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bit shaken really...

I'm feeling very shaken up! As usual since they started totally rebuilding the station complete t**ts were parked all over the place so the bus has to pull in on the middle of the road. The ramp off is at an angle too steep, going into a deep pot hole filled with water. I say it is not safe and I'll stay on til Sainbury's but the driver said, 'You'll be alright and I'll help you,' but instead of going behind me to hold the handles and to slow the descent like BK would he grabs the joystick on the loom and down I go, nearly falling out, having to hold on. I try to grab control back and the joystick top snaps off (it's does this, can be snapped on). Not only am I shaken by thoughts of falling off in the muddy water or the wheelchair tipping over taking me too, but it feels like assault. If you are compos mentis but wheelchair bound and someone takes over the controls isn't the same as being grabbed and pulled where you don't want to go? Isn't it? Should I complain to the bus company?

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( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
sasha1600
Nov. 20th, 2013 09:12 pm (UTC)
Yikes! I'm glad you're okay!

I think you should contact the bus company, to suggest that they should provide more training about how he can help safely, before he accidentally injures someone. I can't tell tone of voice or attitude from your description, but I'm guessing he was probably clueless rather than malicious? That doesn't make his behaviour acceptable, but it means that "fixing the problem" isn't as simple as telling him not to be a *****.
asparagusmama
Nov. 20th, 2013 09:18 pm (UTC)
Still a bit shaky but indulging in vegan choc drops and raisins to bring my sugar up :)

No, by the tone of his voice he thought I was overracting and a waste of space and just wanted me off the bus. I had already clearly said I would stay on to the next stop.

Normally this company is the best with disabled assistance and access in the whole of Oxfordshire and Berkshire, so any complaint needs to point that out, I think, before I tell them about his behaviour.

Do you think I should send an old fashioned letter rather than an e-mail?
sasha1600
Nov. 20th, 2013 10:17 pm (UTC)
Ah. That's not good. I wasn't sure if he was helpfully trying to save you from having to backtrack from the next stop. I'm sorry you had to deal with a **** rather than just a clumsy oaf.

I'm not sure what the "culture" is in the UK. Here, an old-fashioned letter would probably make them think you were planning on legal action or were looking for money, and they would clam up and refuse to do anything about it for fear of looking like they were admitting liability; an email or phone call would be more likely to be taken as a suggestion for how to improve service in the future.

asparagusmama
Nov. 22nd, 2013 08:28 pm (UTC)
Having spoken to Brits here, fb and even reality over the last couple of days I have decided to e-mail, praising their general staff and service, but pointing out how dangerous this was and suggest re-training, but I won't mention his attitude, which, of course, is harder to prove.

I think here it would depend on the company, but a letter might be best, but I don't really have the energy. if I get no response from the e-mail, I may follow it up with a letter of course.
sysann
Nov. 20th, 2013 10:15 pm (UTC)
*hugs* Oh sweetie, I'm so sorry this happened. :(

Do you remember a name or the clear time/route? Just so you can point out clearly who did it and it doesn't generally hit everyone including the people who's service you appreciated.

They need to ensure that things like that don't happen. Even if he had a bad day or whatever else his reasons might've been. He can't just put you at risk because he thinks he knows how to handle the situation.

I am however glad to read you're recovering from the event.
asparagusmama
Nov. 22nd, 2013 07:46 pm (UTC)
*hugs back* I'm getting over it but I am still getting very nervous about having to go on a bus again on my own next Wednesday, although we might have found a new way of getting BK to her class...

I know the bus route and number and the time of it - there is only one an hour, it being a rural destination out of Oxford, so their system should log which driver was on that day.

I haven;t sent an e-mail yet as I've been a bit stressed, busy and brain fogged, but I do intend to!

Slowly but surely recovering :)
sysann
Nov. 22nd, 2013 08:28 pm (UTC)
I can definitely imagine. :( I've been extremely lucky with regards to busdrivers. But I've met too many unpleasant passengers who made me dread riding the bus for days if not weeks. :/
Is there any way you could just stay there till BK gets back and then go home with her? Or use this mysterious sounding new way?

Yes, they should have no trouble as long as you know the route and time.

I do hope they'll find a proper way of passing it on to him when you do. :/

*smiles* I'm glad you do. Have loads of hot tea. And chocolate. And perhaps cookies if you and BK had any Christmassy baking sessions yet. :)
asparagusmama
Nov. 22nd, 2013 08:43 pm (UTC)
Usually this is the best bus service (and to get out to Abingdon, Wallingford and into Oxford, the only company!) We use them at least 10 times a week. the drivers nearly all know us and chat and ask after BK's home education classes and drama. that's why it's so hard to contemplate complaining but the more I think about it, if I were frailer or older, or less able in my upper torso, I would have fallen head first out and he needs to know that, never mind his attitude.

It's not really a mystery. last week BK missed the bus that takes her tooutside the school so caught the one that drops at the bottom of the road and walked the mile up. there is another bus we can catch without going into Oxford that drops at this road too. It's whether she is happy walking every week. The street is well lit and busy, so she will be safe.

Once she was offered a lift home, staying wasn't an option, she finishes at 9, Starbucks close at 8 and the next bus home is 2158. Okay in the summer but not now :(

Funny you sould say that, we planned to bake a cake today but I got sidetracked by soups and stews from the veg box for the freezer and Bk got sidetracked by her knitting :)
sysann
Nov. 22nd, 2013 09:03 pm (UTC)
They most definitely do. I think Flower is right in that you need to let them know that you're very pleased with their service. And then point out that what he did was dangerous but that you're sure he didn't intend any harm. (No matter what he did, saying that you didn't feel he meant ill is likely to make it easier for him to accept the criticism than it would if he felt you're trying to attack. At least it's like that when you're talking to kids.)

