Hey, you keeping score at home?
Akiva just lost another pair of glasses on Thursday.
School says he got on the bus with them.
Shalva says he got off the bus without them.
And I say, "Are you kidding me?"
They got lost on the bus. The bus? It’s like Switzerland. Nobody’s responsible. Bus companies are a law unto themselves, with little requirement to offer anything beyond the most basic of services. After all, the company chosen to ferry a city’s children to and from school – an important job one would think – only win the contract because they were the lowest bidders.
There’s a special place in hell for bus companies.
Drivers? They’re generally a likable lot. Matrons? Some are better than others., and bottom line, they are deeply underpaid. You know what? You get what you pay for.
In the ten years of Akiva losing his glasses in Jerusalem, somewhere during the course of his day – and often on the bus – they’ve never been found. What do the bus drivers do with them? Do they throw them out because they can’t be bothered checking in at their various stops to see if they belong to anyone. Only once, and they weren’t Akiva’s, did a bus driver find a pair of glasses and return them to us.
Again, I remind you that Akiva is significantly nearsighted. It’s not like you can pick up his glasses and use them to read the phone book. Truly, they’re only useful to him.
By the way, the recent pair of Akiva’s glasses have his name engraved on the earpieces. Yes, in English, but it is his name. A nice personalized touch that has proven to be useless.
When I asked the lovely and responsible National Service counselor for his group at Shalva why Akiva’s glasses aren’t looked for as he gets off the bus, (as if we haven’t discussed keeping an eye on his glasses before), she said, “well we’re not always there to take him off the bus,” but she’ll make sure they’ll pay more attention next time.
What should I do with that?
Nothing as it turns out. I’m too furious. And we don’t have another spare on hand.
Why? Because we’re lousy parents I guess.
It’s June. The craziest time of the year. I’ve had 3 weddings in the past 10 days, alongside rehearsals for summer Shakespeare, while by day, preparing for Shutaf’s critical summer fundraising campaign for camp due to begin in less than 2 weeks.
I guess, stupidly, we thought we had a grace period before the next pair would go. But I’ve often observed, losing glasses comes in 2’s and 3’s. Well we’ll avoid the 3rd loss as we have nothing to give him this time.
Ira, who was landing in NY as the news played out on Thursday, will make a quick order but it can take up to 3 weeks to get them delivered. Should I pop over to the local glasses store and order a $350 pair? I could but with 2 glasses gone missing in 1 week, I’m shockingly reluctant.
That means Akiva goes fuzzy. Out of focus. Unable to truly see well, until the $50 replacement pairs arrive.
And it’s nobody’s responsibility, as it turns out, but ours.
By Beth Steinberg, Shutaf co-founder