Sunday, January 5, 2020

Small Acts of Kindness

A few months ago I got a txt message from my one-time taxi passenger. It said she'd passed:

Screenshot: txt message from 'Cab Lori Terrified Hot Flashes Calmed Down'
I sometimes saved passengers' phone numbers with little notes to jog my memory, if I thought they might call me directly for a ride. But it's been years since I was active. 'Who was this?'

I tried to search my notes, but I put most of them in a file format that's not easily searched. I recently heard about ripgrep, a command line tool for searching all types of files. I thought back to Laurie again this afternoon, installed ripgrep on my linux machine and used it to find the note:
216241 - 15555 N XXth Pl Pho - Lori 602-888-1111 - drove up, called, pulled forward, found her sitting on the back of a red truck. Totally spooked - first cab ride ever. I turned around, she got in, wanted to go to 2212 E Bell Rd, the QT, to redeem her winning scratchers. Got back - she has hot flashes. Later called me to thank me for helping her feel safe.
She'd never taken a taxi before, and had a problem with anxiety. I tried to get all my passengers to laugh, usually adopting a 'goofy taxi driver' persona. Some did not appreciate my antics, but they apparently were calming to Laurie. I'd made her entry bold, probably because she was one of those passengers whom I had the impression was sent to me specifically.

I recently saw this tweeted picture from CALM magazine:
Not all of my passengers needed "small acts of kindness", or big acts of kindness, but I tried to take the opportunities when they presented themselves. These moments were satisfying in a way that a normal job would not have provided.