Author Topic: Handing out religious pamphlets while on the job.  (Read 3130 times)

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Offline nicetie

Handing out religious pamphlets while on the job.
« on: July 21, 2012, 05:50:23 PM »
Last night I made a late-night stop at a gas station to buy some snacks. When I paid the cashier, he tried to hand me one of those "chick" tracts... I told him no thanks, I'm an atheist.
My question is this: are people allowed to do that? If I were the owner of the gas station, I would have either written him up or given him a verbal counseling because I'm not paying him to proselytize, just do his damn job. Idk it just kinda struck me as an audacious thing to do... Discuss!

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Handing out religious pamphlets while on the job.
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2012, 06:05:29 PM »
Last night I made a late-night stop at a gas station to buy some snacks. When I paid the cashier, he tried to hand me one of those "chick" tracts... I told him no thanks, I'm an atheist.
My question is this: are people allowed to do that?

Well, it's not illegal, at least not in the United States.  Policies on this kind of thing (if any) would, as you say, be set by the employer.  I do agree that it's unprofessional and that employees shouldn't be doing that, but I can easily see other employers allowing it or possibly even requiring it.

If you haven't done so already, I'd suggest contacting the station manager and telling him/her what happened and that you don't appreciate it, that when you go to a gas station, you expect to buy gas, or snacks or maybe cigarettes or whatever, and that religious proselytizing from the clerk who waits on you is unwelcome and may cause you to take your business elsewhere should it recur.

You can never tell what kind of response you'll get to such a complaint because there are too many unknowns, but it can work.  A month or two ago, for example, I was riding the bus home after work, and the driver was nonchalantly eating a sandwich and munching away on some chips as he drove.  I was startled by this, and not too pleased -- a bus driver has a lot of lives on his hands and should be focused entirely on driving.  I took down the appropriate information (route, time, bus number, etc etc) and contacted the transit agency to let them know what happened, that I didn't know whether they had a rule against that but that if not, they certainly should, and that it was pretty unprofessional in any event.  I received a reply about three days later informing me that they do, indeed, have a rule against drivers eating while they're driving, and they told me that the driver had been fired.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Handing out religious pamphlets while on the job.
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2012, 06:16:32 PM »
^ I agree. I've never had to complain about that type of scenario but I'm a frequent complainer to companies. There's no way for them to change a scenario I don't like if I don't notify them of the problem. In your scenario nicetie I'd say they are probably either unaware entirely or encourage it. Either way you will find out whether or not to continue doing business with them if you speak to them about it.
Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.

Offline Frank

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Re: Handing out religious pamphlets while on the job.
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2012, 06:51:22 PM »
- a bus driver has a lot of lives on his hands and should be focused entirely on driving.  I took down the appropriate information (route, time, bus number, etc etc) and contacted the transit agency to let them know what happened, that I didn't know whether they had a rule against that but that if not, they certainly should, and that it was pretty unprofessional in any event.  I received a reply about three days later informing me that they do, indeed, have a rule against drivers eating while they're driving, and they told me that the driver had been fired.

Hey that's great. I'm sure his wife and kids really appreciated it.
"Atheism is not a mission to convert the world. It only seems that way because when other religions fall away, atheism is what is left behind".

Offline The Gawd

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Re: Handing out religious pamphlets while on the job.
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2012, 06:51:58 PM »
Last night I made a late-night stop at a gas station to buy some snacks. When I paid the cashier, he tried to hand me one of those "chick" tracts... I told him no thanks, I'm an atheist.
My question is this: are people allowed to do that? If I were the owner of the gas station, I would have either written him up or given him a verbal counseling because I'm not paying him to proselytize, just do his damn job. Idk it just kinda struck me as an audacious thing to do... Discuss!
I really wish this would happen to me, it'd allow me an opening to spread the good news about there not being a magical sky daddy. I sometimes pray that a church group knocks on my door Sunday mornings, I'd offer them coffee and tea, perhaps coffee cake, and sit down and talk with them(oddly this prayer ends up like all the rest of em lol). Ive even got a sunday school lesson drafted up somewhere here just in case someone takes me up on the offer that I have planned. I envy you.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2012, 06:54:15 PM by The Gawd »

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Handing out religious pamphlets while on the job.
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2012, 07:17:44 PM »
Hey that's great. I'm sure his wife and kids really appreciated it.

