It is so uplifting and inspiring to experience honest people
A former work colleague back in Ireland for a few days phoned and asked me to join her for lunch. It was an enjoyable hour and we had plenty to talk about. Just as we said our goodbyes she gave me a small bag-a Christmas gift.
I jumped on a bus and went home. Later in the evening I realised I had managed to mislay the bag. Next morning I retraced my steps. Unfortunately it was not to be found. But I had not given up.
I checked out the Dublin Bus app and emailed them details of the bus I had been on, the time I had boarded and the number of the stop. Within three days, and that included a weekend, I received an acknowledgment with a reference number and the telephone number of their lost property office.
The following day I called into the Dublin Bus office in Dublin's O'Connell Street where I was directed to their lost property office at the back of the Clerys' building. A difficult place to find. But at last I was there and just one person ahead of me in the queue. My turn comes. A man appears from behind a curtain or some sort of 'barrier'. I explain what happened, tell him about the email I received from Dublin Bus and give him the six-digit reference number.
He assures me that I could not have been given a reference with six 'letters'. I explain they were numbers and not letters. He then asks me who sent me the email and I, before I could calm down, said 'Santa Claus'. At that he went away and told his colleague he was refusing to serve me. I immediately suspected that I was in for trouble and I was going to be told in no uncertain way to get lost. And in a sense it was what I deserved.
Within a minute a woman appears at the counter. Again I explain my case. She could not have been friendlier and was somewhat at sea in respect to the email I had received from Dublin Bus. It seems Dublin Bus's IT department doesn't have great communications with the lost property Office in Dublin's Earl Place.
So we disregarded the email and I gave her details of the bus journey. After a short search she arrived with a small bag. Magic, it was my gift bag. I could not believe it.
On handing over a €2 service charge my gift bag was returned to me. Excluding the minor blip with the first man it's difficult to believe how it all went so accident-free and that I managed to get the bag back.
I can imagine that required a lot of honesty by a number of people. Did a passenger on the bus hand it to the driver or did the driver or a cleaner come across it and hand it into an office at the bus depot? The buses on the route I was on operate out of two depots, Summerhill and Donnybrook. So a warm thank you to all those in the chain of people that saw it got back to me. And to the man to whom I was a little smart or abrasive, mea culpa.
Two things have struck me about the episode. Isn't it uplifting and inspiring to experience honest people? It does us all good. And the efficient system that Dublin Bus has in place when people leave items on their buses. It must happen every day of the week.
Happy Christmas to readers of the column.