Well it might prove a nice exercise for her, I find walking to be very calming and relaxing. Just as long as she's warm as well as safe I think she's likely to enjoy it if she does it regularly. Obviously it's up to her though. You can never really tell what things are like for someone else.

Just as long as she knows who to trust about lifts home and who not to. (I'm a mother hen to the extreme. And I don't even have any children myself.)

Well you could always bake it tomorrow? :) And then both have a nice big slice and enjoy a few minutes of the sheer loveliness that cake can be when it's home made and fresh and yummy. :)
flowerpotgirl
Nov. 20th, 2013 10:47 pm (UTC)
I agree that you need to let the company know or someone might be seriously hurt next time. But you're right to praise the good service and say how unusual this was.
I would do whatever is easiest as so much is done on e-mail these days. Funnily enough I had a really good response from M&S just a few hours after I sent an e-mail this evening, having wasted time/ effort on a daft quirk of their website ( birthday money spent now!).
Hope you feel better now, slopes and wheelchairs can be so scary. When I worked in a special school I remember someone saying that unlocking the wheels on an electric chair is like putting a child on the naughty step. He took away your autonomy and that feels threatening.
The chocolate cure is endorsed by wizards and has magical properties.
asparagusmama
Nov. 22nd, 2013 07:42 pm (UTC)
I haven't let the company know yet - brain fogginess and time, you probably know the situation all too well.

Yes, you are right, he took my autonomy, and that is scary, especially for me and my history, it being taken by a strange man. No wonder I still feel so sick and shaken by it. But as BK later pointed out when she got home, I could have easily have broken my neck if I had fallen or the wheelchair tipped with me in it. Still, I'm still here, alive, and if not well, podding along as I always do :)

Chocolate endorsed by wizards? Really! always knew it was magical :)
flowerpotgirl
Nov. 23rd, 2013 01:11 pm (UTC)
J K Rowling has her priorities straight, making chocolate have healing properties in the magical world. Works for me!
daiko_major
Nov. 22nd, 2013 07:55 pm (UTC)
I think you need to let them know, but how often do you have to use that service - is it a possibility that you'll end up with that driver again.

if you are then itmakes it super important for him to know the right and wrong way of doing it, but also I guess he would know the complaint came from you and would lay you open to him being a prick out of spite.

so I guess it would have to be worded in such a way as to be constructive and not critical.

Chin up,

rob

asparagusmama
Nov. 22nd, 2013 08:17 pm (UTC)
I haven't yet but I do fully intend to. I'll probably e-mail them while BK sleeps in on Sunday.

Haing thought it through I'd thought I would begin by praising the company and the drivers on general for being the best service in Oxfordshire and Berkshire for disabled users and then go on to point out what happened and point out if I have been less in control of my upper body or more frail or elderly I would have fallen head first out of the chair and it is a miracle that the footplates didn't jam on the floor in front of the ramp causing the chair to tip sideways. I only want this guy re-trained, really. My friend wanted me to copy the local press and TV media and get the doctor to check me for whiplash and sue, which I thought was over the top and not what I want at all.

Just for the important stuff of BK's classes, clubs and therapy, we use this company for 10 journeys a week! For 8 I will have BK with me, who these days is a feisty, strong young lady who would be able to politely tell him were to go! It's that one journey from Oxford after I've seen BK on her second bus to get her to the Performing Arts group that I take to get home that I'm on my own, and at the moment I'm scared of next Wednesday. The 10th is BK on her own, off to Stagecoach...

Trying to keep my chin up though. Thanks for the positive thoughts :)
baskervwatson
Nov. 26th, 2013 09:47 am (UTC)
I seriously just want to buy a house and take care of you two! My husband will do all the cooking and cleaning and we will live like Royalty! bwahaha

I agree with everyone's comments here. And it sounds like a pretty shakey experience, but if he tries to do the same thing again, yell 'RAAAAAAPPPEEEE' lol. Send the email sooner rather than later or even call them up and ask to speak to the manager at customer services. I'm sure if they've done a good job in the past, they'll be bending over backwards to try and fix the problem.

Have you talked to the boss of your cleaner? I assume it's through the NHS so they should have a proper complaints dept right?

Sorry to hear that it never seems easy for you guys, but it also sounds like you're still doing a great job per usual taking care of BK and being the best mother in the world. With my hubby unemployed and me working from 6 am to midnight, I'm really pissed that I can't draw or write something for you two, but hopefully in the new year we can all catch a frickin' break and start being creative again <3
asparagusmama
Dec. 8th, 2013 06:26 pm (UTC)
Sounds lovely, in the absence of being able to steal Bille and Laurence... not serious! That guy cooks too much pig products for us... :)

I sent the e-mail and got a lovely reply thanking me for the positive feedback and they were sorry for the once upsetting incident and they reassured me that the driver will be given appropriate wheelchair training so it won't happen again.

The thing about Oxfordshire is they employ no carers or home helps but just give every disabled or elderly person a budget called a care package and you have to get on with it and advertise, employ and tax (if necessary) yourself. It's a nightmare and I try to get Mums looking for part time work with no other job so I don't have to worry about NI and tax - or I use agencies or self-employed but they cost more and have a list of dos and don'ts. You can't really sack someone for having tough time and being depressed, but she is now coming one day and doing a the cleaning and I have found someone - a friend who was made redundant - to help sort and tidy on another day. She starts in a fortnight so fingers crossed!
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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