When Transport Falls Through

The Challenges, Maximizing Success and Handling Disappointment

Waiting for a ride that doesn't show frustrates!
Did he forget? Have a problem? How long should I wait? 

The Situation…

There is nothing more irritating and frustrating than waiting and not knowing if a ride will show up or not. The questions come: Did s/he forget me? Or simply have a problem? How long should I wait? Should I call? Should I be patient? And then . . . frantic thoughts . . . Hurry up! Come on!  I’m going to miss it! Finally, the sinking realization . . . S/He isn’t coming. There must have been some misunderstanding. It’s too late now. ___ is going to start any minute.

Let down. Terrible disappointment. 

It happened to me four times in the past week and a half. 

A meeting. A networking event.  An outing on a pontoon boat.  Worst of all, a professional author event that I was all fired up about. 

All lost opportunities. 

As a vision impaired person who doesn’t drive anymore, I experience these let-downs frequently.

Often, it isn’t anyone’s fault. But transportation problems still keep me from living the life I want.

I come from a  small town where public transport isn’t readily available so I depend on others to drive me to the places I can’t walk to. I’ve looked into the Lift but it only comes into my town a couple of times a week and if what I want to do doesn’t fall on those days, then that doesn’t work. For doctor’s appointments, there is transport from the Sight Center in the city next to me for minimal cost. But I have to book in advance. Mostly, I depend on people–my brother, a friend or church members.

As I see it, vision impaired people are risk takers when it comes to reaching their goals. Risks involve: going out on a limb to ask for transport, finding ways to maximize success and getting over it if and when the transportation falls through.

It’s hard enough to even ask.

3 Obstacles to Overcome in Securing Transport 

1. Pride. It feels like I am begging, imposing, dependent. Not the image I want of myself.
2. Embarrassment. If I have my heart set on going to a certain place and options are limited, I may have to resort to asking people I might not otherwise ask. For example, to find transport to my out-of-town author event, I followed up on a suggestion to ask a high school classmate if her retired father could take me. I wasn’t in regular contact with that classmate and I’m certain that request coming out of the blue seemed so bizarre I never heard back!
3. Frustration. Here I go again, the Do-you-mind-if lady asking for a ride. Putting someone on the spot. Making someone drive out of their way. Only to hear a not-this-time, maybe-next response.

3 Ways to Avoid Being Left Behind

1. Ask in advance. I tend to be a last-minute kind of person and wait to ask. The sooner I ask, the more time that person has to fit me in the schedule. My sister didn’t like it when I sprang something on her and frequently reminded me of this fact.
2. Coordinate schedules. I had a friend who insisted on us getting the event in our calendars. Whether it’s a phone, email or actual physical calendar on the wall, it’s important for both parties to have it down in writing.
3. Call to remind the personReminders are important. Either the day before, or the morning of the agreed-upon ride. It prevents misunderstandings. If I’d done that the morning of the pontoon ride, I might have caught the driver in time. 

Even with these directives in place, transportation still falls through. Small let-downs are easier to deal with than ones that matter to my career. In either situation, events beyond my control prevent me from getting to where I need to be.  With my ride to my author book festival, I relied heavily on a particular friend to drive me. We experienced the following problems:

1. On holiday in an inaccessible location
She had been in and out of town on vacation for a few weeks; our communication was sporadic. While she was away, I learned about the opportunity. She had told me earlier that she was not opposed to taking me outside our immediate area and I knew she usually had weekends off. So I sent her a text message about it as soon as I found out. I didn’t know that she couldn’t receive messages since she was at a ranch nestled in the mountains. She had no signals for phone or email. When I didn’t hear back, I thought she had probably put it in her calendar and I only had to confirm.

2. Change of Plan and Work Schedule
She extended her holiday by two days. Without knowing about the event, there was no need to notify me of the change. But I was waiting anxiously to confirm the ride. I didn’t know why she didn’t return my messages. We were both out of the loop.

When she finally met up with me, she quickly told me there was no way she could take me because she needed to work. Perhaps because she had stayed away longer than intended. Maybe just because she had to work. Who knows why? But she told me she couldn’t change it after just coming back from her holiday.

