Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Above and Beyond

If working out of my home taught me one thing, it is to appreciate when an employee has the time, knowledge and desire to go above and above the call of duty. Yesterday was a perfect example of two such people (and an employer that allowed the opportunity).

My Youngest left his backpack on the bus after school. He realized his error a minute too late. The bus was gone and so was his backpack ...

I got on the phone the minute he told me and found the phone number I needed to call. I was tending to my Daycare Family at the time. Finishing and cleaning up after snack time, chasing the kids out of where-they-were-not-supposed-to-be and changing diapers.

Meanwhile the phone rang and rang and rang. It didn't get forwarded to a voice mail. I didn't have to press a million different numbers into the phone to direct me to the right department. The phone simply ... rang. If I hadn't been so distracted by my other responsibilities at the time, I am almost certain that I would have given up. So I was happily surprised that when the phone did stop ringing, it was a real, live person on the other end of the phone!

Not only did I have the luxury of talking to a person, he actually took the time to track down the bus that my son had been on, contact the driver and discover that indeed, there was a backpack somewhat similar to the one we described on said bus. The bus driver said that (if he had time) he would drop off the backpack at the main depot's lost and found at 5:15. The office closed at 5:30. My daycare charges are supposedly picked up by 5:00 (but it is often later). It was going to be tight. But if all the stars aligned, we could make it to the downtown depot before it closed.

It was a miracle. We were out of the house within a time frame that (on a normal day) may allow us to make it to the depot in time. But it was rush hour. We were fighting downtown traffic. It was the city's first snowfall of the year. I thought that it was worth trying ... but I would not have been surprised if we missed the deadline.

Thankfully, we arrived with five minutes to spare. Unfortunately the backpack wasn't there. But ... we ran into yet another helpful employee. She tracked down the same bus. The bus driver that had originally found the backpack had to transfer buses and was running behind so he didn't have time to drop off the backpack at the depot. But the new driver had the backpack on the bus. Our helpful employee arranged a suitable time and bus stop for us to meet up with this bus and finally be reunited with our backpack.

Once again, we were racing against the clock. We had twenty minutes to get to the prearranged bus stop. One car accident or traffic back-up would have fouled up our plans. Once again, the stars aligned and we arrived at the prearranged destination with five minutes to spare.

While we waited, we could only hope that the backpack in question was my son's. The bus driver described it as black and blue. My son's backpack was black and grey, with a black and blue binder inside of it. We crossed our fingers and hoped that the backpack was my son's ... and it was.

A quick cursory check found everything my son left behind (except perhaps $1.50). His wallet, his bus pass, his school ID, the house key, all books and relevant school supplies. We were beyond relieved ...

At every step along the way, I fully expected to be met with a cool, aloof employee telling us, "Sorry, but you will have to call back tomorrow. All lost and found articles are turned in at the end of the day." But we didn't!! We found employee after employee that instead said, "Let me see what I can find out for you ..."

They all stand out in my mind. But our helpful downtown employee (five minutes before closing time) said it best. She used the phrase to me when I described our plight. I heard her say it once again when she was talking with the bus driver. She said, "I hear you". And she did.

Thanks for listening! You guys saved our day!!

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