Who is selfish?

Warning:  cattiness below.

So I was waiting at the bus stop with DC1 because you have to be I forget how old to wait without a parent.  This is usually DH’s job, but he was out of town on a business trip.

While we were waiting for the bus, a truck with a kid pulled up and parked at the corner across from the bus stop.

Then a mini-van/suv thing came and parked right where one would expect the bus to you know, pull up.

That meant that when the bus finally came, it had to stop in the middle of the street and the kids all had to walk into the middle of the street to load the bus.  The truck discharged one little girl with her dad.  The van discharged two with their mom.  (The two little girls and their mom, incidentally, live maybe two houses farther than we do from the bus stop, so maybe 5 houses away from the bus stop total.  I don’t know where the truck people live, but the bus does stop every block and a half to two blocks and our cul de sacs aren’t very long, so it can’t be that far.)

Let’s see if I can make a picture of the bus stop area using nothing but keyboard characters.

I feel like this is totally selfish.  That bus really should be able to pull safely up to the curb, which would be easier to do if the truck weren’t there and and is impossible with the van there.  (When the van isn’t there, the bus does pull up.)  The van had to make a U-turn to park where the bus is supposed to go and could have very easily parked across the street (on the side that didn’t make it into my picture), though if they’d done that, it would have only been like 4 house lengths away from their house instead of five.  The truck could have parked back a little further to make it easier for the bus to pull up.

But then, maybe I’m the totally selfish one.  I make my DC2  walk three house lengths to wait for the bus out in the cold.  I mean, sometimes it gets down into the 40s(!), and sometimes the wait is as long as 7 min (if the bus is late).  Maybe if I weren’t so selfish, I’d be keeping hir nice and warm in a heated vehicle while we waited for the bus instead of making hir suffer.

I should note that there’s one other family that takes the bus from this stop– their parents are immigrants and connected to the university somehow.  Their kids walk– I don’t know how far, but it’s longer than 5 houses.  (The dad used to walk with them, but the youngest had a birthday and is now old enough to wait by hirself, so they do.  Both kids are super nice to DC2.)

So that’s my catty parenting rant.  I guess if it really bothered the bus driver, the bus system would send out a reminder not to block the bus stop while waiting for it.  It’s a good thing waiting for the bus is usually DH’s job.  (Which is at least partly selfishness on my part, even though it makes more sense logistically and from a who needs to interact with adults standpoint.)

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33 Responses to “Who is selfish?”

  1. Comradde PhysioProffe Says:

    Not you! People turn into sociopathic monsters when they get into cars.

  2. Leah Says:

    Super frustrating and environmentally horrible. Ugh.

    My catty complaint at daycare are the parents who can’t bother to park but pull up along the curb with their kids. Makes it super hard to back out of the spots. They also leave their engines idling. Waste of money and fossil fuels.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Ooh, our daycares always had big signs not to do that—Park but do not stop in the circle drive. (The engines thing bugs the crap out of me too—makes me wish gas was more expensive.)

      • Leah Says:

        When we had a director, there wasn’t an issue — she’d talk with people, put up signs, etc. But we just have some teachers now, and the owner comes in sometimes to manage stuff. He doesn’t see this (or doesn’t think it’s an issue?), and the teachers are in the classrooms.

        I also wish gas were more expensive, even though it hurts, because people make so many stupid environmental decisions based on our artificially low price of gasoline. If they realized how much of their taxes went to subsidize gas companies . . .

  3. becca Says:

    I begin to see why my school district scrapped buses altogether (for kids in a 1mi radius of each school).

    I will say, if your cul de sac is as quiet as most, it probably doesn’t matter *that* much. But the degree to which this will bork up traffic is very high if there *is* other traffic, not to mention the danger to the students is much greater. Definitely a habit that becomes sociopathic in the city.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      The stop is on the main road that the cul de sacs jut off of. If it were 40 min later (when it swings back for the middle schoolers) It would mess up traffic, but there’s not many people out at 6:40. (Since you have to stop for the school bus even if it’s not moving sometimes there will be a line of 7cars by the time they pull out at the 7:20 pickup, but thankfully no adults in cars with the middle schoolers)

  4. Mary Says:

    I feel your pain. We live in an urban area in the Northeast (so colder and often snow) and the kids have to walk about 1/3 mile to the nearest bus stop (one of us walks with them). And the bus is sometimes 10 minutes early and sometimes 15 minutes late, so we can end up waiting for quite a while.

