Hail To the Bus Driver

, , | Colorado Springs, CO, USA | Hopeless | January 29, 2017

I use our city bus system regularly to get to work. Unfortunately, our city’s bus system is notoriously… not good. I have to transfer twice across three buses total to reach my stop and if my second bus, the #11, is late, I miss my third bus, the #15, and must wait an hour for the next one, which means I am late to work.

Today, the #11 arrives a few minutes late to the transfer terminal, but due to some hiccups with loading passengers, leaves the station late and is cutting it close to missing the departure time for my third bus, the #15. As we’re pulling up to the stop before my transfer stop, I see the #15 coming down the road in the opposite direction of traffic, which means we are too late and I’ve missed it. When that happens, I will get off at this early stop to buy a snack at the convenience store across the street on the corner and walk down to the next stop to wait the hour.

As I’m standing at the light, I watch the #15 bus turn the corner, as it is supposed to for its route, but then it starts slowing at a place that isn’t a bus stop, and its hazards start flashing. My favorite driver drives this route around this time some days, so I start wondering if he recognized me in the rear-view mirror, and decided to wait, even though the drivers aren’t allowed to stop anywhere not an official bus stop.

The light for me to cross comes on as the bus comes to a full stop, so I book it across the road and on to the bus. It is my favorite driver and he has indeed stopped just for me! It meant a lot to me, as my work place is really busy with the aftermath of Christmas and my coworkers really needed me there. Thanks to him, I got there on time and I’m giving him a gift card the next time I see him!

Turn Up For That Red-Letter Day

, , | Wheaton, IL, USA | Hopeless | January 28, 2017

(I was adopted as a baby, but never had much curiosity about my birth family. At 27, I begin to have some medical issues, and it soon becomes apparent that I will need to make contact, and maybe my curiosity wins out a little. I find the address of my birth mother and decide to write her a letter. It sits on my kitchen table for three days before I feel like I have the courage to mail it. I finally decide to try, and grab it as I go out the door. I get to the vestibule of my apartment building, and our mail lady is there, filling boxes.)

Mail Lady: “Hey, A6, how’s it going?”

(Even though we’ve only lived there 6 months, she is the sweetest, friendliest woman and always jokingly calls people by their apartment numbers.)

Me: “Hi! It’s um… going good!”

Mail Lady: “Nothing good for you today, it looks like probably a bunch of junk… Oh, hey, have you got a letter there? I can take it!”

(She holds her hand out for it, but I don’t give it up. I promptly start crying. She smiles gently.)

Mail Lady: “Not quite ready?”

Me: “It’s… it’s a letter to my birth mother. I was going to go to the mailbox to see if I was strong enough to drop it in.”

(She gently puts her hand on mine.)

Mail Lady: “Now you don’t have to.”

(I look at her uncertainly.)

Mail Lady: “I’m a sign, A6. Me being here right at this exact moment is the sign that you’re supposed to mail that letter.”

(She gently takes it from me and I let her. I’m speechless, all I can do is wipe my tears.)

Mail Lady: *smiling at me as she leaves* “They’re gonna love you.”

(I went out to my car and cried for ten minutes. Reuniting with my birth family has been an emotional rollercoaster. In five weeks I am going to meet my birth father for the first time. Thank you, Mail Lady, for making all this possible for me… Without you I might never have mailed that letter.)

Love Giving Lovingly

, , | Tampa, FL, USA | Hopeless | January 23, 2017

(I’m standing in line at a fast food place known for their gyros, frowning at some work stuff on my phone. The young woman (probably early 20s) who is running the register is cool and fairly tough looking. She has lots of tattoos and piercings, and a no-nonsense demeanor. I place my order with her, a to-go with lunch for myself and my husband, and she waves my card away.)

Cashier: “I got you, mami. I’m buying for you. You look like you’re having a bad day, so lunch is on me, and you take it easy, okay?”

Me: “What? Really? Oh! I’m not having a bad day, haha, just some crazy work stuff. Thank you, but you don’t have to do that.”

Cashier: “Nah. I always say, if you got love, then you give, and I got lots of love, so I choose to give to you. You seem real nice, honey. Just pay it forward to another stranger some time and keep the love going, okay?”

(I thank her repeatedly, and find a $20 bill in my purse to give to her to put towards the next orders. When my food was ready, the manager actually brought me my food and told me I was a “good girl”, and had given me a bunch of extra sides in addition to gyros full to bursting. I made sure to brag on his cashier for being so awesome, and he looked so proud. The whole experience was a bright spot in my week, especially during the busy holiday season.)

Always Treats You Fare

, , | Central Valley, CA, USA | Hopeless | January 17, 2017

Every morning I catch the bus at 5:45 am to get to work. The usual driver isn’t exactly unfriendly but not really friendly either. She always says hello but doesn’t go out of her way to make conversation or make it seem like we are more than just fares.

This morning I go to board the bus and use my fare card, and she stops me and says, “Don’t put the card in. Just take a seat.” I am confused but know she’s had issues with the machine so I ask if she wants my card to put in later when it is fixed.

She smiled and said no. Today was her last day before Christmas because she was on vacation, and she was paying the fare for her morning riders. She paid for every person who got on. It really brightened my day and restored a bit of faith.

Breakfast Breaking Through

, , , | Portland, OR, USA | Hopeless | November 29, 2016

Since I got my current job a little over a year ago, I’ve gone through a particular fast food restaurant’s drive-thru to pick up breakfast every week or two. I love this particular store because they are very friendly, so much so that even though I’m not there all that often they all know my name and my regular order. In the same period of time, I have been rear ended twice on the freeway I have to use to commute to work. In the worst accident my car was totaled and I suffered injuries that, while not life threatening, have had a permanent effect on my quality of life. As a result, I find commuting in bad traffic very stressful.

This particular morning, it is raining hard and there are a number of accidents along the way which makes the commute particularly bad. I decide to stop and get a hot breakfast to try and help myself relax. The woman working the drive-thru recognizes me as I give her my order. I drive to the pick-up window and start to hand her my payment as usual, but she shakes her head and hands me my food. To my shock, she told me that she was sure the morning commute had been particularly stressful for me with all the accidents, and my breakfast was on her this morning!

Her kind gesture literally brought tears to my eyes. The fact that she had noticed my stress and cared enough to try and turn the day around really made me feel terrific!

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