Thursday, December 1, 2011

Failure to Yield

Rude, selfish behavior makes my blood boil. It's a virus, quickly spreading, and parents are teaching it to their children by their example. I'm not going to talk airplane travel, because that one is so obvious. No, I'm talking about carline. Pick-up and drop-off of kids at school. There you'll find even more rude, selfish behavior, and done in plain view of a multitude of children. It's gotta stop.

I realize some of you are blessed with never having to experience this ritual. For your sake, I'll fill you in on the “courtesy guidelines” provided by YellowBoy's middle school. Those of you who do have to endure this torture, please chime in. Knowing that there are others out there also outraged by their particular version of this situation will make me feel a bit better. I hope.

Like many schools, his has a long, circular driveway/loop dedicated to the purpose of making it easy to drop or pick-up your child. You enter this single lane and inch forward as those in front of you pull up as far as they can, discharge the student, and go on their merry way. It's a lovely theory, and quite easy to understand.

Along come the special parents. They are the ones who instead of crawling towards the drop-off, single file, squeeze their vehicles past all the politely waiting parents and zoom to the open place that the car now behind them can no longer pull into. At least the kid gets out on the sidewalk.

Not all parents are so rude that they'd sneak forward in line like that, so they just pull up next to you, discharge their child to walk in front of your car so that you can't pull out and go on your merry way because you're waiting to not drive over their child, and you can't get going anyway because they are still beside you blocking you in. If you've been trapped a while between the “get out here” and the “I'm moving to the front of the line” folks, then there seems to be some sort of conspiracy to leave you trapped there. It's as if they're saying, “Oh just ignore that Volvo, she hasn't moved for 5 minutes, must be staying a while.” Chicken? Egg? As you can tell, by now it's a traffic jam, kids everywhere, parents hurrying, holding their Starbucks in one hand, their Blackberry in the other, driving like idiots.

You think the kids don't notice? They do. YellowBoy decided that he's not wanting any part of the pick-up in that “death-trap”. (That's an exact quote, by the way) Instead he walks through the pedestrian tunnel to the other side of the two-lanes each way major thoroughfare, and then three blocks to my waiting car. I park at a nearby park. Not another parent in sight. He makes it there eventually, and my blood pressure is in much better shape.

So why not do this in the mornings, too? I would. Except YellowBoy is a procrastinator, and even though we have a five minute timer and final buzzer, he still manages to make us just off schedule enough that he no longer has time to walk from the park. Set the timer earlier you say? Maybe. But look at all the fun we'd miss.


Brian Miller said...

i sit in so many different car lines each week for different kids...i can tell you which schools have the system down and where the parents are nuts....

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

No kids, so I don't have to deal with that mess. Sounds awful. Wonder where the heck manners went anyway?

mshatch said...

If you complained to the school maybe they could get a school crossing guard out there or some other official looking person to tell those rude people that they must wait in line like everyone else no matter who they are or what they drive.

Part of the problem with these issues is that those in charge don't take charge. Like the cashier at the grocery store who never says anything to the person with 30 odd items in the 14 or less line. All it would take is a very polite,"I'm so sorry but this line is for people who have 14 items or less. That line is for people who who more. Do you need any help finding your way?" Likewise, some school official could easily explain to those drivers who are obviously too ignorant to see the havoc they are wreaking that they, like everyone else, need to get in line and wait their turn. Better yet, put something in the way so that they CAN'T cut.

As you can see you hit a small nerve with this post but I'll shut up now and let someone else rant, I mean, comment.

H said...

One particular route we need to travel regularly takes us past 6 schools; one primary (4-11), one infant (4-7), 1 junior (7-11), 2 secondary (11-16 or 18) and 1 private (all ages with big 4x4 cars!). Drive this 2 1/2 mile route away from school arrival/departure time and it takes about 8 minutes. Time it wrong and you can easily add 15 extremely frustrating minutes to the journey!

Jenners said...

It never ceases to amaze me how rude people can be ... especially those who should be demonstrating how to behave to their children! You just know these kids will grow up to be rude and pass it on to their kids. It is like saying "My time is way more important than your time ... as is my child." A pox on all those kinds of people!

Shannon Lawrence said...

While it's my hubby that does drop-off occasionally (my son rides the bus, but sometimes he asks daddy to take him), I used to be a crossing guard as a second job. I developed such disgust with the parents (I was not yet a parent, myself, but I've retained this one because it was so bad). Not only this rudeness, though, but the fact that, with a child of their own in their car, people did not care about the safety of other children. At all. They were so self-involved that they would do terribly dangerous things. I had to throw my body in front of cars who decided they could ignore the stop sign and drive through a crosswalk while other kids were in it (this was the cross walk directly in front of the school pull-in). There were, of course, many parents who weren't like this, but it seemed like so many more who were like this. Maybe it is just that they stuck out the most.

I could rant about this forever. >:(