Yes Frank because the alternative was better... ::facepalm::
Besides maybe he was single and childless, would you still have a point?
Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Handing out religious pamphlets while on the job.
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2012, 07:19:00 PM »
- a bus driver has a lot of lives on his hands and should be focused entirely on driving.  I took down the appropriate information (route, time, bus number, etc etc) and contacted the transit agency to let them know what happened, that I didn't know whether they had a rule against that but that if not, they certainly should, and that it was pretty unprofessional in any event.  I received a reply about three days later informing me that they do, indeed, have a rule against drivers eating while they're driving, and they told me that the driver had been fired.

Hey that's great. I'm sure his wife and kids really appreciated it.

*shrug*

When I reported the guy, I was thinking he'd probably get a reprimand and warning or something like that.  I was rather surprised to be told that he'd been dismissed.  If you expect me to feel bad about it, though... well, I'm not going to.  He shouldn't have been eating while he was driving the bus, and that's all there is to it.  As I said, it's a question of safety and professionalism.  What if I had ignored the matter, then heard a month later that he had been eating while driving again, and that he had crashed his bus and gotten some of his passengers injured or killed?  You think I'd want to live with that?

It's also possible, by the way, that he actually might have gotten just a reprimand or something like that but that he already had other adverse entries in his personnel record that merited a harsher sanction.  I'm hardly going to second-guess the decision of the transit agency.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2012, 07:28:27 PM by pianodwarf »
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline The Gawd

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Re: Handing out religious pamphlets while on the job.
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2012, 07:24:16 PM »
Ooooor, they couldve lied about firing ol buddy in order to make you think the situation was handled, and simply told him not to do it again.

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Handing out religious pamphlets while on the job.
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2012, 07:26:43 PM »
Ooooor, they couldve lied about firing ol buddy in order to make you think the situation was handled, and simply told him not to do it again.

That's also possible, yes.  Doesn't seem as likely, but yes, could be.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline Frank

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Re: Handing out religious pamphlets while on the job.
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2012, 07:32:00 PM »
*shrug*

When I reported the guy, I was thinking he'd probably get a reprimand and warning or something like that.  I was rather surprised to be told that he'd been dismissed.  If you expect me to feel bad about it, though... well, I'm not going to.  He shouldn't have been eating while he was driving the bus, and that's all there is to it.  As I said, it's a question of safety and professionalism.  What if I had ignored the matter, then heard a month later that he had been eating while driving again, and that he crashed his bus and gotten some of his passengers injured or killed?  You think I'd want to live with that?

It's also possible, by the way, that he actually might have gotten just a reprimand or something like that but that he already had other adverse entries in his personnel record that merited a harsher sanction.  I'm hardly going to second-guess the decision of the transit agency.

Well aren't you the good citizen. No wonder atheists aren't popular over there if they're all like you. A busybody. What do you think his chances are of getting another job in the current climate, and correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't healthcare coverage end when you're unemployed? Lets hope he doesn't develope any life threatening ailments before he gets another job. Maybe he'll get evicted because he can't pay the rent.

Sometimes us working stiffs have to stick together and not drop each other in the shit. You might want to think about that.
"Atheism is not a mission to convert the world. It only seems that way because when other religions fall away, atheism is what is left behind".

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Handing out religious pamphlets while on the job.
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2012, 07:40:58 PM »
Well aren't you the good citizen.

I try to make my own small contribution to society, yes.

Quote
No wonder atheists aren't popular over there if they're all like you.

Hmm, which logical fallacy is this... strawman?

Quote
What do you think his chances are of getting another job in the current climate

I don't know, and it's not my concern.  If he didn't want to be fired, he shouldn't have broken the rules.

Quote
and correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't healthcare coverage end when you're unemployed?

That's an oversimplification, but generally yes.  But again: if he wanted to keep his job, he shouldn't have broken the rules.

Quote
Sometimes us working stiffs have to stick together and not drop each other in the shit. You might want to think about that.

Fuck you, Frank.  What I did that day may very well have saved some lives.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline jetson

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Re: Handing out religious pamphlets while on the job.
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2012, 07:42:32 PM »
Frank - it may be fine with you if a transit employee driver distracts himself from his actual job, but it's not OK with others, and it is completely unprofessional and dangerous to the patrons using that system.  Also, I'm sure the company itself does not want that sort of potential liability on their books.  Imagine Frank, if the company goes under because of one careless driver - then everyone loses their jobs.

I'm sure this seems trivial and inconsequential in the big picture, but one man's job is just not worth the possibility of lost lives.

