The Safety Board

I didn't work tonight (Tuesdays and Wednesdays are always nights off), but I still got to go to the garage anyway.

About a month and a half ago, I slightly scraped the rear passenger-side door against a poorly parked Acura SUV's bumper while pulling out of the Slabtown lot at the beginning of my shift. There's a long and not-at-all interesting story about how this happened, but when it comes down to it, I did it. There was no body damage to either vehicle, just very minor paint damage to the cab, even lighter damage to the SUV. Following company policy, I called for a cover car to do an accident report. While the cover car and I were doing the write-up, we discovered the owner of the car, who was exceedingly chill and said that she probably wouldn't file a claim. The cover guy took pictures of the "damage" and while I knew that this would reflect poorly on me as a driver, I didn't imagine that the incident was all that big a deal.

At the safety board meeting, however, they didn't take the same view. Despite the fact that the woman didn't file a claim, and that the cab's owners weren't of the opinion that the door needed re-painting, I got hit with five points and was told that if I came before the board again in the next six months, I would probably be fired.

This certainly pissed me off. Why? Because they'd lost the pictures, so didn't know just how minor the damage was. I didn't know this before they'd made their judgment, so wasn't able to bring the extreme lack of severity to their attention. I was told by one board member (granted, the weird one) that I "was extremely negligent."


Two guys (also lease drivers) went before me. One did $1200 damage to his cab by backing into a telephone pole and got the same five points I did (though he also has to pay $240 to the company over the next 6 months, we pay 20% of the damages for any accident that's our fault). The other guy did an illegal U-Turn on West Burnside to steal another cab's fare, after slightly bending another cab 6 months earlier, and got off with 5 points. Neither of these guys got the job security warning.

I literally did less damage (though over a very slightly largely area) than a teen-ager with a key, cost the company no money, and suddenly I'll get fired if something real happens. What burns me up the most isn't even that the safety board guys are all day drivers who don't know me, or what the superintendents think of me, or that I have a completely clean driving record. No, what gets me is that half of our drivers would've just driven off and not reported it. And now, if something like this happens in the future, I almost certainly will as well.


Blogger MJ06 said...

Thats the problem with these clowns and insurance. When some one says its cool its cool especially in that situation no need to over complicate it any more. Thats another thing to a car is a wear item especially a cab. So no matter what some wear is ganna show.

June 25, 2006 8:04 PM  

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