3. Unconfirmed Ride
We had never confirmed so technically, I shouldn’t have banked on her driving. I should have had a  back-up plan. But I didn’t know who to ask. Driving to another city for an entire day is a lot to ask of anyone. She had often come through for me in the past.

So that left me…

Scrambling for a ride with only a few days to resolve the issue! 

hand stop.j picture

I pleaded. Cajoled. Attempted ridiculous scenarios. Nothing came through. Time was up–it was the end of the line and time to give up.

My response? Negative Mindset!

My friend hadn’t let me down on purpose. But the result was overriding disappointment. Frustration. Anger. That everything-in-my-life-is-out-of-control feeling. Self pity. The I-hate-my-life feelings. The I’ll-never-have-the-same-opportunities-others-have roadblock. Then the if-my-dad-were-alive-he’d-have-made-sure-I-got-there outcry. I’m sure you can relate on some level.

But I hate dwelling and brick walls, especially those I construct myself. So I charged myself with finding ways to get past these disappointments, especially the author event.

3 Ways to Move Forward after (Big) Let Downs. 

1. Shift my focus to what I CAN do.
*work on my book
*run, to get my 25-miles in for the week
*make a nice meal

2. Turn to humor
I don’t need to take myself so seriously. It’s better to laugh at the great lengths I went to find transport and instead of being embarrassed,  imagine the great fodder I created for a humorous magazine article that other vision impaired can relate to, get it down to later develop.

3. Trust God with His Timing
As a follower of Christ, I am not to trust in my own understanding but instead, rest in God’s provision and perfect timing. If He had wanted me to attend that Author Book Fest, He would have opened the door. Other doors have flown open. I kept pulling at this door in my own power but no matter how hard I pulled, it remained closed. I don’t think I wanted to accept God’s answer. I wanted my own way. But God wants me to surrender my will to His perfect will for my life.

That’s hard to do.

I have to keep asking Him to guide me through these minefields of my mind. Nothing gets past Him without His allowing it. His purpose is to shape me into a likeness of His son and to develop my character. There was nothing wrong with me pursuing a ride but to wallow in that anger and frustration is wrong.

When transport falls through and I can do nothing to fix the situation, I need to accept it with patience and grace.

When have you had to miss a function because of some kind of transport issue? How did you respond? 

 

When Transport Falls Through
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15 thoughts on “When Transport Falls Through

  • July 25, 2015 at 10:28 pm
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    How frustrating for you, I understand completely about being stood up! I like how you turned lemons into lemonade and thought of other things to do instead. Your method of followup and not making assumptions is wise words for anyone to follow!

  • July 25, 2015 at 10:45 pm
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    Wow, Amy. That is frustrating!! As you said, not really anyone’s fault, but still…. Thanks for being so open and sharing your challenges with us. I really enjoy reading your blogs.

  • July 25, 2015 at 11:22 pm
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    Thanks, Susan. 🙂
    LIFE has its challenges for us all, and I think when I get my mind away from me being singled out for let-downs, I can see things more objectively. Thanks for making me feel better and taking time to read my story!
    Amy

  • July 25, 2015 at 11:25 pm
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    Hi Debbie,
    You’re welcome and thank YOU! I’m so glad you enjoy reading my posts!! 🙂 That made my day!
    There are many challenges that come with being vision impaired. But sharing them makes them less frustrating and readers often have suggestions I haven’t thought of!
    Amy

