I know, I know, cue overly dramatic self-pity post.
Well, it ain't really like that. Just let me finish.
For the last month, I've been fighting a silent battle with a public transportation employee. I'm on internship at a public health dental clinic in Salem, MA. I live in Boston, and long story short, my commute consists of taking a bus and 2 subway lines just to get to the out-of-town bus that runs to Salem. It's a solid 90 minute commute on a good day, and yeah, it sucks!
The Salem bus leaves the station as scheduled at 7:10 every morning, and this grumpy prick bus driver shuts his door a couple minutes before he leaves each day, and if you don't make his deadline, you're not getting on. He's still sitting at the station, at the curb, waiting to leave... but if you tap on the door, he just wags his finger condescendingly and then ignores you, as he sits and waits the last couple minutes. I've seen him do it to others as well, I've tried to give him the benefit of the doubt but there's really no reason I can think of that he does this. Now, taking a bus and two subway trains just to get to this bus, there are a lot of variables that can slow a person down. So if I roll up to his door at 7:09, it's damn frustrating to be ignored at the door of this bus. Today, he did it to me again. And I hollered at him, but let's just say I didn't totally open the floodgates.
Now let me tell you how this ruins my day. The next bus doesn't leave for another 30 minutes. I get a coffee and a muffin at the pleasant little place around the corner. I put some earbuds in, listen to music, and enjoy, as I wait for the next bus. When I get to work, no one hassles me, they know my commute sucks. I start treating patients, and my day goes on like any other. So how does it ruin MY day? Not at all.
But it ain't all about me.
We see emergency patients in the morning. People are waiting for their appointments, often in pain, my colleagues are waiting for me too. It throws a wrench in their day. And that frustrates me, and probably them, though they're too polite to say so.
Now I don't get paid to work here, but I'm no volunteering saint either. I was assigned to work here as part of my curriculum. I'm not asking for that sympathy. But when that bus driver screws me over, it's not really me, it's these people I'm going out to help.
I think it's no coincidence the way the members on this forum are. Good things come to good, decent people, that's why we can afford this stuff! That's why "pay it forward" happens here! So, because I genuinely think those here are the type that seek to do right: have some heart. Don't be the bus driver. If you mess up someone's day for no reason, you might be knocking over the first domino.