A bus driver still has her job today after she called a passenger who complained about the vehicle’s temperature “short, fat, and white” as she was walking away. While the driver wasn’t fired, she was allegedly disciplined and given a new route, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The incident was caught on a surveillance video camera positioned behind the female bus driver’s seat at a stop in Waukesha, Wis., a suburb of Milwaukee.
The passenger reportedly asked the driver twice to turn off the bus air conditioning on Aug. 23, and the driver allegedly refused. As the passenger exits the bus, video captures the driver saying, “‘You’re short, fat and white. Don’t talk to me like that.”
Melinda Slick of Waukesha said she’s afraid to ride the bus for fear that the female driver who rebuked her will be behind the wheel.
“I instantly started crying,” Slick said. “I have battled with my weight my whole entire life and I have been bullied for it.”
Valerie Michael, director of corporation communication for Veolia Transportation, which oversees the city’s bus drivers, told the Freeman that they “addressed the issue” and “handled it appropriately” but wouldn’t specify how the driver was disciplined beyond receiving a new route, according to the Journal-Sentinel.
However, all the bus drivers are getting some classroom time: “As a further response to this incident, we will provide refresher customer service training to our driver workforce beginning Tuesday, Sept. 3,” Veolia said in a statement last Friday.
The Journal-Sentinel says that while the driver’s race isn’t disclosed, in a video now posted to YouTube “she appears to be African-American.”
Here’s the clip courtesy of the bus surveillance camera: