This post inspired by the most recent on GoTriangle’s blog entitled A Shout out to Operator George Walker, in which we were asked to recount our good experiences aboard Triangle Transit buses.
It never takes long for a routine to develop. Both in coming to and leaving work, I have encountered individuals who do surprisingly small things that make a big difference in the day’s direction. I suppose they are aware of the effect they have, but it never hurts to acknowledge in a formal way.
At 6 AM, I arrive at the Durham Station transportation center, where I await the usually timely 700 bus. This will take me to the Regional Transportation Center, (RTC), which is right across the lot from my employer. Usually I have my iPhone in hand, headset on, and some interesting programming to try and keep myself awake.
I think maybe a month and a half ago, I heard something unique as we approached the dropoff point. The driver, I guess an older woman but don’t know for sure, began talking to us on the PA. Ever since, she usually offers some word of encouragement, and makes a point of saying hi and bye to each passenger as we board and disembark.
She also has a pretty good singing voice. I admit I got a bit nervous when she began singing “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands” while navigating the winding roads near RTC. Fortunately though, she left the “clap”ping to us. We were all highly amused though, stomping and cheering by the time we arrived. The smile I had on my face after that, and after so many of her fun interventions, caused me to easily sail through at least the first half of the day before my head began to bob on a stick. I know she probably feels pretty tired herself, and so think it’s great that she takes the time to inject that little bit of life into her regular passengers.
The other person from whom I regularly draw energy hops on to ride in the afternoons. I’ve searched this blog high and low, and am surprised to discover that I hadn’t yet written about her, at least not in a way that I can think to find. I guess I’ve just done so in other circles.
Our initial contact happened, because she was concerned that I might find it difficult to get home safely through a forecast storm, maybe in mid April. I ensured her that I would be fine, and unwittingly, a friendship was born.
We only get two minutes, if traffic causes us to slow up enough, so the getting-to-know-you has occurred in fits and starts. She is an older, wiser, person with whom I talk a lot about my employment goals. Doing so leaves me feeling more positive, and also helps me think things through.
I enjoy watching the camaraderie she has with her colleagues, as they all band together to help each other out when needed. She has also helped me run errands on occasion, and would have allowed me to join their group for a fun night out in Durham if I’d not been too slow on the uptake with regards to checking messages. I would say that if there’s anything I most enjoy about public transit, it would be this kind of community-building.
So thank you drivers and passengers for helping to add some spice to what would in many cases be drab workdays. As always, I hope that I give at least half as good as I get.