, but what was I to do? The guy started SCREAMING at me that he's NEVER taking my son to her house again. My husband tried explaining how it was unforeseen circumstances, and we were in an emergency situation. He wouldn't listen to us. Told us he would "only take my son 'home' and nowhere else"--considering that we HAVE NO ONE at the time he'd be dropped off--my babysitter is a frum friend of mine who does me a HUGE favor by keeping my kids Friday afternoons until I finish work and I trust her, I'm supposed to hire a separate babysitter just to pick up my son off the van?. I had to speak to the director who was able to successfully intervene in getting him to drop my son off at the babysitter. Each week he makes sure to remind us to remind her to wait for my son--even though she has not been late since.

So this week I'm on vacation, today the UPK had school, elementary did not, so I arranged for my son to go home on the van. I was going to take my other kids out but I had it all planned to get back in time. Of course, I get stuck in traffic, and b/c fewer kids went to school today, I wasn't back yet when he arrived at my home (though I was home by the time I THOUGHT he'd be there)--I felt bad, but not having any real indicator of when he'd be there (only b/c I see him driving by when I get home every day). I called him and asked him where he was and I would meet him, and he gave me the destination. I was practically there when he calls me and says "I'll drive him home on my way back." So I took my other kids home and waited in the car (one was asleep) until my son was dropped off.

He dropped off my son saying "You guys better give me a big tip--like $100". Do I really owe him for being so rude to us?
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allthingsblue









  


Post  Tue, Dec 27 2016, 9:25 pm
I think it's rude of him to demand a $100 tip but I also think you do need to tip him.
Your car troubles and traffic woes are not his fault.
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amother




Blonde


Post  Tue, Dec 27 2016, 9:29 pm
It was rude of him to ask, but yes, you sound like a difficult customer. It's not his fault that your child is the nervous type or that you've been late to meet the bus. Your inconsistency means he has to change the route and that messes up other people. You're supposed to be waiting on time in the same place every day and you're not.
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pizza4









  


Post  Tue, Dec 27 2016, 9:34 pm
You don't owe him a tip. But do you have any other options for a driver? Because he did go out of his way for you even if it was with attitude, so perhaps some greasing of the wheels is in order for the driver to do it more happily?
As an aside, do you have a neighbor that could be home to take your son if you're a little late, so he doesn't need to drive to the babysitter? Or even to pay a neighbor what you pay the babysitter?
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amother




Mistyrose


Post  Tue, Dec 27 2016, 9:40 pm
amother wrote:
It was rude of him to ask, but yes, you sound like a difficult customer. It's not his fault that your child is the nervous type or that you've been late to meet the bus. Your inconsistency means he has to change the route and that messes up other people. You're supposed to be waiting on time in the same place every day and you're not.


When my husband met my son at the bus--he was NEVER late. Since that "Emergency" situation no one has been late--other than today, which according to the "Everyday calculation" would have been sufficient--how was I supposed to know he'd be early? I offered to come meet him so he wouldn't have to do us any "Favors". He does not take my son home 4/5 days per week. He does not necessarily have a set route. In the morning I used to see him (the van is distinctive) crisscrossing back and forth b/c he has to back track across the neighborhood b/c his times were not accurate and people weren't ready--but since my husband's schedule change, he does the morning bus run.

He's making us into "Difficult customers" b/c he makes such a big deal out of the 3 times we had mitigating circumstances. Ordinarily, of course we'd tip him, but I'm so frustrated at how he's treated us that I don't feel much gratitude. Believe me, if I could drop my son off at school, I would.
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mummiedearest









  


Post  Tue, Dec 27 2016, 9:44 pm
are you obligated to tip him at all? no. here's what he has done for you that is out of the norm:

1) drove to an alternate address in an emergency situation and dealt with your kid until an adult could take him.

2) deals with two drop off addresses for your child on a regular basis

3) picks up your call when you missed your kid and returns to your address.

I have dealt with buses for a number of years. I would never ask a bus driver to drop my kid off at a different address in an emergency. I would rather call the mom of another kid on the route and ask if she could take him off the bus until I could get there. that way, the bus driver doesn't have to go out of his way, and he doesn't have to worry about whether or not my child will be in his care longer than necessary.

it's possible to get a bus driver to drop off at different addresses on different days, but I wouldn't mess with the schedule. too iffy, and it will cause resentment on the bus driver's part. not a good plan.

