Thursday, March 28, 2013

The School Pick-Up Line

back to school, transportation

While waiting for my kids to get out from school, I've noticed there are 4 types of drivers in the school pick-up line.  The First-in-Liner, the Waiter, the Slacker, and the dreaded Aggressor.

The First-in-Liner is the parent who is always at the school first to pick up their child.  The First-in-Liner arrives an hour early and can usually be observed taking a quick afternoon nap while waiting for the children to be released.  When you pull up behind them, they wake up just long enough to give you the perfunctory nod of approval in the rearview mirror for having become second in line.  It doesn't matter how early you get to school to try and beat the First-in-Liner, they always beat you to the punch.  It's like they have a 6th sense which notifies them of a potential interloper.  They will end their day especially early just so Sally-Jo can't usurp their place in line.

Then you have the Waiter.  This is not the person who serves you in a restaurant, it's the person who arrives early enough to be between 4th and 30th place in line.  These are the people that the Slacker and Aggressor find most annoying due to the vast amount of space they leave between themselves and the vehicle in front of them.  They are also the ones that park their vehicle and walk over to their friend's driver's side window and strike up a conversation.  Their conversation will continue, much to the Aggressor's annoyance, even when the kids have been released and the pick-up line is moving.  On many occasions, they are the ones who get honked at by an Aggressor because the pick-up line will have moved up 4-5 car lengths while the Waiter sits there oblivious to the world moving around them.

Next up is the Slacker.  This is the driver who, after the first week of school, has decided they do not want to wait through the pick-up line right at release time and are always the last ones to arrive.  This driver is the reason why so many notes come home from school asking parents to be "prompt" when picking up their kids.  The Slacker's kid is always the one you see sitting on the school steps with their head in their hands, grumbling about how every other parent can make it on time but their own.  When their ride does finally arrive, you can hear the child asking their parent "So, what made you late today?".

And last, but not least, is the Aggressor.  There are 2 forms of Aggressor and both are the most disliked drivers of them all.  First up is the one who drives around the cars in the pick-up line and finds the spot that one of the Slackers has left wide open.  With cat-like reflexes, they whip their vehicle into the open spot and then give a little wave in their rearview mirror thanking the Slacker for having given them a great spot in line while saying "Serves you right Slacker!".  The Slacker, and everyone behind the Slacker, is then left muttering under their breath about what kind of person would cut in line at their age. 

The other Aggressor is the one that everyone finds annoying.  This Aggressor will honk their horn and yell at the Waiter to get them to move their car forward 6 inches.  When this Aggressor gets up to the area for their child to climb into their vehicle, this driver doesn't even wait for the vehicle door to be closed before they floorboard the gas pedal while yelling for their child to put their seatbelt on and hold on because they've got to beat the "idiots" to the exit or, heaven forbid, they'll be stuck there for another 3 minutes.

As for me, I'm none of the above.  I've decided it's way more fun to watch these daily battles from the safety of my car, which is parked in the school parking lot.  Which one are (or were) you?

by: Christie Bielss

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