Offline Frank

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Re: Handing out religious pamphlets while on the job.
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2012, 07:43:58 PM »


Fuck you, Frank.  What I did that day may very well have saved some lives.

I'll write to Obama and reccomend you for a medal. You're a shoo in.
"Atheism is not a mission to convert the world. It only seems that way because when other religions fall away, atheism is what is left behind".

Offline Frank

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Re: Handing out religious pamphlets while on the job.
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2012, 07:49:58 PM »
Frank - it may be fine with you if a transit employee driver distracts himself from his actual job, but it's not OK with others, and it is completely unprofessional and dangerous to the patrons using that system.  Also, I'm sure the company itself does not want that sort of potential liability on their books.  Imagine Frank, if the company goes under because of one careless driver - then everyone loses their jobs.

I'm sure this seems trivial and inconsequential in the big picture, but one man's job is just not worth the possibility of lost lives.

Talk about exaggerating. Now the bus company is going down the pan because of a sandwich. The guy was a working man in a lousy job just trying to snatch a bite to eat. Now thanks to Huggy bear he's out of a job.
"Atheism is not a mission to convert the world. It only seems that way because when other religions fall away, atheism is what is left behind".

Offline jetson

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Re: Handing out religious pamphlets while on the job.
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2012, 07:52:30 PM »

Talk about exaggerating. Now the bus company is going down the pan because of a sandwich. The guy was a working man in a lousy job just trying to snatch a bite to eat. Now thanks to Huggy bear he's out of a job.

Yes, I have to agree that there is a level of irrationality, and a low probability of something happening.  But where, exactly, would you draw the line on professional jobs that carry the possibility of injury or death to patrons using that system?

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Handing out religious pamphlets while on the job.
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2012, 07:58:41 PM »
Either the company had a zero tolerance policy or the person had a previous record. Either way there's no way PD could have known this would be the outcome. Nor should he be accountable for the decisions of the transit company. He was doing his duty as a concerned citizen to report a dangerous driving incident.

I have to sign an annual form that basically says I agree to adhere to XYZ and if I fail to meet my company's expectations I will be disciplined accordingly and termination is immediate upon certain offenses. I think it's safe to assume a transit driver would have equal awareness of their companies rules and employment agreement. If not prob more severe since my job has nothing to do with the safety of others.
Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.

Offline Quesi

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Re: Handing out religious pamphlets while on the job.
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2012, 08:05:41 PM »
There are a lot of really good people out of work right now, and this driver was replaced by someone who needed the work, and who, hopefully, will take the responsibility of transporting people in a vehicle more seriously.  A moving vehicle can be deadly.  And when I trust someone to transport me in a bus or a cab, I have the expectation that the driver will consider driving to be the most important thing that s/he is doing.

In terms of the op, I agree that you should call the owner.  If your Christian good-deed doer is the owner's nephew, and they both share the joy of spreading the word of the lord to patrons, you will probably decide to take your business elsewhere.  If the kid genuinely didn't know that it was inappropriate behavior, (if not endorsed by the boss) then this is a good learning opportunity.   

Offline Frank

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Re: Handing out religious pamphlets while on the job.
« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2012, 08:06:34 PM »

Talk about exaggerating. Now the bus company is going down the pan because of a sandwich. The guy was a working man in a lousy job just trying to snatch a bite to eat. Now thanks to Huggy bear he's out of a job.

Yes, I have to agree that there is a level of irrationality, and a low probability of something happening.  But where, exactly, would you draw the line on professional jobs that carry the possibility of injury or death to patrons using that system?

If he was high or drunk not eating a sandwich FFS. I have been a working man for the last 40 years of my life and I've never snitched on another working man. But since we're speculating. Maybe the guy has a gun and in a fit of depression through losing his job he blows his brains out. Could make a little story in the papers. Picture of his grieving wife/kids/mother. Probably a more realistic scenario.
"Atheism is not a mission to convert the world. It only seems that way because when other religions fall away, atheism is what is left behind".

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Handing out religious pamphlets while on the job.
« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2012, 08:15:20 PM »
The guy was a working man in a lousy job just trying to snatch a bite to eat. Now thanks to Huggy bear he's out of a job.

I didn't get the guy fired, Frank.  He got himself fired.  Get it straight.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline Frank

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Re: Handing out religious pamphlets while on the job.
« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2012, 08:22:03 PM »
The guy was a working man in a lousy job just trying to snatch a bite to eat. Now thanks to Huggy bear he's out of a job.

I didn't get the guy fired, Frank.  He got himself fired.  Get it straight.

