When I got to the WheelTrans bus this morning it was pretty full. The two front spaces were taken and, as a result, I was strapped in in the middle, in the back. I don't like it here a lot for two reasons. First, it seems that I'm slanted back slightly due to the ramp. Second, when the bus hits a bump, I take air - disconcerting thing for someone who really feels the pull of gravity. Even so, I am appreciative of the ride and the service - and, besides, sitting in the middle, I get the rare opportunity to see out the front window.
The driver took us on a new route to me. This guy knew the city. We got to Bathurst street on a route I've never travelled before, it was quick, it was scenic, I enjoyed seeing a different part of the city. We dropped the two other folks off at a hospital, they said, goodbye to him, then me, and were gone. I saw the driver go to the door, hold it open for them, and then come back to the bus.
I was surprised when he got back on the bus instead of just folding up the ramp and going round to the driver's seat. He asked me if I'd like to be unstrapped and move to a front seat location, he wondered if that would be more comfortable for me.
I was flabbergasted.
How awesome is that?
I considered for a moment all the effort that would go into unstrapping me and then moving me only to strap me in again. I said, "No, thanks, I'm good, I'll just stay here."
He smiled and said, "Great," adding, "you are next to be dropped off."
When he got back in, I thanked him for offering to move me. He shrugged off the thanks with a, "no problem."
All the rest of the way I thought about this guy. I thought about what he did. The fact that he was willing to put the extra effort simply to make me more comfortable was astonishing. I didn't expect it. I wouldn't have been upset if he hadn't offered. He did it just, simply, because he could. I realized when he got me to work that we were a bit ahead of schedule so he had time, he chose to offer that time to me. How great is that?
When these things happen, I try to really learn from them. I know, even writing here on the blog that a post which points out something wrong gets way more response than one that points out something right - but the older I get the more I realize that I learn more from the moments that go well. It's here where I need to debrief the situation and see what it was that made the moment a good one - that's a question that matters.
Most organizations I work with, or consult to, often debrief only situations which went pear shaped - and almost never debrief situations of success. I believe that this turns us all negative and while we learn from our mistakes, we can equally learn (and be inspired) by our successes.
So this guy, he taught me something about service.
That lesson is mine - I'll let your lesson be yours.