I would imagine one of the hardest jobs out there is being a defense attorney. Defending someone who has no defense. But what about the people who are not defense attorneys who defend the indefensible? What could they possibly be thinking?
And I know there are always two sides to every story, but even after hearing both sides of a story people are still defending the actions of reprehensible actions. It just really baffles me every time.
It Has Happened To Me
When my oldest was just four years old she was being bused to a local school 3 days a week for speech therapy. All year long things were going along fine until one day she was very late getting home from school. I was calling the school and the bus company trying to find out what was going on. No one had any answers for me which made it that much more frustrating. Then the driver shows up finally and breezes in with an excuse of I had to stop to use the bathroom. Like no biggie stop flipping out woman. Yeah I grabbed my daughter off the bus without much thought to what the driver was saying and just grateful that all of the thoughts that were running through my head during the half an hour or so that I was frantically trying to find my daughter were not true. She appeared to be fine and in one piece. I on the other hand was quickly going from relieved to enraged.
Wait, did her bus driver say she stopped to go to the bathroom? Why was there no call to the bus company about this? Where was my daughter when she was in the bathroom? And I began asking these questions. My mother, a former school bus driver and trainer, was called so I could find out what protocol was for these situations. She told me to call the bus company. My daughter’s story was that they stopped at Dunkin Donuts and the driver offered to buy her a donut. As a bribe for keeping her mouth shut? Who knows. So I called the bus company to pose my questions for them.
They had no answers and had to talk to the driver of course and I got the run around and nothing seemed like it was going to happen to this bus driver. I contacted the news stations at this point. Got my 15 minutes of fame, not exactly how I had envisioned that moment in my life happening.
But it was well known what happened and lots of heat was put on the bus company thanks to the news. They even spoke with the school Superintendent. I’m sure that all of that contributed to the bus driver losing her job. I went to the police as well, but they said it was her word against mine and my daughters so there was nothing they could do. Well, you know even the bus driver’s word was that she did leave my daughter. The problem was that there was question as to whether or not she was left alone. The bus driver says she left her son with her (not exactly comforting since I don’t know this man). My daughter says no one was there so my guess is he was outside the bus. So how he could be watching my 4 year old on a bus is beyond me, but the driver said he was on the bus. So there was nothing the police would do, but the driver was fired for her actions. A small consolation. She was not driving my daughter or anyone else’s and I can only hope she did not go on to get another job driving a school bus somewhere else.
But do you know after all of that there were people who were defending that driver? My husband works in retail and he actually heard people discussing the case in line at work one day. This driver had been driving their children for years apparently and people loved her. So something that seemed so obvious to me that she was completely in the wrong came off to someone else as me just being crazy and went overboard and this poor woman lost her job. My daughter for years after this incident happened would point out the Dunkin Donuts that they were parked in front of every time we would drive by it. She did not want to ride a bus anymore.
And I don’t care if she wasn’t alone, I don’t know her son. He wasn’t interviewed and didn’t have his record checked to make sure he wasn’t a child molester. There are so many better ways to handle a bathroom stop and her being an experienced driver she should have known that. If you think about it, how did she know her son was at Dunkin Donuts? They had to have planned to meet or she had to have called him. She just as easily could have radioed into the bus company so arrangements could be made for a suitable person to watch my daughter if it was such an emergency that just couldn’t wait until she dropped my daughter off. Then at least the bus company would have been aware of the delay and when I called they could have saved me a lot of wondering if my daughter was laying in a ditch somewhere because the bus ran off the road in a terrible accident.
But no, these gossipy women were simply thinking about some grown woman and what it meant for her. It never dawned on them, that a small child was left alone on the bus, or in the hands of a complete stranger. You know what, the bus company listened to her story and they listened to my story and felt that it was enough of a reason to fire her. I would have loved to give those women a thing or two, but it probably would have done no good. They were just too clouded by their love for this bus driver. Maybe if it had been their children who were left alone on the bus and they were made to worry about their whereabouts and safety, then it would be a different story.
What About When The Stakes Are Higher?
My story is nothing compared to my friend Bambi’s story. Her baby died at the hands of an alleged negligent midwife. Honestly, I say alleged only because she has not been arrested or tried for her actions. I believe with every fiber of my being that Bambi was completely wronged and forever damaged and forever missing a piece of her heart due to negligence.
And while most can say without a shadow of a doubt that she wronged Bambi terribly so this woman is also surrounded by many supporters. People who Bambi once called her friends have rallied behind this midwife. And for what? So she can continue her reign of terror? In my case I would have loved for the bus driver to lose her license, but I had to settle for her being fired. And figuring that the chances are pretty good that she would not be hired as a bus driver again. Bambi has to watch Midwife Brenda continue to deliver babies in her community. A community which had failed to tell her that she lost multiple babies and permanently damaged others before Bambi’s tragedy. Baby deaths, how do you defend that? I don’t know, but people find a way. Not wanting to take away someone’s livelihood. Conveniently forgetting about the people who have been hurt by these negligent actions.
There are so many stories similar to this too. Stories like this one where people have come out in droves holding signs saying how great this midwife is. Forgetting again that there’s a dead baby. If it’s not her fault, then who’s fault is it? The parents fault? Should they have noticed these signs? We hire someone to do a service for us and when they fail us people get upset that people call for action. Of course if a doctor was negligent we would be calling for action, right? But because it’s a midwife and she’s our friend and confidant we must protect her at all costs. After all, she hardly gets paid anything and doctors make so much money so they can afford to lose their job.
I don’t think I will ever be able to wrap my head around this kind of blind defense of a person. Just because you have known her in some capacity during your life you’re ready to immediately dismiss anything someone else has to say. And it doesn’t matter if others agree that there was wrong doing, just because someone was nice to you and didn’t leave your child on the bus or kill your baby doesn’t mean she’s not capable of doing that.
So why do you think people rally behind the indefensible? Is it because they just don’t want to believe they could ever do something wrong? Do you think they truly believe they are innocent and everyone else is making it all up?