Friday, February 24, 2012

those carpool moms

Fortunately today Lance rode the bus home so I didn't have any encounters with those annoying carpool moms and maybe dads, but yesterday I did have an encounter with the worst of the worst.  I really wish I could know what is going through some of these women's heads (men too, but it seems to be mostly women). What makes them so special that they can totally disregard the guidelines for carpool pickup?  I should note that I consider the rules really to be guidelines since no one obeys and no one enforces, kind of like the whole dog poop ordinance that no one obeys or enforces.  The sad thing is there isn't just one mom or dad, that get under my skin but quite a few, it is sad that there are so many special people who rules or guidelines or whatever don't apply.  There are three major guidelines breakers which come into play every morning and afternoon:
the Park-where-I-want-to
the Turn-around-where-I-want-to
the Stop-carpool-line-so-everyone-can-see-me
there is also the
I'm-going-to-jump-in-line which is annoying too but this is usually a result of the stop-carpool-line mom.
So to explain these individuals better you should understand the lay of the land and the "guidelines".

think I have a future as mapmaker?
 The school's elevation is below the road and the students for the carpool line wait at the bottom of the steps until their parents pull up to the top of the steps.  If you are looking at the school, the entrance to the neighborhood is on your left, the neighborhood leads to several streets, but it is basically a dead end, so most traffic is coming from the left into the neighborhood or school.  The parking lot is suppose to be for buses only as well as parking for staff, though that only applies to some people.
the friendly teacher assistant also has a bullhorn to call students up the stairs though maybe she should use it on some parents
At the top of the stairs are two friendly teacher assistant that loads students into their vehicles.  You pull up to the steps, the teacher assistant calls child (if necessary), opens door, loads kid, closes door, and you are one your way.  There is suppose to be no parking across the street, but of course there are several individuals who believe that guidelines/rules don't apply to them and why should they have to wait in any kind of line?
The Park-where-I-want-to:
One species of the Park-where-I-want-to pull up on the opposite side of the street, park, get out, cross the street, get their kid, cross back across the street, open the car doors to get back into their vehicle All of that of course impedes traffic because due to their parking, street crossing, and door opening, traffic can no longer go both way down the street and buses can't get through so Mr. or Mrs. Park-where-I-want-to stops the flow of traffic and slows everything down.
Another species of Park-where-I-want-to also don't feel like waiting in line so they turn around then park in front of the carpool line and then get out to get their kids.  They don't always impede traffic and stop carpool line, but they are just annoying, once again, they are individuals who feel that they should not have to wait.  These individuals making getting back into the flow of traffic difficult because many don't believe in turn signals and just dart out.
There is also a really rude species who will turn around, park in front of the carpool line, then back up so they are first in carpool line.  Jeff picks the kids up on Mondays and he has gone from being first in line to 2nd and I think once 3rd since he didn't pull up far enough.  The entitlement these people feel sickens me.
The last species of  Park-where-I-want-to are those that park in the parking lot. Some do find spaces, but some make their own and block others in or make navigating through the parking lot difficult.
those two cars are parked in a no parking area blocking other spaces and those yellow blocks are suppose to be buses

This is mildly annoying, it kind of gets under my skin how these individuals can't wait in line like the rest of us, but it really irritates me on Wednesday mornings when I can't find or get into a parking spot when I go into volunteer in the library because individuals can't use the carpool line.  For some reason they must park, most of these individuals aren't even walking their kids in, they are just pulling in I guess so their kids don't have to walk as far, though the distance seems to be the same.

