People are inherently good
The day that made this belief a reality
So a few months ago we decided to play Frisbee as a company. It was an intense competition filled with a ton of fitbit steps, child size pinnies, and of course a minibus for transportation to and from the office.
Finally, at 9 o’clock I make it back to the Obvious HQ, ready to start my 90-minute commute to Green Valley where I was living at the time. I use my badge to get up to the 8th floor, throw my bags full of Frisbees, cones and pinnies by my desk and use the restroom before beginning my journey home.
When I step out of the restroom I notice that the office door leading to all of my belongings- BADGE wallet, clipper card, car keys etc. closed on its own accord. Panic immediately sets in…the office is like a fortress. You need to use your keycard to get to the 8th floor and then again to open the doors. No badge. No entry. This means I can only elevate down to the ground floor, which I do.
I use the intercom to ring our neighbors on the 7th floor praying that someone is working late and will let me use a phone. Luckily an intern comes and brings me up to their floor. Mind you, I look like a weirdo, wearing a tie-dye shirt, rainbow socks and bright green shorts.
I explain my situation, coming across as an idiot, I’m sure. I then borrow one of their cards to try accessing the 8th floor from the stairwell doors. It’s sooo close yet so far away. My attempts to jimmy open the locks with a bobby pin result in a broken piece of metal and unopened doors.
Back to the 7th Floor. Given that I have no phone, no access to my work e-mail because of stupid 2-factor authentication, no money, no clipper card etc. I can only do one thing— use their phones to call
my dad and ask him to pick me up at the BART location of his choice.
He agrees, and the nicest woman lends me $20 so I can purchase a BART ticket and something to munch on. I opt for a banana and Reese’s from Walgreens. I make it to Walnut Creek where my father picks me up at 10:30 PM and we drive home very, very quietly.
At 7 AM the following morning and with none of my belongings in tow, my Dad and I hop in the car to drive to BART. While semi-napping, I mention to my dad that the morning show guys said something about BART being closed, but my dad responds there’s no way it’s closed and that I dreamed it up….
He drops me off and in the midst of feeling like I’ve just re-entered middle school, I hear a booming voice over the loudspeaker announce,
“BART is not offering services on the San Francisco/Millbrae lines due to a fire near the West Oakland stop.”
Great. I am stuck in Pleasant Hill with a $5 dollar BART ticket, no phone and no means to get to my belongings at the office. I start to make a collect call from a pay phone only to realize the prompts will piss me off, so I ask an older guy-50ish, sitting on a bench if I can borrow his phone to call my dad.
Jim complies and while I am beginning to explain to my dad that BART is not running, Jim cuts me off mid-sentence and offers to drive me into the city and that he is a police officer. added bonus.
The fact that Jim is a police officer makes my dad feel a bit better plus he is relieved of his chauffeuring duties.
Jim tells me that his daughters are on their way back to collect him from BART and we just need to grab a car from his house to drive to
San Francisco. But, he fails to inform me that we have to drop one daughter off at school and his house/farm is 30 minutes away.
At this point, I had already conceived all these wonderful ideas about a lush property with horses and flowers.
30 minutes later we pull into a driveway marked by a ‘donkeys for sale’ sign nailed to a decaying fence post. Jim proceeds to give me a tour of the farm, introducing me to Mr. and Mrs. Piggy, two gigantic pigs that cannot share a pen or they attack one another…then I meet the horse, dogs, peacocks, cats, and a very possessive chicken that attacks me while I am running in circles around the house. It was fun. Got my cardio in for the day.
Jim asks if he can take a few minutes to fix the drip system that is watering dead plants…Obviously I’m in no position to protest, but my
only thoughts are Katie and Trishan are going to kill me. It’s 9:30ish AM and aside from not being at the office, they have no idea where I am. I ask to use a computer where I use DIAL-UP to connect to the Internet and e-mail that I will be there around noon.
Then he introduces me to the six birds he has in separate cages spread throughout the living room, offers me a Diet A&W and we hit the road—in his FIAT.
I never thought a police officer would drive a FIAT, but I am just happy to be en route to my wallet, cell phone and car keys, oh and of course work. The next 2+ hours in the car he shares his life story-
divorced, remarried with 8 kids and he quickly becomes one of the most interesting individuals I have ever met. He needs his own post.
Anyway, I finally make it work around noon (solid 5 hour commute to work), exhausted, full of complaints about the past 16 hours, but also thrilled to be reunited with my phone.
Take Aways: Bring the badge everywhere. Assume the best in people.
Note: I wrote a really nice thank you card to the woman on
the 7th floor with the money I borrowed.