OT - who was the best?

A recent thread caused me to reminisce an experience I had a few years ago. I thought I'd repeat it for the benefit of the group.
During the Olympics in Atlanta, my son and I took the day off and headed into town to catch a few events.
At the very start of the trip we were stranded by a no-show driver and were told we'd have to wait a half hour for a replacement. Another driver, coming off shift, noted the large tourist contingent said quite loudly "these people are trying to get to events - they'll miss them if we hold them up!" He threw his bag on the bus and yelled at us "well, come on then!" And we all scrambled aboard. Halfway there the bus broke down and we had to pull over on the shoulder of the I-75. Immediately after we pulled over, he got on his mobile and called a friend of his who had just passed us going the other way. His friend got to us about 5 minutes later with the bus he was returning to the depot. We swapped buses and continued into town.
A few other incidents occurred that could have soured the day, but our driver came through for us. He acted as tour guide, giving a running commentary, advised us of other events in the city that day we were unaware of, helped two youngsters up front of the bus with finding likely accommodation and, because we were running late, he even sweet-talked a police officer into letting us take a short cut that was blocked off. All this time he was cheerful, laughing and telling stories to some children, who hung off every word he said.
We knew that no matter what happened to us that day, our driver was going to see that we got there. It was an amazing and enlightening experience, one that is difficult to convey with words. We felt privileged to have met him. Today, I can't recall what the Olympic event was (I think it was the rowing), but I still recall the pleasure of the bus ride, as does my son.
As I recall, the driver was actually disappointed that were arrived 8 minutes behind the original schedule, despite the breakdown, late departure and heavy traffic with detours. We shook his hand - to a man - as we got off.
I've worked with what I consider to be some very professional people in my life, yet the busdriver continues to be the yardstick by which I measure others, and myself.
--
Greg



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Cool story! It's amazing how much a relatively small effort, but timed right can make. I'm a manager so I constantly have conflicts of what's right for an individual vs. what the company wants me to do. I always think about what I will reflect back on when laying on my deathbed reminiscing about my life. Will it be that I squeezed one more hour out of someone back on Mar 1 of 2004 or that I let someone leave early that day to see their kid's play at school and they were so grateful they gave me a thank you card? I get lots of these examples to pick from and I always lean towards trying to help the person. Will I remember getting home in time for dinner that day during the Olympics or will I remember helping a busload of tourists trying to get to an important event...Seems like an easy choice in retrospect.
--
Larry C in Auburn, WA

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