Yep, there I was sleeping in just after having sent my “aint coming in” e-mail to the boss’s secretary and my staff. I was up late, and it’s going to be a 3-day weekend, so why not make it 4, right?
7:40 something: The Batphone (Nextel) rings. It’s my safety supervisor “MBG, we have an emergency, there’s a student under a bus, at** Big Ole Junior High!!” **
7:41 - ish: Race out the door, phone in hand, no boxers or socks. Make phone calls while on the way, and get hold of my pal Marti - who’s a Director here, and used to be the AP at BOJH. Turns out the bus didn’t hit the boy, the boy hit the bus while riding his bike. He’s hurt, but doesn’t look bad.
7:45 (or so) Get there myself just as the ambulance pulls away. See other folks, including the boss, who laughs and says “day off huh?” Kick boss in the stones. Make sure all details are handled, working with the principal, AP’s, Marti and cops. Try and figure out just WTF happened. Driver was turning into the front circle at the school when the bike just nailed him.
Just around 8 until about 8:40:** Find bicycle tire mark on the front right tire of the bus. See where the bus is stopped - driver says he couldn’t have moved for a couple seconds after he heard the impact. Look at where bus is, where sidewalk is in relation to the driveway entrance and noting that the boy was pulled out from under the entrance door to the bus. Talk to the boy’s cousin who was riding with him. Here’s what happened: The two were racing down the sidewalk to school. Neither noticed the bus coming. When they did, cousin was losing and the boy saw the bus, screamed, closed his eyes and tried to lay the bike down. (Note - we got that last part from the boy in the hospital) Bike hits front tire, boy is on the ground, his backpack strap got caught on a hook under the steps and he’s dragged about 30 feet under the bus. Which saved his life, because looking at where the bus finally stopped, if he hadn’t been caught and dragged, the duals on the back of the bus would have rolled over him.
Kinda 8:45: We’re all on cell phones, Marti gives me that “I’m talking to a moron here” look. Hangs on, grabs me and says we’re off to Fancy Newish Elementary just around the corner. Seems that not only did I have one bus roll backwards into another bus (driver forgot to set the brake - no one hurt, in fact the kids didn’t even know it happened), but that the son of our most irrational, overreactive school board member was on the bus that rolled, but that also she had a discipline meeting with a parent who wanted to talk about the fight her 4th grader got into on the bus yesterday.
More or less 10 AM: Back to BOJH. We finish holding the principals hands, help with the angry parent, who after having met, I have no doubt her little princess not only started the fight, but would have tossed the other girl out the window if she had the opportunity. Now, I get to write the letters that go out to all the parents on both of the buses involved in this morning’s good times, help our Director of Communications try to figure out how to use the bulk phone call system she recommended to us for it’s ease to use and general magnificence. Took me and one of the AP’s all of 6 minutes to figure it out for her.
Shortly after just the last time: I had asked that the driver whose bus was hit, come see me after he peed and blew for the people at the clinic. (Required step in an accident with injures) He shows up, and my interest was making sure he was ok. Keep in mind this is the guy who got to look out his door window and see (as he described it) “this little body” under his bus. He was shaken, as you’d guess. I told him my guess is that this would be ruled preventable, which is not to say he was to blame- but we use preventable -v- non-preventable in assessing accidents. Basically, if there is anything at allthat could have been done by the driver to avoid the accident, it’s preventable. And he knew, since he could have made a mental note that there were bicycles on the sidewalk before signaling and turning. He assumed, as a lot of us would that the bikes would stop. In any case, he didn’t get a ticket, and the cops told him he wouldn’t later. In fact, I heard later that at the hospital, mom and dad were (A) Pissed at their son, and (2) worried about the driver. I told him about our employee assistance program, and asked if he needed the afternoon off. He said (coming: reason why some of these people I love) "nope boss. The kids on the bus were really shaken up, that little guy is a friend of a lot of theirs, and before they let them get off the bus, we were all there together helping each other, and I’d like them to see me this afternoon so they know I’m still here for them.
I dunno, I think 11 or just after: Batphone rings just as Marti’s does. At Big New Junior High just across town, 4 kids have passed out in the band room. In the library, which is clear upstairs from the band room, two kids just started hurling breakfast, and a teacher with them joined in. The school is emptied, kids all on the playground, while guys holding air testing meters are wandering around. Nobody is finding anything, but The Big Guys suggest that everyone go home. Fabulous, right in the middle of the day, watch me pull 20 buses out of my ass, ok? Hang on, here they are!!
Eh, 1 PM I’d say: People manning phones at the admin center and another school finally reach every parent at the BNJH, so they know the kids are going home - the ones that parents say can’t be taken home to be alone, are sent to another junior high to sit in the library and study, get stoned or wank until school lets out.
Exactly 2:17, because I checkedI call the boss on the Batphone: “Dude, this day has sucked my butt, everyone is somewhere safe, my people are handling my office, and I am taking my tail home. Oh, and by the way, I’m taking that day off at time and a half, I’ll take 1.5 days very soon and we’ll call it even.”
2:19: Batphone rings. One of my supervisors calling to tell me I have a THIRD bus in an accident today. Just a few minutes ago, one of those portable basketball standards got knocked over by a bus turning in a tight cul-de-sac. My end of the conversation consisted of making sure he could handle that, and wishing him a good weekend.
In the school biz (if we are a ‘biz’), this kind of crap ALWAYS happens on Friday. Usually it doesn’t start at 7:30, normally it waits until 3 PM.
I’m home, I’m posting. I’m gonna take a nap, grab a shower and go get absolutely, sinfully, sloppily hammered. Yes, I have a DD. I made damn sure of that first.
Anyone wants me, check in the morning.
PS: Almost forgot - the boy is fine CAT scan is clear, x-rays are perfect, whatever other things they did only showed a perfectly normal, somewhat dare-devilish, extremely frightened 12 year old boy. Parents took him home, most likely stopping at Target on the way home to buy the dork a bicycle helmet.