DEAR ABBY: I drive a school bus, and I wonder how many parents realize what this job is like. They expect the bus driver to pick their kids up at their door, and sometimes we have to sit and wait while they finish dressing them. We tie shoelaces, button buttons, zip up zippers and wipe noses. We also have to keep them from getting hurt when they won't stay seated.
We never get any thanks for getting the kids to school and home safely, yet we get all kinds of complaints if, for some reason, we are a few minutes late - and even if we are running a few minutes early.Abby, I read in your column once that "the poor schoolteachers" get trinkets and coffee mugs and lots of stuff they don't know what to do with every Christmas. But drivers never get anything (not even respect). Keeping the kids quiet is a full-time job, but the biggest job is breaking up fights and making sure nobody gets hurt or loses anything on the bus. It's an awesome responsibility.
Every parent should drive a school bus for three days, then they would know what we drivers have to go through. Please print this, Abby, but don't tell where it came from. - GETS NO RESPECT
DEAR GETS NO RESPECT: Move over, Rodney Dangerfield, and make room for our unsung heroes and heroines - the school bus drivers.
Parents, circle Thanksgiving on your calendars, and add this memo: "Remember the school bus driver at Christmastime with an appropriate gift for hauling our most precious cargo, our children." Suggestions: brass knuckles, bulletproof vest, nose guard, knee guards, shin guards, teeth guards. Only kidding; pick up a good book on self-defense.
DEAR ABBY: More than once during a concert, my enjoyment of the occasion has been greatly diminished when the person sitting next to me seems to feel that it is her right to chat with her companion whenever she feels inclined to make a remark. (The offender is usually a woman - but not always.)
One brief comment would not matter, but a fairly steady stream of chatter is hardly fair to others who come to listen. Can you suggest a way to effectively handle this rudeness? - ARIZONA CONCERTGOER
DEAR CONCERTGOER: I politely would inform the chatterer that I had paid to hear the entertainment and would she - or he - kindly refrain from talking. And if that didn't work, I would complain to the management.
DEAR ABBY: This is from "Stuck in Irvine" - the mother with the "wedding vs. soccer" dilemma.
Thank you for answering my plea so promptly. I am happy to report that the whole family attended the wedding, and we all had a wonderful time!
My husband and I were so proud to see our son in his tuxedo, standing up as ring-bearer for the groom, and our son was elated to be a part of his uncle's wedding party. It was a beautiful ceremony.
When my letter hit the newspaper, you wouldn't believe how many people recognized the situation! Many of them said, "Now I know that Abby doesn't make up those letters!" Also, 99 percent of the people my husband and I discussed our dilemma with agreed with you and me, Abby.
Thanks for your support. Sign me . . . NOT STUCK ANYMORE IN IRVINE
Most teenagers do not know the facts about drugs, AIDS and how to prevent unwanted pregnancy. It's all in Abby's updated, expanded booklet, "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054. (Postage is included.)