The Turn-around-where-I-want-to:
According the handbook, drivers are suppose to go to the bottom of the hill to turn around.  Of course that 1/10 of a mile (6 house lengths really) is much too far for many people so they use the school parking lot to turn in around in which impedes buses, stops traffic as they wait to turn left into the parking lot, and most of the time they can't make it because it is narrow so they block traffic coming in and out of the parking lot as they do a 3 point turn.  Some individuals understand how the school parking lot is not an ideal place to turn around because so many people are coming and going so they go down two house lengths and do a 3 point turn, once again, blocking traffic.  
There also a bold species of  Turn-around-where-I-want-to.  I have seen some do a 3 point turn right at the steps in the morning to block traffic and jump in drop off line, but the boldest of them all are those who use other people's circular driveways to turn around in.  Some poor soul has a circular driveway right across the street from the school and I have seen many "fine folks" pull in and around to turn around.  I am floored by the gall, this one driveway goes right up to a front door.  Using the circular driveway is not nearly the same as turning around in some one's driveway where you maybe use a fourth or half of some one's driveway, this is pulling right up to the door and around, tacky, tacky.
The Stop-carpool-line-so-everyone-can-see-me
This is the most annoying and irritating of all carpool species.  This is the one I encountered yesterday and wish I was bold enough to say something, but it probably wouldn't make any difference since this mom is one of the "popular" moms.  So yesterday I got into carpool line about 5 minutes early, I was probably like 10 cars back,  so I was near the school driveway.  Mrs. Stop-carpool-line-so-everyone-can-see-me, jumped out of her Honda Odyssey mini van and grabbed a booster seat from the seat behind her and put it in the trunk.  My first thought was she was getting prepared and it would be a grab and go, but I held back a little more than usual just in case because I seen her as a Park-where-you-want, bypass the line, park in front of the carpool line, and get out of your vehicle in the past.  School ended and the kids started pouring out the school and the carpool line started moving.  I was about five vehicles away from the start of the carpool line aka the proper loading area when Mrs. Stop-carpool-line-so-everyone-can-see-me, turned her van off, got out, walked around to the opposite side, opened the door, stood beside the door while her flock loaded up, then count the kids (there were quite a few), realized that someone was missing, and walked to the sidewalk to look for missing kid.  
my arrow is ghetto so my me looks like wine
As she was walking around the car, the four cars in front of her were gone and the carpool line was stalled.  Fortunately, I had suspected that she might be a problem and had not pulled too close behind her so I was able to see the gap in the line and go around.  I pulled right up to the friendly teacher assistant,  got Lance, waited for him to buckle, and pulled away.  I saw in the rear view mirror the Stop-carpool-line mom was making sure everyone was buckled.  As I was pulling away I noticed Mrs. Stop-carpool-line-so-everyone-can-see-me, had successfully stalled the carpool line and made herself visible to all individuals in the immediate area.  
The I'm-going-to-jump-in-line
Though it didn't occur this time, I have seen in the past that the Stop-carpool-line species enable the I'm-going-to-jump-in-line species to jump because the further back you are from the Stop-carpooler the better view you have of traffic and the gap in the carpool line and the easier it is to jump in line.  

I never thought carpool would be so petty and ridiculous.  It is so sad that people are so self-entitled that they are only concerned with themselves and oblivious to anyone else.  I wish someone would say something to these individuals, but how do you tell Mrs. Stop-carpool-line-so-I-can-load-up-the-whole-neighborhood-before-I-reach-the-start-of-the-line a.k.a the PTO president to obey the rules?  
I wish we lived a bit closer to school so the bus ride wouldn't be so long, 40 minutes on the bus is so long considering we are home 10-15 minutes after school lets out even with the drama of carpool line.
So now that I got that off my chest maybe I can handle drop off line next week. Maybe, just maybe.

1 comment:

Molly said...

First, is that the opposite from how it used to be? I seem to remember that buses were at the top of the stairs, and moms were in front of the playground in the lot. That was over 25 years ago though. Also, You should totally get priority boarding if you are from the area ;)
Second, you should suggest a fine for violators that benefits the PTA. I occasionally pick up my friends' kids, and if you do stuff wrong, you get called out on it and are expected to pay $10 per violation, the money collected then benefits the school. It's nice that everyone suddenly understands the rules when they can get a fine, and if you feel like a rich jerk, you'll be paying for your brattiness. Win-win.
Finally, on a green note...also suggest a "no-idling" zone. We burn gas when we sit and idle on the sidewalk!


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