HandyDart driver berated for rudeness

The lack of respect for an elderly woman was unacceptable.

Editor: On Tuesday, May 22, my spouse and I decided to go shopping at the local Price Smart in Langley to buy ingredients for a spaghetti dinner.  We pulled into the parking lot,  parked and proceeded to walk to the front entrance.

Parked in front of the exit door was a yellow TransLink HandyDart bus.  As we were walking past the bus, we observed a senior lady with a shopping cart with one plastic bag in the upper pullout part of the cart.

The driver, who later identified himself as Luke, walked down the two steps out of the bus and with a very authoritative voice spoke to the five foot, one inch, 80ish senior citizen — “I guess you expect me to carry your bag of groceries onto the bus?”

At first, we thought he was just kidding around, but he continued: “You know it’s not my job to carry your things onto the bus, that’s your responsibility. It’s against the rules.”

We spun around, in utter disbelief of what we just overheard. We were shocked. Here is a taxpayer-paid employee, about 6”2, 200 pounds or so, around 55 years old, who is verbally intimidating a senior citizen about the rules and regulations of the TransLink HandyDart bus service.

The audacity and total lack of respect for the woman’s right to use a service provided by the province and paid for by the taxpayers was, in a small word, unacceptable. I turned my gaze onto the bus driver, and said “Are you joking? That was disgusting, how dare you speak to her like that.”

He, with a smug sarcastic look on his face, stared me down and said “You got a problem with that?”

I said “Yes, I do. How dare you treat this lady with that disgusting attitude. My tax dollars pay your wages.”

He replied: “Oh yeah, what did you hear? Repeat it back to me.”

I was speechless. The next thing that came out of my mouth was “Hey buddy, what is your name?”

He replied:  “The name  is Luke.”

The woman was visibly shaken up by the whole debacle. With her head down, she walked onto the bus and sat down. The driver  gave me a smile and a wink and drove away.

Infuriated, I walked into the store and asked to speak to the manager.  A very nice man came to talk to me. He listened to the story that took place, wrote down my name and number and said he would try to find out who the driver was and he would call me with a follow-up.

He called me around 20 minutes later, stating he was going to leave a message for the TransLink company and that he too would inquire about the driver’s identity.

I thanked him and said “I know it’s not your fault about the driver’s disrespect, but it was one of your customers that was poorly treated in front of your store.”

He agreed and had empathy for the lady. It was unfortunate that I did not get the woman’s name. I hope she will get some justice with publication of this letter from a concerned citizen.

Both my spouse and I were appalled and shocked at the way this worker degraded this elderly lady with his “out of line” comment. Is he not in the customer service industry? Does his job not cater to the needs of the elderly and handicapped? Where are the days of helping a person in need, and just how much effort did it really take to help out this lady by bringing her five-pound bag onto the bus?

Perhaps TransLink should have a more stringent enforcement policy regarding acceptable service and action from its employees, especially when it comes to those who offer senior citizens and handicapped people specialized services.

S. Seipp,

Langley