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The Power of Kindness
Author: TriSec    Date: 03/27/2021 12:37:23

Good Morning.

Driving commuters and locals sure is different than driving tourists.

The same people ride the same bus, sometimes every day, usually at the same time, and always going to the same places.

It's easy for me to quickly identify them, greet them properly, and even more important to me - learn their routines and actually provide door-to-door service as much as I can. (We have no fixed stops. The bus operates on a "flag-down" system.)

I've been amazed though, from the very beginning. Many of my regulars have told me that I am "different" from the other drivers. A few of them have declared me the Best Driver Ever, and I appear to have a cult following. It's true - there's one local in Framingham that ran down the sidewalk to ride with me, "it doesn't matter where you're going. I don't like the other drivers anymore."

But why is that?

I've got a long background in customer service. From phone service, to sales, to face-to-face interactions...there's very little in human response that I haven't seen personally and dealt with professionally. It makes a difference.

Most of the other guys out here think of this as a driving job, but as a former colleague of mine pointed out, I don't do it that way - it's actually a customer service job, and the difference shows.

Which brings me to two stunning examples I have witnessed on the bus. Both of which leave me mystified, weeks after the incidents.

I once picked up a mobility-impaired guest for a ride to the supermarket. I was being ol' "Cubbie" and kept up a running banter as I got her aboard and secured. After I dropped her off, one of the other regulars piped up that she wished I could drive this route every day, as the other driver is "so mean and rude to us".

Erm? To a wheelchair guest? That's just wrong.

But the one that's got me - where I drive now, there's a guest with a fearsome reputation. Her in-house nickname is "Scooter Lady", and I was warned about her repeatedly by the former driver of the route, and several of the managers.

Well....I didn't know who she was. And as it turns out, I had carried her before, and she had never given me any trouble. When another bus passenger finally confirmed to me who she was, I was astonished.

Simple things like being cheerful, kind, and courteous to your fellow man make a difference. (Hmmm - those things sound familiar.) Something from the trolley that I do every time also works. It's called "WOW".

Warm welcome - Greet your guests every time, introduce yourself, and be genuinely glad to see them.

Onstage face - remain professional and courteous at all times when you are within sight or earshot of any guest.

Warm goodbye - "Thanks for riding with us, see you again?"

Common Human Decency - these things make a difference. The fearsome "Scooter Lady", although not one of my better riders, remains subdued and low-key when she is riding with me, in marked contrast to that "annoying bitch" (actual quote from another driver) that I was warned about.

Here's the thing - If you go out there expecting to find trouble, it will find you. I never anticipate any trouble on my bus any day of the week, and I find that my guests respond in-kind.

Others throughout history have made that observation.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

- Christ Jesus, Gospel of Matthew, 5:43-46

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

- Martin Luther King Jr., Ph.D,


1 comments (Latest Comment: 03/29/2021 12:57:51 by Scoopster)
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