Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Guest Post from Jennifer

Jennifer started a new job a while back and has joined the ranks of train commuters into the city. She has a story to tell about that and has offered to present it as another guest post on my blog. Thanks Jennifer. Here's your story, and Happy Birthday too.

November 10, 2008
I have a monthly train pass. I always sit on the upper level of the train. There’s a clip near my feet for displaying the pass, so that interaction with the conductor is unnecessary should I be reading or listening to music or napping. I wouldn’t regularly use it because I was apprehensive about the possibility that I may forget it there. My fears were realized last week. It wasn’t until I was walking to the train from work that the thought passed through my brain, “Do I have my train pass? Oh sh__! Did I leave it on the train?!”

I immediately stopped and searched my bag for it even though I already knew it wasn’t going to be in there. I called Colleen just so I could think out loud. Before leaving the house that morning, I picked up some money from my dresser. Looking at it I said to myself, “You don’t need this, you never spend cash.” Then I foolishly tossed it back. I asked Colleen to confirm for me that I cannot buy a ticket with a credit card. I could get money from her, but I’d never be able to catch my train on time. I expressed my utter bewilderment as I recognized that I wouldn’t be home to pick up the boys from school and I just lost a hundred dollars.

But wait! I’ve noticed that the same conductors on my morning train are the same conductors that wait at the doors for the track of my afternoon train. If they found my pass, would they still have it, and would they give it back to me? There’s nothing written on it to indicate that it’s mine. It’s certainly worth a shot! I hung up with Colleen and soared down the steps to track number 14. As I approached the conductor I said, “Good morning. Well, it’s not morning. Uh, this morning my worst fear was realized…(deep breath)…I left my train pass on the train.”

The somewhat short and barely stout man called another, much taller guy over. This burly, 30-something man with a goatee and a hoop in each ear walked up to me and, after a brief explanation from the first guy, began to quiz me. “Which car were you in? Where were you sitting?” I was nervous at first because his height and stature were intimidating, but his tone was playful and he flashed a smile. “Where did you buy your ticket? When did you buy it?” He was holding the pass in his hand. After answering each question correctly, he turned it over and showed me the lines for writing my name and phone number and advised me to fill in those blanks. Astonished, I said, “You mean you can give this back to me?!” He replied with a grin, “For a Starbucks.”

I exhaled and exclaimed, “Of course I’ll buy you a Starbucks! What kind of coffee do you like?!” He handed me my train pass and discarded his request as a joke. I was so relieved and overwhelmed with gratitude that I told him I could hug him. Instead, I tried to insist on bringing him a drink the next morning. But, he pleasantly continued to refuse. I asked him his name, looked straight in his eyes and said, “Well, thank you Bill” as I shook his hand.

I understand that it wasn’t a big deal to him. He found a train pass; he gave it back to its owner, all in a day’s work. However, it meant so much to me. He saved me from missing the train and having to wait another 2 hours. He saved me from missing my boys at school. He saved me from having to spend another hundred dollars. I felt the need to do more to express my extreme appreciation. Therefore, since he mentioned it, I bought him a Starbucks… giftcard.

1 comment:

Mary said...

What a great story! I can fully understand your gratitude towards him. Its good to know that honest people like Bill still exist. A little suggestion, maybe make him some of your delicious cookies for Christmas.