My drive back home was the day before yesterday, so I decided to go with a New Year’s Eve theme and found this cool mini gift “Bartender’s Friend” at a new store in Buffalo called Creekside Gourmet (pretty much heaven on Earth – it is filled with candy and chocolate and nifty gifts). For those of you who did not read the previous post – I decided to get something for the toll collector to hopefully brighten his/her day on my way home.
Oh hey there, you. Yeahhhh you. I knew you would be coming here. Well, lucky for you, I was prepared and I knew that you would want to read about my latest and greatest idea for a random act of kindness. LET’S GET TO IT.
Like many other people, I recently embarked on a long drive home for the holidays, which included passing through a few tolls. Some of the toll collectors were friendly and wished me a happy holiday, some looked like they were on the brink of taking my money and dramatically throwing it at the window while shouting “Keep the change, ya filthy animal!” and storming out of their booth, and some looked perfectly ambivalent about their current situation. In all of the cases, they looked like people who probably have a pretty thankless job, have to put up with inclement weather, bad drivers, lots of people endlessly fiddling with change and holding up the line, and lots of other people who have residual anger about the change-fiddlers and take it out on the toll collectors. What’s more – it must be a strange job in that very little human conversation can occur for their entire day (aside from “hello”, “thank you”. “have a nice day” or other insignificant pleasantries), even though they are technically interacting with tons of people.
All of that being said, I have decided to make it a personal tradition to bring a small gift along with me every time I go on a long road trip that will likely involve passing through a toll booth, to give to the toll collector. If it’s a happy person, then hopefully it will encourage them to keep smiling and let them know that their positive attitude is appreciated, and if it’s a sour person, then hopefully it will lift their spirits a bit and restore some of their faith in humanity. I’m traveling back in a few days, so I will share a picture of the gift I come up with and let you know how it goes!
Note: For those of you who utilize E-ZPASS (damn you and your fancy gadgets) this idea would require slowing down a little bit more than usual. But life’s about the journey, not the destination – amiright?