"So, you just want me to leave him on the side o' the road?"

I get sent to pick up a young fella at about 21st and Belmont at 9p last night, the instructions say the p/u person will have a pre-printed acount slip and I need a signature. I get there and he walks up to me and asks if I was looking for 'Michael', yup, hop in.

Me: after the greetings So do you have an account slip for me?

He: Um, no.

Me: Ah. Sorry, you need to have one. Is there someone you can get one from here?

He: No.

Me: Well then, can you call the person that set up your ride?

He: Um, no.

Ok, to make this long story a bit shorter: this 13 yr old foster kid is going to his new meeting for the 1st time and his ride is being paid by one of the larger unnamed shoe companies in this town that has an account with us. There is no one to get hold of this late. I call dispatch, they have no suggestions for me. My options are a) don't get paid and give the kid a ride or b) don't get paid and leave the kid on the side of the road, 6.9 miles from his foster home after dark. Arrrgh.

Yeah, well, no real decision to make there, I gave the kid a ride.

I couldn't yell at the dispatchers, it isn't their fault, wasn't the kid's fault, the foster parents, they don't care (I spoke w/them as I had to escort the kid to the door). So I'm a little peeved about this. I'm going to call the company today and speak w/the folk in charge and see if they can't set up some sort of backup plan for something like this, if it's obviously an issue then my company should pay me if the account won't because we all know who's going to be liable if something were to happen to that kid if I just left him there. It would be me and my company, not the account holder and their "policies" because we still would have left a child on the side of the road at night. Angers me to no end.

Worst part is, if it were 98% of the other drivers out there I'm sure they would have just left him.


Sizzle said...

then it is lucky for him that you were the one who showed up. the system sucks but people like you make the world a better place.

Dave2 said...

You'll be paid back in karma. :-)

BarnGoddess said...

Im w/ dave! good karma!

98%? wtf, well, I understand the need to make a living and not take a loss like that but damn, hes a kid who has for obvious reasons, already has the deck stacked against him.

Sometimes foster parents SUCK as much as the real, biological, negligant parents. Poor kid.

I hope you get paid for this, you deserve to be at least paid.

whall said...

Nice choice. I'm glad you're out there protecting our youth!

Anonymous said...

I'd asked for foster homes number, called them told em to come get a kid who does not have cab fare, or they might have agreed to pay?
FYI There's a "wellfare" (patient services maybe) departments for hostitals that will pick up cab fare to or from, when you threaten to leave the person.