As I got on the shuttle this afternoon that took me from long term parking to the terminal, the driver greeted me and handed me a card that included a reminder of where I was parked. I thanked her and made a comment that this was the first time I had used this lot, and that on my return I would quite likely find myself in the short term lot in a futile search for my truck.
I got the impression from her that she wasn’t really having a good day, that she may not really like her job of driving the same loop for hours at a time, that she was – quite simply – in a grumpy mood. But she responded to my comment, so I continued the conversation.
By the end of the five minute ride we were both laughing and smiling, having shared stories of lost cars in vast parking lots, of walking around with arm held high pushing the alarm button on the keyless remote, of searching for a rental car in a vast sea of rentals that all look alike.
A key philosophy of camping and backpacking is to leave the places you visit in better shape than when you arrived. It seems to me that this philosophy is a good one to have for our interactions with other people as well.