    Someone is always blocking the bus stop, so it never actually pulls up to the curb. But I figure that that’s one of the costs of living in a city where the streets are super narrow and there’s not much parking. It sounds like this is not the case in your town, so you annoyance is totally justified.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      What is this thing you call snow?

      We’re not allowed to park on the street overnight, so there is plenty of parking in the cul-de-sac. No need to stop exactly at the bus stop. But then they’d have to walk up to a full houselength. (Or the van could have parked behind the truck, but again, that would require more walking!)

  5. gasstationwithoutpumps Says:

    Living in “paradise”, we don’t have school buses, except for the “short bus” for special needs kids. I walked or biked my son to school (3/4 mile or 2/3 mile) until he was in middle school, where we dropped my escort after the first couple of weeks (that was a 2-mile bike ride each way). We were willing to let him walk to school alone sooner, but he preferred the adult companionship and conversation of the walk to school. (And the elementary schools he went to would not allow students to leave without a parent.)

    When he was home-schooling high school, he sometimes had classes at the community college (7–8 miles each way) or at the university (3 miles each way, but a steady 4% climb up to campus), but other than a couple of times when I had to go to campus the same time he did, he rode alone.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Our bus doesn’t even go to the closest elementary school because they don’t understand basic economics and our high income neighborhood is the one they switch every 5 years to try to keep poverty levels equivalent across the elementary schools that aren’t in the super rich parts of town (where they never play games with rezoning). So all the kids at the bus stop are in dual language (thus still segregating by income).

  6. Omdg Says:

    Maybe the parents figure they can drive directly to work or wherever after the bus picks the kids up, and they don’t feel like going back home first. Regardless, I don’t understand why they need to park right where the bus stops.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Right? They could just turn the corner and wait there– that cross street isn’t even a cul-de-sac (which is why I don’t know where the other walkers live– they must be around the corner), so they could drive through and come out the other side after the kid was gone without having to make a single U-turn. It would be a few more steps though.

  7. Natasha Says:

    Not selfish.
    Either ignorant (if someone points out to the ill-parked parents that they are blocking the bus and there is a better way to park, they’ll be horrified at their ignorance and correct their ways) or stupid (no hope here).

    Also, antisocial? Wouldn’t it be more fun to wait-and-chat with other parents instead of being stuck in a car?

    Anyway, I’m being judgmental. Who knows, maybe there are special situations there and I would do the same in their shoes…

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I am completely anti-social. They could just drive around the corner and wait there if they want to avoid human contact at 6:40 in the morning (which I completely understand).

      DH says sometimes after the bus leaves, the mom in the van will go over and talk to him (questioning him about DC2, mostly) and she’s pretty chatty. I high-tail it out of there as soon as DC2 is on the bus though so I did not experience that. (Partly because when DH is out of town I have to make sure DC1 doesn’t miss hir bus or forget backpack/violin/cellphone/lunch/ID/clean clothing, but mostly because I’m anti-social.)

  8. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    That seems incredibly annoying. People who idle or park in places that are clearly designated for public transit solely for their own convenience ought to be jabbed with a poker. They DO have other options.

    Idling cars drives me nuts. I could never get Dad to stop “warming up” the car engine out front for TWENTY MINUTES on cold mornings. It was so utterly unnecessary and wasteful.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      It gets colder in the morning in SoCal, but not that much colder!

    • chacha1 Says:

      Idling cars is actually illegal in a lot of places, because a) pollution b) noise. Many people do not seem to know or care about that, just like they don’t know there is a proper place to use the high setting on their headlights (i.e. NOT in the city, not ever).

