This morning I boarded the bus to work to find it decked out for Christmas. Garland was draped over the windows, a shelf at the back of the bus was stacked with brightly gift-wrapped packages, and Carmelita, the normally feisty bus driver, was resplendent in a twinkling-light necklace and clear sense of accomplishment.
As we made our way downtown Carmelita told us she had purchased the boxes, wrapping paper and bows from the retail store where she works a second job to make ends meet. She said that her supervisor, seeing her work, had decided to rotate her bus during the season to different routes and drivers so others could enjoy her efforts as well. It was obvious she had mixed feelings about that - she had done this for her passengers, in whom she clearly takes an interest, and her bus, her personal work space. After all, bus #5804 is to Carmelita what my office is to me, and I can't say I'd appreciate taking time to pimp up my office and then give it up to other people work in. But she accepted the notion of spreading the cheer around.
Her efforts - and her obvious sense of pride - brought smiles to the faces of all who boarded, reminding me that in a time when we trample each other to get a deal on flat screen tvs, all it really takes to change someone's day for the better is a little bit of thoughtfulness.