I have never had the bus driver's number. nice of him to give it out. most drivers will return kids whose parents were not there to the school. he is not obligated to come back around, wait for you at another location, etc.

it sounds to me like you have a hard time with scheduling yourself properly. you always need to over-estimate the amount of time it takes to get home, and assume the bus will come 15 minutes earlier than it should. there's no reason you should be stuck at the mechanic. you can take a cab home in time to get the bus. if you have other kids home with you, plan to be home at least a half-hour before you expect the bus. it shouldn't even enter your mind that the bus driver is your kid's personal cabbie and will drive him wherever you want him to. that's not his job. his job is to go to the address on his list, and that's it.

btw, it sounds like he came back to your house because he didn't trust you to meet him where you wanted to. I do think you should give him a generous tip. he's gone above and beyond duty, and you seem to expect a lot from him.
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amother




Plum


Post  Tue, Dec 27 2016, 9:46 pm
amother wrote:
When my husband met my son at the bus--he was NEVER late. Since that "Emergency" situation no one has been late--other than today, which according to the "Everyday calculation" would have been sufficient--how was I supposed to know he'd be early? I offered to come meet him so he wouldn't have to do us any "Favors". He does not take my son home 4/5 days per week. He does not necessarily have a set route. In the morning I used to see him (the van is distinctive) crisscrossing back and forth b/c he has to back track across the neighborhood b/c his times were not accurate and people weren't ready--but since my husband's schedule change, he does the morning bus run.

He's making us into "Difficult customers" b/c he makes such a big deal out of the 3 times we had mitigating circumstances. Ordinarily, of course we'd tip him, but I'm so frustrated at how he's treated us that I don't feel much gratitude. Believe me, if I could drop my son off at school, I would.

I hope you hear me saying this as sweetly as possible but I have to reiterate what the others said--you are a challenging customer. Maybe everyone should get together and set up a specific route so it's more or less the same time every day. It sounds frustrating for the driver to have to accomodate everyones needs without a set time. But for reference sake--do you know what happens when I'm not ready for the bus? The bus leaves without my child. Dropping off is different because they can't leave little children off the bus unattended but I have to be there. I have to account for there possibly being traffic or possibly taking longer at the mechanic. And if it takes three hours then I'd have to take a taxi to get back in time because I have to be there. None of that is the drivers fault. Yes, you should appreciate it. Perhaps he is showing such attitude because he feels taken advantage of.
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causemommysaid









  


Post  Tue, Dec 27 2016, 9:55 pm
I think u should tip him. You sound difficult and like you don't have it together. It's not his problem that u had traffic or car trouble. You must be available when your kids get home or have someone to cover for you. Next time take a cab home from the mechanic or have a neighbor meet the bus. It is not the drivers responsibility.
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amother




Pewter


Post  Tue, Dec 27 2016, 10:38 pm
Wow, I think you guys are being hard on OP. She doesn't sound so difficult to me, but then my kids have never been bussed to school and I really don't know what the norm is or expectations are on either side.

OP, you don't owe this guy anything and his attitude is very nasty BUT so long as you will continue to use his services and he will be driving your child I think it would be prudent to tip him well.
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amother




Blonde


Post  Tue, Dec 27 2016, 10:52 pm
amother wrote:
Wow, I think you guys are being hard on OP. She doesn't sound so difficult to me, but then my kids have never been bussed to school and I really don't know what the norm is or expectations are on either side.


Those of us who do know the norms and expectations recognize that the op is not keeping up her end of the bargain. Sometimes when it's your first child you don't know the rules and don't have it together. No one is saying that she's a bad person, but her actions do affect others. What she sees as a minor inconvenience to the driver is actually quite an imposition.
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ChutzPAh









  


Post  Tue, Dec 27 2016, 11:14 pm
Most drivers wouldn't even agree to some days the kid goes and some days he doesn't. It's confusing for him to have to keep track of which days you want to use his service back and forth, etc. so he has put up with a lot of inconvenience from you.
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ra_mom









  


Post  Tue, Dec 27 2016, 11:19 pm
amother wrote:
Wow, I think you guys are being hard on OP. She doesn't sound so difficult to me, but then my kids have never been bussed to school and I really don't know what the norm is or expectations are on either side.

OP, you don't owe this guy anything and his attitude is very nasty BUT so long as you will continue to use his services and he will be driving your child I think it would be prudent to tip him well.

The norms are as mummiedearest stated.
If you're not at the stop in the morning, the bus leaves without you and the kids need to find another way to school.
If you're not at the bus stop in the afternoon, the bus takes the kids back to school so they are safe with the school staff, who call you to pick them up.
That's it.

Setting up different schedules and bus stops for different days is a recipe for disaster, as any of us who have ever tried it know. Better to turn yourself over backward and figure out how to make things work with the routine bus route. Have another mom on the same bus take your kid for a bit or pick up your child from school that day instead.
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amother




Mistyrose


Post  Tue, Dec 27 2016, 11:26 pm
I'm not sure this came across in the right way. We had a significant schedule change in our life this year--that happened after school was already underway (anticipated, but specifics were unknown up until the last minute). I purposefully arranged to pick up my kids daily to AVOID having to change the schedule everyday due to uncertainty of who'd be available to pick up my kids. The one "emergency" I had, meant dropping him off at his "Regular" friday stop--no change in route, how was I supposed to know in that instant that she was dealing with her own sick child? After the incident, he threatened to quit driving for the school rather than take my child to the babysitter.
Ok, today was mostly my bad, I know I should've left earlier, I really tried, but he doesn't really make our lives any easier by not giving us any clue as to when he'll come by. I was on time, he came early.
That first day I waited outside for him for 45 mins b/c I had NO IDEA when he'd drive by. I live in an apartment and he drops him off where I can't see from my building. My husband gets annoyed with him as he always comes at a different time in the mornings and we have to juggle 2 kids at 2 different stops.

