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My Bus Driver is a Linchpin

Lots of people don’t necessarily enjoy their work and merely go through the motions day to day. There is no joy nor art to their job. It is what it is. Work you get paid for, but not necessarily work you love.

That isn’t the case with my bus driver. When I board the bus in the morning he doesn’t stare ahead waiting for the bus to be filled nor does he just nod his head as I go by. He makes eye contact. He smiles. He welcomes me aboard, “Well hello neighbor! Glad to see you today!” Some mornings, especially when I haven’t had my first cup of coffee I can hardly believe that anyone can be that cheerful.

The other day a lady just missed the bus that leaves before mine. She was angry and ready to take it out on someone, anyone, and she did. You could guess who she took it out on. When the bus driver responded to her complaint he explained that he understood how she felt and he brought to light both sides of the situation. He managed to pacify her anger and calm her irritation. After he talked with her for ten minutes she was in a much better mood. When I worked customer service I took lots of angry calls. Not everyone is easy to pacify, and in the bus driver’s case she was there, barely three feet away from him displacing her anger. I was rather impressed by how he turned that situation around.

On a daily basis the bus driver approaches his job by being creative and positive. He doesn’t come in to just go through the motions. He doesn’t turn on the recorded message when we arrive downtown. Instead he announces to everyone “Welcome to Houston everybody, please don’t forget your bags, cell phones, lunches, and other goodies.” It’s different, it’s refreshing, it’s a positive start to my day. It’s a gift. The bus driver is an artist at his job. “Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient. The medium doesn’t matter. The intent does (Godin 83). Reading Linchpin, I realized that you can bring art to your work and art is not limited to a painting, picture, or song. Art is interaction. Art is connecting. Art can change people.

You can’t really define a linchpin by merely listing characteristics. Rather, a linchpin is defined by attitude and actions.

I received a book from John Waire , an amazing photographer with a lot of heart. You should check out his website and blog. Thank you John for the gift.

I’d like to share this book. John wrote a wonderful inscription inside and I hope to pass it on with an inscription from me to the next reader. If you’re interested in this book, please send me a message on twitter.

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One Response

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  1. johnwaire | photo says

    thanks so much frances. it sounds like the message struck a chord with you — which is awesome — let’s hope this book gets a lot of mileage :)

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