Sunday, September 13, 2009

Oh, Crap!

We seldom take WheelTrans on the weekends but because we really wanted to go down to the waterfront to catch the Vegetarian Fair, we made an exception and booked for us to be picked up. The bus was a wee bit late picking us up - they don't give an exact time that you'll be picked up, instead they give you a half hour window. We were down ten minutes early, they were twenty minutes late. That meant waiting an hour. No big deal, it was a beautiful day and we simply enjoyed being outside.

On the way back, though, they were 45 minutes late. Now I could go on and on about them being late, but I refuse to. Yeah, it was a long wait - expecially when you add in the half hour window and the 15 minutes from arriving a bit early. I kind of figure that it's an amazing service, over all, and the convienience of door to door service for a token. Sometimes when DRIVING yourself, you get there late because of traffic. The driver got out and the first words out of his mouth were, 'Sorry, I'm late.'

Then on the bus the presented us an option. He could take us right home or he could stop and pick up and drop off several people on the way home which would do two things, help him catch up time and ensure that others weren't waiting so long. What it also would mean was another hour on the bus. Now, every single part of me, every freaking molecule, wanted to say, 'If it's my choice, take me home. I've already waited a long time. I don't care about those others waiting.' I struggled to answer him. He just patiently went about strapping my chair down awaiting my answer.

Now, this is good staff training. Instead of making the decision to prolong my wait by picking up others, he gave it to me. Now I had a choice. I could be a decent human being or I could be a selfish asshole. Not till that moment did I realize how wonderful it would be to simply give in to asshole tendencies. I looked over, Joe was waiting for my answer. I knew he was expecting me to be decent. He's decent. Given the choice I know which one he'd make.

I read a book once called 'the virtues of selfishness'.

I met someone once who advised me that I had to think of myself first because no one else would.

I remember being called selfish when I grabbed a last slice of toast, and how utterly freaking fabulous that toast tasted.

But bitter was what I tasted when I said, 'No, it's ok, pick up the others.'

So, I did the right thing, for the wrong reason. But it was still the right thing. The people we picked up on the way home had no idea that they were riding in a bus with a freaking Saint and as such paid no homage.

Once home, the wait and all didn't seem all that bad. We coulda been home earlier, but I'd been decent. And that's a wee bit better easier to live with. So I did right while thinking wrong. In my books, that kind of doubles the victory.


OhWheely . . said...

'The people we picked up on the way home had no idea that they were riding in a bus with a freaking Saint . .'

St Dave of Toronto.
Has a nice ring to it.


bigfun said...

OK, now I'm always going to be thinking of you as Saint Freaking. I like the sound of THAT. "I'm going to mass at St. Freaking this morning."

Don't forget bingo over at St. Freakings...

Wren said...

That was far more than decent. It was KIND. This old world could use a lot more people like you.

ivanova said...

I don't know.

It was a kind thing to do, but you seem a bit embittered. Am I reading this wrong?

This post made me think about 'good deeds' in general, and these are my thoughts on that topic (not specifically about Dave doing a nice thing on the bus): You can't take care of your own needs and the needs of everyone else at the same time. It's good to put other people first a hefty percentage of the time. But I think it's effed up when people *always* take care of the needs of other people and not their own. That's when I want to take away the gold star for being unselfish, and say "Get yourself to a Coda meeting."

Wren said...

I believe there are times when kindness comes with a personal price. Given that, there's no reason that a person has to feel good when sacrificing their own comfort or convenience for the comfort of others. I don't mind a bit that Dave wishes he could have just gone on home -- he was tired and cranky and it was time. What struck me as truly kind in his actions was that he also thought of others, and how they, too, might be feeling just like him. To me, that's the essence of kindness. It's also the true essence of the Golden Rule. Cranky and kind can go together.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you could do the kind thing, even whilst wanting not to. I'll pay homage, Saint Freaking. And if what goes around comes around, maybe sometime soon your ride won't be late because someone else will do the right thing, whether they really want to or not.

CJ said...

It most certainly does. In my religion, what you think has very little relevance. It's how you act that matters.

Anonymous said...

Remember a thing called Karma? Sorry for the late post, I've been on holidays.