Goodness Grapetious Me!

slip accident compensationFrom the Metro 22/03/12

Bus driver Michael Shephard claims he lost his job – for eating a grape.
Michael says he was dismissed by National Express after he was seen on CCTV eating fruit.

The 66-year-old admitted he was in his cab at the time but the vehicle was stationary.

Correct form of the word ‘stationary’ there. Score 1 for the Metro! ;-) 

Mr Shephard said: ‘I am so angry. I thought I would be given a disciplinary for eating a grape but not sacked.

‘I don’t eat or drink while I am driving but I was just sat at the bus terminus for a few minutes.

‘I had a heart bypass 12 months ago and the medication dries your mouth out so I need to have a sip of water or a grape every hour or so.

Everyone needs to, “wet their whistle” occasionally! I’d be interested to know the National Express’ policy is on this - are drivers prevented from taking a sip of water whilst parked up as well?  What about gumming on an opal fruit starburst?

‘There were no passengers on my bus and nobody saw me so I don’t understand the problem.’

Mr Shephard, from Coventry, has worked for National Express for more than five years. He was suspended after the incident two weeks ago and sacked on Wednesday.

Mr Shephard has since lodged an appeal against his dismissal.

A spokesman for National Express said: ‘The driver in question hasn’t exhausted the disciplinary process that we have as a company and as a result, we cannot comment.

‘However, we do hold ourselves to high levels of safety and customer care standards.’

I suppose there is a risk Shephard could have inadvertently dropped one of his grapes in to the gangway of the coach, only for one of the many ‘old dears’ who later boarded to slip, trip and triple-back-flip - putting “a hip out” in the process. (A significant risk once you get to that age – or so I’ve heard).

Actually, I would have thought there was more of a risk having a can of coke roll and wedge itself under the brake pedal. What a pickle he’d have found himself in then.

I trust common sense will prevail once he’s “exhausted the disciplinary process”.


  1. They're damned if they do and damned if they don't on this one. If they overturn the dismissal they'll be slated for being silly and if they don't they'll be slated for being silly. It's a question of how silly do they want to look?

  2. Surely it can't be any worse than some of the shenanigans their drivers have got up to in the past?

    Thanks for the comment btw - I know they're like gold dust now! :p


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