I haven’t been writing as much because I haven’t been riding as much.
You see, I recently left my job in order to make a career change and now my daily commute is just a flight of stairs. When you live walking distance from a Trader Joe’s, public library, farmers market and a neighborhood pub (let’s not overlook the importance of being able to walk home from a bar) you just don’t need to ride the bus so much.
Coming home from a networking event the other evening I was feeling both stimulated and a bit worn out. As an introvert it can be draining chatting with strangers, but I do love meeting people, making connections and learning from others, so it was a rewarding evening.
Boarding the bus, a particularly busy bus line at rush hour, the driver was cheerfully greeting each and every passenger with a cheerful “hello there!” or “welcome aboard!” She even gave a grumpy fellow with no ticket a pass, telling him to, “go and find a seat and next time remember about the fare”.
The driver’s engaging interaction with the dozens of people she was picking up at each stop reminded me that what you put into a task is what you get out of it. Most riders responded to her greeting with a smile or a greeting of their own. You could see, immediately, that her positive effort resulted in a return positive reaction. People looked up, smiled and return her greeting with a nod or a kind word of their own.
Riding home that evening I thought about how her taking a brief moment to acknowledge passengers changed the energy on the bus. A bit of kindness, an extra bit of effort can go a long way. As a job searcher this was a good reminder that what you put into something is what you get out of it.