    • Leah Says:

      Idling is super common here. I do sometimes (we have legit cold mornings where warming up the car helps you scrape off your windshield) but only at home. Never when out and about, since I figure my purpose is literally the windshield scraping, and I’ve done that by the time I’m out somewhere.

      On facebook recently, the local police posted a request for people to stop idling their cars at gas stations and the like. Apparently, they had four stolen car issues in the past few days before the post, and all four were cars left idling with the doors unlocked.

      I wish it were illegal here, but that would never pass with how cold our winters get. But, honestly, with proper gear, they’re not that cold. So many people that complain about the cold also can’t be bothered to use a hat and gloves in -20F weather.

  9. chacha1 Says:

    People are a) selfish b) lazy. That is why we have the government we have, in a nutshell.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      *sigh* I made calls this morning! (Dodd-Frank, the war in Yemen). I need to figure out what my/our plan is for the 2018 elections. But first… there’s so much work to do.

  10. rose Says:

    If this is normative: consider taking cell phone video and sending it to school district inquiring who is liable in the event of an injury to the bus or a child? Then consider sending it to the police and ask them why they do not patrol and cite such incidents. Because it DOES CREATE A SAFETY HAZARD and if people do it at your stop you can be sure it happens at other stops. The problem may be ignorance but should not be ignored, but I am not involved so it is easier for me to suggest this than it might be to do as there might be social back lash that would be……..

  11. Leigh Says:

    My city has an app that lets anyone report incorrectly parked cars. About once a week, I report someone for parking in a 3 minute drop off spot and leaving their car, blocking a crosswalk curb, or parking on the angled corner of the street where you shouldn’t. The crosswalk curb ones especially bug me because it makes crossing even more unsafe than it already is when drivers don’t really look for pedestrians or slow down at corners.

  12. Jenny F. Scientist Says:

    We live about two blocks from the school. One Monday someone asked me, in all seriousness, if I had dropped my kids off at school (they usually walk). I looked at them blankly until they said “… because it’s cold?” It was 30 degrees. They have coats. No, I am not driving anyone anywhere (much less blocking a bus stop to do so… some people!).

    • Katherine Says:

      I live a 15-minute walk from the college where I work, and I walk-commute – which is awesome, because I get exercise, I don’t use gas or put wear on the car, and it’s mostly a very nice walk. This winter it got pretty cold here, and on days when it was below 20 degrees my walking was a hot topic of lunchtime conversation. Everyone wanted to offer me a ride, or if they saw me walking to or from school (which usually happens within a block of campus) they would stop and offer me a ride.

      I would much rather walk than drive, even in the winter. If it’s really cold and I drive, I’m colder when I get to work than if I’d walked, because the short drive isn’t long enough for the car to warm up!

  13. First Gen American Says:

    Our bus stops at the end of our driveway so no drama here. We do sometimes wait in the car if it is down-pouring or subzero out but 98% of the time we wait in the cold (which is most of the school year up here).

    There is a chance that the parents are oblivious to the chaos they cause in their little world. There are a lot of people out there who aren’t engineers or logical thinkers. Just be glad you’re not one of them.

  14. Victoria Hay Says:

    Interesting. So…do you not have a Nextdoor network for your neighborhood online, or a FB page for the ‘hood? If so and you can find it, why not go online and suggest carpooling to the bus stop? No doubt at least some of those parents would be happy to foist their kids on a neighbor four days a week in exchange for driving everyone else’s one day.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Carpooling to a bus stop that is at most 5 houses (literally HALF A BLOCK) away? It makes no sense to drive in the first place! And who has that many carseats? Not to mention, we’re supposed to be there with our own kids and if we’re not we need to have signed permission for the adult they’re with as an emergency adult.

      I’m not sure what problem carpooling is supposed to solve. Not blocking the bus from the bus stop one day a week?

  15. I don’t even know what to title this post: more bus stop drama | Grumpy Rumblings (of the formerly untenured) Says:

    […] this post about the lady who blocks the bus with her SUV every school morning during […]


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