No you did. Little Johnny Doright. Couldn't just have a word in his shellike. Had to grass him up behind his back. Well I'm sure you're proud of yourself. All those lives saved. Death and destruction averted.

As for the OP. Just crush it, toss it in the bin and go about your business and stop making a mountain out of a molehill.
"Atheism is not a mission to convert the world. It only seems that way because when other religions fall away, atheism is what is left behind".

Online jaimehlers

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Re: Handing out religious pamphlets while on the job.
« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2012, 08:37:42 PM »
Well aren't you the good citizen.
Actually, he probably saved lives by reporting this guy before his inattention got someone, or a number of somebodies, killed.

Quote from: Frank
No wonder atheists aren't popular over there if they're all like you.
Immaterial.  I doubt the people he reported it to knew he was an atheist, or likely would have cared if they did.

Quote from: Frank
A busybody. What do you think his chances are of getting another job in the current climate, and correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't healthcare coverage end when you're unemployed? Lets hope he doesn't develope any life threatening ailments before he gets another job. Maybe he'll get evicted because he can't pay the rent.
Then maybe he should have thought twice before breaking the rules and getting himself fired.  Because what you seem to be forgetting in your eagerness to bash pianodwarf is that it was the bus driver's behavior that was at fault here.  All he had to do was park long enough to scarf down his food and there would have been no trouble at all.

Quote from: Frank
Sometimes us working stiffs have to stick together and not drop each other in the shit. You might want to think about that.
It's far more important to make sure someone's doing their job properly than to keep them on indefinitely just because the job market is tough.

Offline Asmoday

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Re: Handing out religious pamphlets while on the job.
« Reply #21 on: July 21, 2012, 08:38:56 PM »
If he was high or drunk not eating a sandwich FFS. I have been a working man for the last 40 years of my life and I've never snitched on another working man. But since we're speculating. Maybe the guy has a gun and in a fit of depression through losing his job he blows his brains out. Could make a little story in the papers. Picture of his grieving wife/kids/mother. Probably a more realistic scenario.
So, if we're talking of realistic scenarios, given how many people die in traffic accidents each year because of careless drivers who were too preoccupied with something else (like fiddling with the radio, searching for a CD, lighting a cigarette and yes, eating stuff while driving) to properly pay attention to what goes on on the road, just how unrealistic is it to be worried about having a bus driver who has his fingers in a bag of chips instead of both hands on the wheel while he's steering a bus that weighs a few tons and is full of people?

There's a difference between "snitching" on someone because of something irrelevant (like a guy who's not wearing the correct pants of his work uniform) and reporting behavior that is a safety issue. Yeah, sure, eating chips and munching on a sandwich is not the same as if the guy had been drunk or high but a large number of traffic accidents happen just because one driver takes his eyes off the road to fumble on something in his car and/or doesn't have full control over his car at the important moment.
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Offline Quesi

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Re: Handing out religious pamphlets while on the job.
« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2012, 08:44:08 PM »

I have been a working man for the last 40 years of my life and I've never snitched on another working man.

Frank, I just wanted to say that I really appreciate your ethic of protecting working people, who rarely receive the respect and recognition that they deserve, are susceptible to exploitation, and are almost certainly overworked and underpaid while someone else is making a profit off of their labor.  Yes, the fact that he lost his job was tragic in his life.  But i can't help but agree with Kimberly that unless the employer was an unspeakably unreasonable asshole who fires people on the first offence, he probably had previous issues on the job. 

When someone's job impacts on the safety of others, I think it is fair to have extraordinarily high standards.   I may tap my foot and roll my eyes at the store clerk who is chatting on a cell phone while ringing me up and not paying attention to the transaction taking place, and listing in my head all of the people who are out of work and who would be more attentive to customers.  But I'm not going to call the boss and complain.  Safety is huge.  It is bigger than handing out religious silliness.  But still, if you are the face and persona who represents a business, you are a public figure and you are subject to public scrutiny.

Online jaimehlers

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Re: Handing out religious pamphlets while on the job.
« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2012, 08:45:21 PM »
No you did. Little Johnny Doright. Couldn't just have a word in his shellike. Had to grass him up behind his back. Well I'm sure you're proud of yourself. All those lives saved. Death and destruction averted.
Pianodwarf has every reason to be proud of himself, despite your sarcasm.  And he acted appropriately, as well.  So unless you have some other argument besides blaming pianodwarf for doing what he was supposed to do - reporting someone who was a public safety hazard to their employer - perhaps you should bury this dead horse instead of continuing to beat it.

