Sunday, September 2, 2007

When nobody was looking -- jcarolek

My first day on the job as an IT auditor a few years back was an interesting one. I was required to be up in northern VA for a face-to-face with the IT audit staff. One of the new fellows I met was a guy named Ron. There was nothing special about Ron, and I noted his name as I did the others on the team. I had much to learn about them and they about me, but, for the moment I was focused on the “mission” of the team.

That evening, I returned to my hotel and shared with hubby (who had made the trip with me) the day’s events. Since this was pretty boring stuff to anyone not involved in the actual work, I mostly described the people and the way I had observed them interacting with one another.

The following morning, hubby drove me from the hotel back over to the office. On the way there, we came to a very busy intersection. We had a red traffic signal, and stopped accordingly. Green lights and arrows beckoned drivers to proceed with their turns and yellow lights cautioned them to clear the intersection as it was soon to be time for the other traffic to proceed. Meanwhile, on the far side of the eight lane highway, I saw a man standing at the curb. His white cane made it clear he was using only his ears to know when he could venture out safely to cross the street.

I was perplexed for this man, because the traffic was heavy and there was no button for him to push to get a pedestrian crossing signal. About the time I was commenting to hubby about the plight of this man, I saw a driver make his left turn onto the cross-street, and pull his car over to the side of the road. A tall man hopped out of the car and ran back to the intersection. There, he took the arm of the blind man and, when it was safe, led him across the street. Once there, the blind man nodded his thanks and the seeing man let him proceed on his way.

When I arrived at the office a few minute later, I verified what I thought I had seen. The good Samaritan had been the man I had met the day before. Ron, who did not know this other man, but who could see the potential for disaster, had taken time out of his day, resulting in his being a few minutes late to work. He offered no explanation for his tardiness, but I knew what he had been up to.

My respect for Ron was cemented that day. He performed a good deed when nobody was looking. He was not doing it for recognition. As far as I know, I was the only one who saw him do this, who even knew who he was. And, it would have been so easy for him to simply have continued on to work; making certain he was, as usual, punctual.

I know there are many in this world who take minutes out of their days to help ensure another’s day does not end in disaster. Watching Ron, I was left knowing he would look out for me, if he ever noticed I needed help. I cannot think of a better definition of trust.

No comments: