HQ's own Stacey Speer shares her story of turning around a special rider's gloomy morning with an old pair of shoes — and a splash of serendipity.
Tonight was a first. I have a tale to tell!
I had a passenger who seemed like she was having a rough time. I asked what her favorite part of the year was so far, and she couldn't come up with much. I asked if she had any major life events, and she said, "Not any good ones." Still, we managed to keep the conversation upbeat.
The route plan was this: pitstop at her place to pick up shoes for work (she is a nurse and only had flip-flops on), then take her to Caltrain so she could ride down to Palo Alto to start her long 7pm to 7am shift.
We hit a lot of traffic, so things got stressful. When we finally got out of the thick of it and pulled up to her place, she opened her purse and a look of horror appeared on her face.
"I left my house keys in Berkeley," she said. She immediately dropped her head, clearly feeling defeated; I think she started crying. I pulled over so we could talk about potential solutions. I asked if she had time to maybe buy shoes somewhere before work. She said no, and emphasized how bad it would be if she showed up to work late.
Then, I remembered something. I had shoes in my trunk.
I said, "Ok, this might be weird, but… I have shoes. They're kind of like knock-off Toms, so they're the kind of shoes I wear without socks, AKA lots of foot sweat, but I promise I don't have any weird foot fungus or anything. If it would help, you could totally have my shoes!"
We got out of my car so she could try them on. Then she laughed through her tears and asked, "Are you really giving me your shoes right now?" Moments later, she was in my shoes, at Caltrain, giving me a huge hug and praising me over and over again, and on her way to her long graveyard shift.
Definitely never thought giving a passenger my shoes would be something I'd experience, but I'm SO glad to have helped make her day a little easier.
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