Meanwhile I know why the school uses him, but on a side note, I've heard my 4-year-old say things like "stupid driver" and has told me how the driver goes "too fast" and "was in an accident." I know he can make up stories sometimes, but I've see this driver, I'm just not impressed with him and his notorious "hot temper."
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mummiedearest









  


Post  Tue, Dec 27 2016, 11:33 pm
amother wrote:
I'm not sure this came across in the right way. We had a significant schedule change in our life this year--that happened after school was already underway (anticipated, but specifics were unknown up until the last minute). I purposefully arranged to pick up my kids daily to AVOID having to change the schedule everyday due to uncertainty of who'd be available to pick up my kids. The one "emergency" I had, meant dropping him off at his "Regular" friday stop--no change in route, how was I supposed to know in that instant that she was dealing with her own sick child? After the incident, he threatened to quit driving for the school rather than take my child to the babysitter.
Ok, today was mostly my bad, I know I should've left earlier, I really tried, but he doesn't really make our lives any easier by not giving us any clue as to when he'll come by. I was on time, he came early.
That first day I waited outside for him for 45 mins b/c I had NO IDEA when he'd drive by. I live in an apartment and he drops him off where I can't see from my building. My husband gets annoyed with him as he always comes at a different time in the mornings and we have to juggle 2 kids at 2 different stops.

Meanwhile I know why the school uses him, but on a side note, I've heard my 4-year-old say things like "stupid driver" and has told me how the driver goes "too fast" and "was in an accident." I know he can make up stories sometimes, but I've see this driver, I'm just not impressed with him and his notorious "hot temper."


you should have called her to see if she was available. why would you not make sure your 4 year old is going to have someone available to take care of him? whatever excuses you have, your lack of insistence on knowing she'd be home to get him would indicate that you need to get your priorities straight, regardless of the bus driver's problems.
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amother




Floralwhite


Post  Tue, Dec 27 2016, 11:42 pm
He shouldn't have demanded a tip, but you are definitely a difficult customer, so yes, it would be appropriate to tip generously.
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amother




Purple


Post  Tue, Dec 27 2016, 11:52 pm
IMagine the diver having to drop off each kid at different places all the time, never mind remember when the kid is supposed to be on the bus (and sound the alarm bells when he isn't on) and when he isn't supposed to be on...
That's very unreasonable and really not OK towards the driver. You do owe him a large tip and make sure in the future not to do these things again. It's just not ok.
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amother




Blonde


Post  Tue, Dec 27 2016, 11:53 pm
You keep making this about what you would like, without recognizing that there are mutual obligations here.

The bus driver should arrive on time. Generally speaking, there's a 15 minute window, because drivers don't control traffic. You have an obligation to be waiting at the bus stop for your child.

You can work something out with another parent so that you help each other out in case of emergency, but someone must be available. It's not the driver's job to hunt you down. Imagine if every family did this.

Again, I assume that you are just new to the system and don't realize that everyone has to do their part for something as complex as a bus route to function.
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amother




Plum


Post  Wed, Dec 28 2016, 12:16 am
It was irresponsible for you to send to babysitter without first checking she was there. That is not the drivers fault. Even if it was only one oops it is still not his fault and is still your responsibility. I'd tip him generously. Your childs safety is in his hands and you want him being happy with you.
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amother




Mistyrose


Post  Wed, Dec 28 2016, 12:16 am
In general we've been VERY clear with him as to when he is supposed to be on the bus and when not.

Now I'm torn. I'm on vacation this week, which means I'm not at work and therefore not super convenient to pick up my kids from school, but do I ask the van driver to bring him home? Or just go ahead and pick my kids up to avoid having to deal with him?

And today, I tried asking a neighbor once I realized I wasn't going to make it, but no one was home. On most days I tend to get home on the earlier side compared to my neighbors. Among the many reasons I pick my kids up from school is that I, no I don't have a consistent person to get my kids if I'm not available. My older son would get home 15 mins before me if I sent him home on the bus, and none of my friends would commit to watching him for those 15 mins--and I had NO idea when my younger son would get home each day. When I made this arrangement with the school we went through various different scenarios (b/c most kids are bussed home) before we settled on this one. I wish I could pick my kids up on Friday also--but I have to work later than they get out.

This is the first year that I have kids in this school and first and for now the last year that I'll have to deal with this driver. I can't wait for my kids to be on the same bus next year.
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amother




Oak


Post  Wed, Dec 28 2016, 12:18 am
FWIW I also think you should be paying your Friday afternoon babysitter.

I'm waiting for the thread "WWYD - I look after friend's kid every Friday afternoon. It's such a busy time, abs she barely even says thank you".
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