  • July 26, 2015 at 12:11 am
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    I totally know the feeling. so like what I said on Facebook when I’m at school public transit sucks. It’s a decent town but the bus hours are limited and even though I have paratransit, as broke college student that gets expensive. Thankfully it’s a small Christian college where everyone knows each other and can help out with little rides here and there and sometimes bigger ones but of course there’s the feeling like a burden with those. And like my Facebook issue they could help with church rides since obviously, just about everyone goes to one, the difficulty is getting plugged in beyond just service because then you are there for one service for the sermon and the other to help out and if your ride isn’t staying you have no ride home. Thankfully while I’m at home I have my family and a really good public transit system. I pretty much always make sure a few weeks in advance if I can get there by bus (even if it takes half a century) and then spend the weeks in between asking friends and family. Thankfully it’s been a while since I’ve had to seek out a random acquaintance from a ride but I’d be lying if I said it’s never happened and doing that is the worst. Of course I have missed things or have had to just forgo plans because of a lack of ride but I always prepare myself for that in advance. It’s never easy and there are days I cry that i can’t drive (sometimes just because even if I have nowhere to go or any money it would be nice to just get out). Thankfully I have to tell myself the lie I’m sure we’ve all told ourselves, “cars are expensive and the maintenance is hell” (which my now licensed sister is learning firsthand lol so that is at least making me feel a bit better, I know I’m cruel like that but hey she flaunts her car and license around so I don’t feel that bad). anyway hope it gets better for you and who knows maybe we’ll see a functioning Google self-driving car in our lifetime.

  • July 26, 2015 at 12:59 am
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    Ha ha! Joe, I’m so glad you’ve done the random acquaintance thing. I don’t feel quite so mortified, especially since I didn’t hear back!
    I think the best thing is to get the pastor or whoever writes up the announcements to put your need in the bulletin and have a couple of people from that church offer rides. I’ll be praying for that kind of resolution.

  • July 26, 2015 at 12:43 pm
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    Hi Amy,

    What I usually do when transportation falls through for something I feel is important to attend, I throw a temper tantrum and act like a three-year-old and feel sorry for myself. LOL And when I finally realize that doesn’t get me any closer to my destination, I start the surrendering process, which as you stated is difficult. But when I think about how God opens and closes doors, there’s nothing else I can do but surrender since Scriptures teaches what He opens no one can close and what closes no one can open. I can also relate to your problem about living off the beaten path. Not many resources exist on that path. Larger cities, in my experience, are much kinder to blind people because more resources are available and easier to access. You cracked me up about man who was 103 that you mentioned in your article.

    Take Care,

    Matt

  • July 26, 2015 at 1:30 pm
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    Matt,
    Isn’t it awful when that happens and the drastic measures we take. Oh so hard on our sensitive psyches! LOL.
    Amy

  • July 26, 2015 at 4:48 pm
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    So frustrating. I know much and I hate being dependent on others. Waiting on that self-driving vehicles.
    🙂
    In the meantime, guess you’ll just have to move.
    😉

  • July 26, 2015 at 4:52 pm
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    Living in London the transport system is very good, but before I moved here I had these thoughts all the time!

  • July 26, 2015 at 5:50 pm
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    I always look forward to reading your post, Amy.
    I understand your reliance on other people because I do too. Okay, I have a husband who drives, but he can barely find the energy to take himself somewhere without the hindrance of me with my walker. So, I just turn my mind to other things, don’t make plans, try to be content with my life as it is, without other people.
    Last week, a blogger friend came to England from USA and stayed close to me. I really looked forward to meeting her. But, my husband wasn’t well and asked me to put her off. Oh, the disappointment. I could have cried. Never mind. I’m over it now.

  • July 27, 2015 at 12:58 pm
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    LOL, Kerry.
    What a struggle! Moving isn’t going to happen for awhile. 🙂
    But I did score a ride to my writing group this Thursday night!
    Amy

  • July 27, 2015 at 1:04 pm
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    Hi Nick,
    Ah, London! I spent 8 hours there once and loved it! The coffee shop man said, “Here ya go, Luv,” in that wonderful British voice when he gave me back my change. I wouldn’t mind going there to live. Great transport to boot!
    Cities are so much better for transport–any kind of support really.
    Amy

  • July 27, 2015 at 1:12 pm
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    Thank you, Francene.
    Oh! I do imagine that was a big disappointment! Too bad that she couldn’t have visited YOU instead.
    You really are isolated as your husband is so ill. Sorry for this difficult phase of your life.
    Amy xx

  • March 4, 2017 at 4:12 pm
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    I really don’t like to be stood up by transpo… It sucks! It’s really important that you background check the company that you’re going to contact for transportation.

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