The Impact of a Single Act of Kindness: OC Transpo Edition

This is a story about an OC Transpo bus driver who made my week.  Like, actually made my week. I’m still significantly happier and better off because of this person, and I figured I should pass on his awesomeness.

As a broke student, losing my bus pass is the worst thing that can happen. Besides my need for daily transportation, I use my plastic pass holder as a stand-in wallet.

bus pass

This little red folder is everything to me–without its contents, I can’t even buy groceries. If I lose it, the best case scenario is that I’m stranded in Vanier, counting change and praying I have enough money/time to bus down to OC Transpo’s awkwardly located Lost & Found.

I assume you see where this is going.

It was Wednesday, March 12 when I lost my bus pass. It was my fault, of course; the pass had fallen out of my pocket while I was riding home, and I didn’t notice until it was too late. To make matters worse, this was particularly bad timing (an out-of-town friend was coming in that night, I had projects due at school, et cetra). I was stuck.

Then my phone rang. It was my bus driver. He had found my bus pass and, since my business card was stuffed alongside it, he was able to contact me to let me know. The heads up was incredibly kind, but what he offered next was truly above-and-beyond:

“I was just gonna bring it into work tomorrow, but I’m heading out for a bit after dinner. Did you want me to just drop it off with you?”

I was stunned. Seriously? Was this person actually willing to bring my lost bus pass right to my doorstep? Was this real life? He insisted that it wouldn’t be out of his way, and I thanked him repeatedly him over the phone.

Not even an hour later, he was on my doorstep with the little red plastic pass holder that held my life. Every card was still in place. My out-of-town friend gaped as I came back inside. We couldn’t believe it.

The driver who came to my rescue had such a cheery disposition, so willing to do something nice for someone else. There was no awkward speech about how I should watch my things, no passive aggression, no expectation that I grovel in exchange for my bus pass. Instead, this man just seemed genuinely happy to help.

This attitude and gesture left a profound mark. This past week, I have actively tried to be less naggy and more giving. If this complete stranger could forgive my absentmindedness and kindly help to minimize the damage, then surely I could be more understanding and helpful to my friends or my roommates. By going out of his way for someone, and by showing so much joy in doing so, this bus driver started a pretty great chain of kindness and positivity. He also made the City of Ottawa look really, really good to my out-of-town friend (who left with a great impression, and is now considering moving here).

I am so proud to live in a city with kind people in the driver’s seat (literally).

Advertisements