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
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.