http://therapeuticindulgence.com/uptimebot.php Yesterday one of my favorite clients flew from Denver to San Francisco to meet with me. We planned to meet downtown near the Ferry Building, so I plan to take the ferry (obviously). I knew my car needed some help so I only drove to the bus stop to catch the shuttle that would take me to the Vallejo ferry. What I didn’t expect was that my car would overheat at 6 AM in 55° weather in less than two miles.
But that’s exactly what it did. Leaving me with no time to find a legal place to park. Sitting at the bus stop, I began to think of all the things that could go wrong. Then a bus showed up earlier than I expected. I asked the driver if this was the bus to Vallejo, and he refused to answer. He kept mumbling something about Redwood. I asked him again if this was the bus to Vallejo, and this time he enunciated, “Northbound Redwood.” Still not the simple yes-or-no answer to the question I asked. He chose to be difficult, so I assumed he meant no. Somewhat frustrated, I returned to my seat and waited for the bus that would hopefully come at 6:44 AM as expected.
It did. But it required exact change, and I of course only had a $20. I did have a Clipper card, which works on every other Vine bus, but not this one. I must have looked dejected while I tried to come up with another way to pay, because the driver let me ride anyway. I think that was actually the turning point in what could have been a really crappy day.
I made the early ferry, scoped out a place to meet, and met my client at the BART station on time. We sat together for five hours, accomplished a ton, laughed, ate, and vowed to do this again. I even introduced her to Recchiuti Confections in the Ferry Building. Then I caught the 3:30 ferry to Vallejo, got exact change, and caught the 29 Express back to Napa. I smiled as I hiked 2 ½ miles home (because it’s further to walk than drive for some reason) and got home a little after 6 PM to a very excited dog.
That evening, while talking to a friend about my day and why I was so tired, they replied, “Wow, now that’s a crappy day.” To which I answered, “Not really. I got to meet with one of my favorite clients, problem solve, develop strategies, and I got to read a book for four hours. Walking 6 ½ miles total with about 20 pounds of computer and paper on my back wore me out, but it wasn’t a bad day.”
And I thought back to the bus driver who cut me some slack without even knowing my story. He had so many other options, most of which could have resulted in a truly crappy day for me.
But he chose kindness.
Imagine if we all did that. It didn’t cost him a dime, and kindness rarely does. So often I see people hurt because somebody didn’t choose kindness – they didn’t hold the door open, they didn’t smile, they didn’t answer a question – they may have followed the rules, but they chose to do it without any kindness. Just like yesterday. I could have gotten on the wrong bus because the first driver wouldn’t answer the question and had the Monday of all Mondays. Instead, I was blessed with a bus driver who chose to be kind.
This one man chose to cut me a break, and for that small act of kindness, I am extremely grateful.