Right to Not Choose

William, a bus driver, has labored for many years at his trade. Being a senior driver for his company, per organization rules he should have the right to choose the assignment route of his preference. Recently, as if having found a lost civilization in a South American jungle, when the company recognized that the Department of Transportation would soon be completing pass around a mountainside reaching an otherwise very inconveniently, alternatively accessed community of 200,000 they jumped at and won the contract to service the restricted line to the community.

Contrary to his contract seniority and interests, William was told that the new destination was to be his new assignment. Although well constructed and restricted to very limited bus and emergency vehicle traffic, the route was harrowing, a nerve-wracking experience, and a role so undesired by others that all his peers pledged to quit before accepting even temporary coverage assignments. Numerous drivers actually did quit on a moment’s notice, threatening legal suits for any corporate retaliation.

The community being serviced saved sixty percent on commuting times into the city compared to prior passageways. The cost of vehicle maintenance and a host of other soft benefits from this new passage were incalculable, and patrons would never wish to lose access to the new service. The bus company was earning many tens of thousands of dollars monthly by virtue of the exclusive commercial of way contract, high fee-based couple hour route.

After six months, William had experienced enough, the stress of the drive weighed upon him too greatly as he pulled curbside for disembarkation and rest. He would soon execute his right to not choose this route. As he milled about briefly with his regulars, he offered his best wishes to them before returning to the bus; he was ready to resign. But, before he could even enter the vehicle, a truly disaffected, and inconsolable woman approached him. Screaming, tossing her hands in the air, her message was that she could not bear to return to traveling the other route while the bus company worked out its issues. Someone would have to pay! And, William would suffice for now. She pulled a revolver from her bag and shot him.

Recently, the inconsolable opiate-addicted husband of a pain management patient who was denied additional opiate medications went home, picked up a semi-automatic pistol and returned to the clinic to speak with the physician. Upon seeing the physician in the parking lot, he shot the doctor twice in the head before going to a friend’s home to commit suicide. While William was a fictitious bus driver, the opiate-related murder-suicide actually occurred recently in Indiana. Lives, spouses, fathers, friends and more were lost to opiates that day. Opiates are not intended for chronic pain management. You have the right to not choose (or accept) them. You and your health matter. Avoid them at all cost, before they cost you all.