Every morning I wake up, probably later than I should, rush to get ready, grab my bag, keys and cell phone, jump in the car and zip down the road to the bus stop. It’s not uncommon for me to pull into the lot all of 30 seconds before the bus is going to leave and the bus drive even called me out on it the other day. You see, Eric, my bus driver, understands that we have a 15 minute window built in when we get to the train station, so he is kind to those who are not early risers and waits for you to get on the bus when he sees you pull in before he leaves the lot. Not only does Eric wait for us stragglers, but he also does not ask the regulars to see their bus pass every day. And that’s where today just went downhill.
Today’s morning kept going as normal. I even got to the bus more than 30 seconds before it was due to leave. I got on and sat down next to a high school classmate and shortly thereafter we were on our way to the train. I got on the train, sat down and waited for the conductor to come and check my ticket. And three stops later the conductor came by. I dug into my purse to pull out my wallet, and couldn’t find it. So I pulled out some things like my scarf and make-up bag and kept digging around but was unable to find it. Fortunately I have been taking the same bus to the train daily since two weeks after I started my job in October of 2008. For about the past 15 months, we have had the same conductor on the train, and I sit in the same car almost every day, so he knows me and therefore gave me a free pass on getting into work today. So once I realized that I didn’t have my wallet at all, I also realized I had no idea where my wallet was; the last time I used my wallet was for the bus on the way home from work on Tuesday.
Once I was able to confirm that my wallet was safe at home, I wasn’t all too worried. I knew I could get a pass for the day to get into my office and I’d just have to explain to my train conductor and bus drivers on the way home that I left my wallet in CT this morning and I could show my pass to them again tomorrow. Little did I know that the guy who would later sit in the seat next to me on the ride home would also have left his train ticket at home…
But really, it didn’t turn out as such a bad day in the end. What could have turned into a disastrous day didn’t due to a few random acts of kindness. You see, the lady I was sitting next to (well sort of next to, she had the window seat, I had the aisle seat and the middle seat was empty) is a lady that I have seen almost daily on the train ever since I started working. She’s adorable, and when I returned to my normal train after I had a two week training which meant I went into work an hour early everyday for two weeks, she told me she was so happy to see me since she had feared I had lost my job and felt bad that such a sweet young girl was laid off (but low and behold, I was not laid off). As soon as she heard and saw my reaction to not having a wallet with me, she told me that if she had any cash on her, she would have given it to me since she didn’t want to see me go off into Manhattan ID and moneyless for the day. Only moments later, after not hearing the lady to the left of me, the guy sitting across the aisle from me offered me some money as well. He too is a frequent train goer and I see him about 3 times a week in the morning. I graciously turned down his offer as both of my high school classmates that were on the train with me also offered to help, and I would much rather be in debt to a friend than a semi-stranger.
My fellow train-goers weren’t even the only ones that offered to help. I work with my cousin-in-law who offered me lunch money (after he told the security guard not to give me a day pass to the office). And, just as a large portion of my generation, I updated my Facebook status and tweeted my “FML” moment, which also drew in support from friends and one of my aunt’s. So to all you who offered to help, thank you! And to all you who have the chance to help someone by doing something simple, do it! Random acts of kindness can go a long way. And thanks to those who helped me today, I was reminded that a small act can really brighten someone’s day.