I almost always have to try and keep my cool for the sake of the client that I am with. Even if things are completely out of control, we are not close to home, I forgot your favourite thing at home and I am sweating from exhaustion, I have to laugh at the situation and most time I do. The best is when we have to wait, wait for wheel-trans, wait for the ttc bus, wait for the doctor, you know, wait. Some of the children and young adults that I support, don’t like to wait. For anything.
I have just finished a program with a client and am waiting for wheel-trans to arrive. She was going home on her own and I had to go to another client. It was in the evening too, so I was really ready to go home soon. They were about fifteen minutes late, which I don’t even really mind. These drivers deal with traffic, customers, dispatch, long hours and not seeing their families sometimes; they are aloud to be late. The bus pulls into the drive way but then goes a bit too far around the the circle and passes the main door. I wait for about five minues, go out and ask, “are you here for D*?”
He says “yes I am, but this bus is broken down, they are bringing me a new bus, in about five, no ten minutes. Yes ten minutes, maybe fifteen.” He goes to get a coffee.
I am thinking, the man has changed his mind three times in one sentence, cool that means anytime now. Oh well, I call *D’s parents and tell them. They want to come and pick her up, I say no, the new bus should be here soon. They say I should call them back if it starts taking too long. The driver comes in to the building, he says “it may be about twenty minutes.” I think, does that mean an additional 20 minutes? I call the parents back. “So, it sounds like it is going to be an additional twenty minutes, why don’t you come to and pick us up.” Dad says “no problem, but if the new bus pulls in in the next minute or so, call me back.” I think, that is not going to happen. I hang up the phone, and in about two minutes, the new bus pulls in, he drives over to the other bus, opposite of the front door. I can see them through the large pane window in the front of the building. I call dad back and tell him not to come.
The driver walks out of the building, looking back at us and says “I will be two minutes.” At the ten minute mark, he begins to walk back towards us. He says “I am really sorry, there is something wrong with the bus they brought me. There is another bus on the way for you.”
I laugh and say “really, are you kidding me.” It was more funny to me, and I was now really late. I call dad back and tell him the situation, I also say he should just come and pick us up. He is on his way, no matter what this time. As I hang up the phone, the third bus pulls into the lot. I tell the driver not to worry, dad is on his way. At this point, even if D got on the bus, they would not be taken straight home.
Dad pulls in within ten minutes of talking to us. He says he’ll drive me to the subway station and calls Wheel-trans to say…I didn’t hear. We are both on our way home. The original driver and guy that brought him the second bus however, are still sitting in front of the building by the two busses, waiting for the supervisor and a tow truck. What a night.
After the second phone call, the security guard of the building said, “way to keep your cool.” In those situations, I laugh, I make my client laugh and yes, I keep my cool. I can’t do anything at that point, and it is not Wheel-trans’ fault. Busses are machines, they break down. Losing my cool at that point wouldn’t have been cool, it is a situation that happens two out of ten times. Plus, if they weren’t so late, I wouldn’t be able to, feed my client cake for dinner, practice my comedic act, use the new washroom and use up all those free after 6p minutes my phone offers.
*D, this is not the real initial of the client