Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Conditioned to be Ignored

The world we live is a bustling busy place. We run from here to there usually completely immersed in what we are doing and rarely do people take the time to make a genuine connection with people not in our immediate circle.

Today I was at the airport, I had just landed in Los Angeles after 11 hours of traveling, my feet were swelled up, I was tired and crabby and all I wanted to do was go home. In the baggage claim area I rushed into the restroom, of course being the LA airport, and being that it was PACKED there, the bathroom had a long line and only a few restrooms. The bags were going to take a while so I waited. While in line I passed time with a favourite pastime, I like to watch people, pick up their conversations and finish the stories in my head of what they were saying. It is something that helps me pass the time and we had a while to wait. While watching I noticed an older woman, about 75 years old sitting on a bench dabbing tear stained eyes; I assumed she was waiting for someone in the restroom or possibly someone in line ahead of me but when I exited the restroom she was still there, still alone, still looking a little lost. So I walked up and asked what was wrong and if she was ok.

She told me she had been sitting there waiting for her son to land in Michigan. She had come to drop him off at the airport and she was supposed to drive his car home but the car, parked in the garage would not start. She called the tow truck company and they gave her a quote to tow the car and drive her home for 67 dollars. She explained she only had 59 on her, 8 dollars short of the amount she needed. She had been sitting there waiting for the past 4 hours because she didn’t have a credit card; she needed to wait until her son landed in another 2 hours in Detroit so she could get him to put it on his credit card.

I was exasperated, here is someone stranded with no one to help her, she had been sitting there for FOUR HOURS and she said I was the first person to speak to her. I walked her to her car, we called the tow truck company and I paid the 8 dollars she was short. She thanked me and I was happy to help.

For eight dollars and 1 minutes of my time I made someone’s terrible day a whole lot better. Just encourages me to reach out more and to duck my head less.


paul peggy zeus said...

I'm glad you told this story. It was a heart felt warm and wonderful thing to do. I'm so proud of you.

Jess said...

I bet it is a story she will retell for many years to come. That sweet girl in LA who helped her in her time of need. I'm glad you are you :) Hugs!

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