Online Azdgari

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Re: Handing out religious pamphlets while on the job.
« Reply #24 on: July 21, 2012, 08:58:58 PM »
There are a lot of really good people out of work right now, and this driver was replaced by someone who needed the work, and who, hopefully, will take the responsibility of transporting people in a vehicle more seriously.

This.  Frank, presumably you wish for the replacement driver - who may also have a spouse and/or children to support - not to be able to find employment.

No jobs were gained or lost in this situation.  One person lost a job, and another one gained it.
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Offline jetson

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Re: Handing out religious pamphlets while on the job.
« Reply #25 on: July 21, 2012, 09:13:38 PM »

If he was high or drunk not eating a sandwich FFS. I have been a working man for the last 40 years of my life and I've never snitched on another working man. But since we're speculating. Maybe the guy has a gun and in a fit of depression through losing his job he blows his brains out. Could make a little story in the papers. Picture of his grieving wife/kids/mother. Probably a more realistic scenario.

Frank, I am partially agreeing with you on the likelihood of something going wrong, being very low.  But to me, that's beside the point.  I'm wondering where you would draw the line for driver distraction - when would you feel compelled to turn him in?  Talking on a phone?  Eating a steak dinner?  Sitting a girl on his lap while driving?

Offline Nick

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Re: Handing out religious pamphlets while on the job.
« Reply #26 on: July 21, 2012, 09:20:17 PM »
What's a chick track?
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

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Offline Seppuku

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Re: Handing out religious pamphlets while on the job.
« Reply #27 on: July 21, 2012, 09:30:33 PM »
There's a reason why the bus company has rules against what the bus driver did, it's the same reason why it's illegal to drive whilst you're on the phone. You're cutting down your own reaction time and that reaction time is vital as far as people's lives go, not necessarily the passengers, but other drivers and even pedestrians. I'm sure if it was just a case of eating on the job, it wouldn't be such a big deal. To the bus company, it obviously was a big deal and rightly so. The guy got himself fired by breaking company health and safety protocol. I'm sure you wouldn't be so concerned about the guy's ability to find work after getting the sack if he ran over a pedestrian because he couldn't steer in time, or didn't notice them quick enough because he's distracted. Yes, I would have thought it'd get a warning first, who knows, maybe he did and this was the second time he had been caught doing it.

Quote from: Frank
The guy was a working man in a lousy job just trying to snatch a bite to eat. Now thanks to Huggy bear he's out of a job.

It's no excuse. My mum and sister are both care workers, they have to drive between each service user and work ridiculous hours and the time they're spent driving isn't counted as work hours, despite the fact travel time cuts into their breaks. So at times they don't get time to eat and they might be lucky to get a sandwich, but they never eating it when driving simply due to the fact it's dangerous. Lowering your reaction time increases risks. Heck, if they need to eat, they'll eat and if it means they're late, then they're late. It's the company's fault and not their's. I don't think the lack of breaks for the number of hours they working is even legal.

Yes, it's lousy work, if your hours are unreasonable, take it up with the employer (as my mum and sister are tempted to do), they can't sack you for having complaints. Heck, if said bus driver was overworked he could argue that tiredness kills. I am sure the US's laws aren't THAT backward.


There are a lot of really good people out of work right now, and this driver was replaced by someone who needed the work, and who, hopefully, will take the responsibility of transporting people in a vehicle more seriously.

This.  Frank, presumably you wish for the replacement driver - who may also have a spouse and/or children to support - not to be able to find employment.

No jobs were gained or lost in this situation.  One person lost a job, and another one gained it.

This is very true. Hey it's possible the old bus driver had no family and knows a guy running a pizza place and could get a job there, whilst this guy who replaced him could be supporting 3 kids and has been out of work for 3 months because nobody will take him and he's desperate for the money to support his family. The point is, we don't know the guy's situation. But he, himself, is responsible for his actions, yes, people make mistakes at work, but when it comes to health and safety it becomes more important to not make mistakes, even if in that incident nobody came to harm by it. I don't like the idea of ratting on people either, because I think everybody should be given a chance, but when you're concerned that there might be risks involved in the actions somebody is making (or not making) then ig you care then you suck in your gut and become a taddle tale.
“It is difficult to understand the universe if you only study one planet” - Miyamoto Musashi
Warning: I occassionally forget to proofread my posts to spot typos or to spot poor editing.

Offline nicetie