What would you do?

Posted Thursday, March 6th, 2014. Filed Under Voices of wisdom

This article recently appeared in the National Post on Wednesday, March 6, 2014 written by Licia Corbella.

The article states, Kendra Lindon, a veteran school bus driver was fired for picking up students in her own SUV vehicle after her bus failed to start.

On February 11th her bus wouldn’t start and dispatch told her someone would be sent to drive the route. That never happened, and the kids were left stranded – they either missed school or were driven by parents.

When her bus failed again the next day, she was skeptical when dispatch again promised a replacement. Several buses had failed as well and she was covering several of these routes. She worried that students would be waiting in the cold.

She tells reporter that, “Junior high kids often don’t dress appropriately for the weather so I was concerned”, admits Ms. Lindon, 34. She comments that these kids care more about their looks versus worrying about their hands and feet being too cold.

Ms. Lindon asked asked another bus driver to pick up some of the stranded kids. She then took her 2005 Cadillac Escalade to pick up some others. She picked up five kids, although she only had four seat belts. Then she picked up another boy, one she’d known for a long time, on crutches with no hat, no gloves and just runners on in what Environment Canada confirms was -26 C with the wind chill. To make room for the the injured boy, two of the other boys jumped into the back of her SUV, where there were not seat belts. She says, “I just couldn’t leave him out there. It wouldn’t be right, so I made the decision.”

The group drove a short distance to the spot where her son usually waits and a few other kids jumped in to the car to keep warm while they all awaited a school rescue bus.

After the new bus arrived, the kids thanked her profusely and Ms. Lindon drove back to her school bus, which a mechanic was just getting started. She then picked up her usual group of kids of elementary school kids and went to the school where her son also attends and where she also works as an assistant.

It was at this time she received a call from the bus company to come to the headquarters as soon as possible and at which time she was fired because it was against company policy to pick up children in a personal vehicle. She said no one had ever told her that.

Ms. Lindon shares, “First of all, I was not acting as a bus driver at that point, but a concerned parent. I couldn’t reach Cameron (her son) on his phone and I wanted to make sure my son was OK. On the way to get him, I saw these kids I’ve known since they were five. I was acting as a parent and a concerned neighbour and friend, I couldn’t just drive past them and leave them to freeze.”

The company would not comment.

One parent whose child was picked up was very grateful. This women applauded Kendra and said that the behaviour of the company was disgusting, “She should have been patted on the back, not fired.”

So my question is, if you were Kendra Lindon what would you have done?

I know that I would have done the same thing. I don’t understand how our world operates sometimes. I realize that we need safety measures to be in place as well as policy and procedures however at what point do we put them aside and remember that first and foremost we are human beings – kind, compassionate and caring.

As a mother it is beyond my comprehension to understand how a company can rule in favour of firing this woman rather than congratulating her for showing kindness to children who truly were freezing.

This has been one of the coldest winters to date in the last 30 years. There are days that it is unbearably cold.

It saddens me that this is the state of some of our companies and corporations. I guess the fear is that this company can be sued. And with all due respect the USA and Canada (who is not far behind) are litigious countries.

So the question becomes have we created this environment of lack of compassion and caring? We, as citizens, must take our responsibility.

If we want a world of compassion and love then we need to embrace and foster this. This means that we must begin to take responsibility for our own action and choices. We must stop blaming companies for things that are in our control. If you want to eat healthy then don’t choose the fast food chains. Make better choices.

I was watching Jimmy Fallen and there is a man who is suing one of the casinos for allowing him to get drunk and lose $500,000. Really??? Are you serious???? It is well known that this is the goal and intention of casinos. Knowing this upfront means that if you decide to go into the casino, drink and gamble you take your chances.

This article gives us much food for thought.

I can only suggest that we as humans become fully responsible and accountable for our choices, actions and outcome.

Then we can hold our companies to a higher level and say, ‘let’s congratulate Kendra Lindon rather than punish her’.

I want to wish everyone a wonderful weekend.

All my love,

Sandra

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