Serendipitous Departure

I really like it when I get the chance to properly say “thank you.”

On Thursday I discovered, after walking around the Phoenix Convention Center, that my barely-bruised-but-no-seriously-I-smashed-it finger was swelling up just enough to put pressure on a nerve. This was resulting in severe hand pain, plus a pulsing conduit of fire that played merry hell with the neurochemicals I depend on in order to be happy.

With my slightly swollen hand hanging by my side I was miserable and depressed to the point of being almost non-functional.

My friends suggested that maybe I should get a sling, and this seemed like a great idea, except that I was in an unfamiliar place, in a hotel, and was deeply depressed. I scraped up just enough presence of mind to talk to a hotel staffer who was doing crowd control around the elevators. Her name was Erica.

Erica put out a call to see if the hotel had any slings. When they did not, she hailed a cab for me, and handed the cab driver a voucher that would get me to CVS. She handed me another voucher which I could use to summon a cab to get me back to the Hyatt once I had what I needed.

The cab driver, a very friendly man whose first name I can’t remember the spelling of, and whose last name was Singh, zipped me over to the CVS pharmacy, and told me exactly what to say when calling for pick-up.

At CVS I found what I needed, strapped my arm into a sling, and began feeling better inside of about two minutes. Rather than call for pickup I walked the four blocks back to the hotel, and I arrived happy in spite of the blistering heat of the Phoenix afternoon.

I left a thank-you message for Erica at the desk. One of her aides (apparently she is a staff member with an office, and aides) left a message for me the next morning, but I didn’t get it until late Friday night, and Erica had gone home for the weekend.

Monday morning, before I hailed a cab to Sky Harbor, I checked at the desk to see if Erica was back in the office. She was, and she very enthusiastically greeted me, asking if we could get a picture together. I agreed, and then I took it up a notch by drawing a picture of Erica as an airborne, first-aid-kit-carrying superheroine. It kind of made her day, but really *I* was the one whose day was being made. I like getting to properly say “thank you.”

I collected my luggage and hailed a cab. The cab driver looked familiar.

“Did you drive me to CVS on Thursday?”

“You are Mister Tyler?”

(close enough.) “Yes!”

I shook his hand in both of mine and thanked him. Once aboard I said “this time around I will get to pay you for the ride myself,” and he laughed. I may have overpaid him a bit upon arrival ($40 for a $15 flat-fare ride,) and that’s no substitute for being able to draw a picture, but it would have to do.

I don’t like being injured, and I don’t like needing to ask for help from complete strangers, but once the crisis has passed (my hand no longer hurts my brain now) I very much DO like being able to express my appreciation for that help to some new friends.

It is Monday, and the serendipity of this morning’s departure has set a pretty high bar for the rest of the week. I got to say “thank you” to Erica and to Mr. Singh, and I’m still smiling about it.