As mentioned previously, I was in charge of the buses for our high school's Grad Night. There were five buses and by 11:30 (an hour behind schedule, different story) four of the buses had pulled away and headed south to Dave & Buster's--about a 20-minute drive.
The last bus--the one my daughter and her friends, as well as most of the football team--were on, did NOT head south. It headed nowhere. The air brakes weren't getting air and while I really have no idea what that means, I do know that if a bus driver says he can't drive a bus because the brakes don't work, I am going to be damned happy he found it out in the parking lot and not on the freeway.
Since neither the bus driver nor I had a spare bus in our pockets, waiting for another bus was the only solution. Because this was the graduation night for our entire district, the only thing to do was wait for one of the buses to unload down at Dave & Buster's and come back for these kids.
As I describe this situation to you, the words floating through your brain are probably words like "inconvenient" and "minor irritant" and "sh*t happens."
Words and phrases that appeared to be floating through the minds of many of the football players, echoed and stoked by the attitude of the football mom/bus chaperon, were "tragedy of mammoth proportion" and "how will I ever survive this?" and "clearly I cannot be expected to endure an incident like this without special treatment."
Things actually said aloud:
Oh, my poor football players! Who gives a sh*t about the twenty kids on the bus that aren't football players?
But they haven't eaten yet! What will happen to them?!
They can't be expected to sit on the bus and WAIT for an hour!
But they're thirsty! What will happen to them?!
But he doesn't WANT to use the bathroom on the bus like everyone else! I am going to let him wander off into the parking lot where you can't see him and he will probably go to his car for a nightcap or maybe just get in his car and drive away after you've assumed responsibility for him by verifying his presence on the bus at check-in.
But HE HAS to get off the bus because he's claustophobic! Not because he's a football player and is too special for sitting on a crowded bus like the rest of the students.
Other things that were said out loud:
The bus broke down. Another one is coming. Yes, it sucks. No, it's not the end of the world.
These are healthy seventeen and eighteen-year olds. They will not die of stavation or lack of hydration in the next hour.
What part of these students are not to leave this area was unclear to you?!
Why is it that every time I turn my back you're letting one of your football players leave?!
Your football players are really a bunch of babies.
How about if you buck up and quit whining and kicking things and pretend like you graduated from high school today?!
To the mother that asked me what I was doing about contacting the bus company about compensation? You're absolutely right--we do owe them more money for having to deal with such spoiled, entitled, unpleasant people.
If you wonder why I don't put my house on the market and get the h*ll out of here, come back tomorrow for a feel-good story that will have you smiling and crying. I'm writing this story after pulling an all-nighter. The other story deserves a well-rested brain.