Last month Daughter called me on the phone in tears. Life had gotten the best of her and she was at her wit’s end.
Life Can Really Suck
Daughter struggles with migraines, anxiety, and depression. She does not let it stop her though. She has a full-time job, three daughters, a step-daughter who she loves like her own and a husband who is in the Air Force National Guard. Add to that chronic pain from spinal meningitis a couple of years ago and her husband’s ex-wife playing games with her step-daughter and life gets overwhelming. Especially when they now have to go back to court and are looking at high legal expenses.
Mom, I Need You
This is the one thing that I do for all my children. If they call, I will, if at all possible, drop everything and travel anywhere to be there for them. This is where Greyhound comes in. I had to get from where I live in Utah to where she lives in Nevada. I couldn’t afford to fly and the train was unavailable for the day I needed to leave so I got a seat on a Greyhound Bus. I made arrangements for my teenage daughter to stay with my mother and for a friend to give me a ride to the bus station 40 miles away.
The Drama Starts
I got to the bus station an hour before the bus left at 11 p.m. I checked in and sat down to wait for the bus. As is my nature, I started visiting with the people who would be on the bus with me. They were a very diverse group. One gentleman had cancer and was trying to get to his treatment. A woman was trying to get to a funeral that was in the morning. Several people were traveling across country and had already been traveling 2-3 days and had waited in the bus station up to 24 hours.
At 10:45 p.m. we lined up to get on the bus. After waiting in line for 20 minutes a man came out and announced that our bus had been cancelled. It would be another 24 hours before we could catch the next bus. Those of us who were local were told to go home and come back the next night. Those who were traveling were offered pizza and another 24 hours at the bus station. After an understandable uproar the man told us the there was no one to drive the bus. After more loud questions and complaints from those who had been traveling for several days he said that for those who had been traveling across country he would try to reroute them.
It is now 11:30 p.m. at night. I had to get someone to come and get me. I couldn’t call Oldest because she was spending the night with Youngest so that she could go to school the next day. I couldn’t call Son-in-law because he had the children. I called Fifth and Wife. Three times I got no answer. Finally I called my mother and she and Sister said they would come and get me.
I went and talked to the rather frustrated and frazzled bus attendant. I wanted to know if I could get a refund on my ticket because they had cancelled the trip. I was asked why I couldn’t go the next night and told him that I was only going for two days and that since I was missing most of the reason for my trip it was useless for me to go. I was told that normally I would just get a voucher because I bought my ticket at the last moment, but since the company had cancelled the bus I would be able to get a refund. BUT….There is always a but. I had to drive the 40 miles back to the bus station to get my refund. Seriously?
Travelers Left Behind
As I left the bus station I looked at the people I was leaving behind. An exhausted mom with a toddler who was so tired she just cried. A man with brain cancer who just wanted to get to his doctor. A woman who had been at the bus station almost 24 hours. A woman who was going to miss a funeral. Several tired and frustrated people who had already been traveling for days. They had to wait 24 hours and all they were offered was pizza and just the bus station for accommodations.
The next morning I call Greyhound. Yes, the computer says the bus was cancelled by the company. The lady I talk to says I have to drive the 40 miles one-way to the station to get my refund. Can’t I get the refund online? No. Could I FAX in the paperwork? No. Could I email the paperwork? No. Three times I called and got the same answers. In frustration I said, “We can read a grave marker from space but you cannot get my refund over the phone?!” No. Seriously?! Yes.
After sometime working off my frustration and getting my anger under control I called back one more time. This time I got someone who was much more helpful. She was sorry that she couldn’t do the refund over the phone but I could write a letter and send it with a copy of my ticket to an address and get my refund. Again, seriously? I thanked her and she asked me if she could do anything else for me. I filed a complaint. I had called three times and nobody had opened a complaint or even noted that I had called. I had been brushed off three times. I told her that treatment like this was unacceptable. She agreed and apologized saying she would look into it.
I Guess Its Snail Mail
I am so frustrated with this situation. They could verify that the bus had been cancelled. They could tell me that I would get a full refund. But they left me with only two choices. Drive 80 miles round trip or use snail mail. Driving to the bus station would take me half a day of stress and the twins. I’m still trying to catch my balance and this situation just threw me for a loop. Driving while dealing with dragons is not the best idea. This is when accidents happen because I’m so distracted trying to keep them calm I can’t always pay enough attention to what is going on around me.
Snail mail it is.