Our Supervisors are Heros!:
A snowstorm hit Atlanta harder than expected this past Tuesday and I could give you countless stories and adventures that we bus drivers undertook to get students home, but at the end of the day, students, teachers, and bus drivers were stranded. Personally, I made it home that night around 2am because of back roads and my amazing 4x4 Toyota pickup whom I call "Yota." In other words, I got a little bit of rest. When I woke up Wednesday morning I discovered from a friend that there were still students stranded at schools within the city, so I called my Supervisor Ms. Lapinski. "Ms. Lapinski, do ya'll need any help," I asked. She responded, "Yes, but call the other supervisor Ms. Crosby for details because I am on my way to pick up students." It had been over 24 hours since the storm hit and APS hero, Ms. Lapinski was still at it!
The phone conversation with Ms. Crosby was one of those weird 5 seconds or less calls. "Ms. Crosby, do ya'll need any help?" She sweetly said what she had to say, "Jeramy, if you are close by, we would sure appreciate you to come in." *CLICK* I was like, "Did she just sweetly hang up on me?" How can I get mad at that! Ms. Crosby is a hero for her tact, because I am not going to lie to anyone, but I can be a bit difficult, but she has this gifting to connect with drivers and work with them when they and I can be a bit overbearing.
When I arrived at work, I learned from Ms. Crosby that none of the supervisors had gone home as well as many school bus drivers and their children were stranded on the job. The amazing thing about my supervisors that they were in good spirits, stayed cool, able to find laughter and solace even in the midst of the unfortunate circumstances that were placed in their laps.
One of these comforting moments was when I walked into the office of Ms. Madison to ask her about stranded buses. At one point in our conversation, I was not sure of what she said, but I remember her laughing at herself or a radio transmission and the laughter trickled down to myself and another driver. You see, I understand that stranded students, teachers, drivers are serious matters, but we can never let circumstances dictate our joy or allow chaos to prevent us to share in the beautiful moments of teamwork and community. In the midst of it all Ms. Madison testimony of being a cancer survivor of the worse kind and stamina of many years of wisdom and experience set in perspective that circumstantial elements of a snowstorm will be an event of the past, which we will learn from hopefully, and share many stories of tenacity, love, laughter, and commitment with a family of bus drivers. The reality that there are deeper and darker elements like cancer that threaten to snuff out the life of a person. A little snow, ice and being stranded is only an opportunity to share how God brought us through and we can smile with victory that "WE MADE IT!"
Now, I am certain that there are other supervisors who are cancer survivors as well, I am not certain of which ones, but I do know that all of them showed us that if "chemo" or "radiation" will not slow us down, surely snowstorm of 2014 will not cripple their abilities to do the impossible, which they did gracefully!
These supervisor stayed till every student was home and one supervisor, Ms. Lapinski waited till every bus drivers had returned safely to base (40 hours straight on the job). How do I know that she waited? Because I was the last one to return that evening! Props and more props.
Lastly, I want to thank our directors for getting out there and recovering stranded bus drivers. You are appreciated as well.