The TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) doesn’t really have a good reputation. The system is plagued by outdated equipment, poorly designed stations, inefficiency, and a bad reputation. They have hired someone to turn the thing around, and I think it is working.
For the past six months or so, every morning at one of the entry points, they have stationed an employee there to ensure fare compliance. The thing is, this person does more than that. He says hello to everyone in a positive and friendly voice. He remembers people; especially the commuters. He is a positive face for a system that never had one before.
Normally, I would have a weekly or monthly pass. Owing to the fact that I took a couple of days off, I was using my PRESTO card. The PRESTO card is like a debit card in that you load up some money and it is subtracted every time you tap it. Because of this, I was not eligible to enter the gate operated by the friendliest person working for the TTC. Not a big deal, I was prepared to walk to the appropriate gate. All it would mean for me is that I wouldn’t have a chance to exchange greetings with him. I should point out that when I have entered a different gate and I had time, I would go to his station and say good morning to him anyway–he’s that friendly and positive that you want to say hello, and you want the early morning fist bump.
Today, he spotted me heading away from his area and called me over. Perhaps he detected my post surgical limp/hesitant walking style and took pity on me. Perhaps he just wanted to say hello. When I told him that I had to go to the other gate to use my PRESTO card, he said, “No. Let me take care of you this morning.” He let me in, greeted me warmly and told me to have a great day. The saving on the fare is not huge, but just the fact that it happened made me feel great for the whole day. He took care of me the customer in the best way possible. He made me feel valued. I am never going to miss a day saying good morning to him again.
That was Today’s Perfect Moment.