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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Even the smallest gestures deserve thanks...

Since starting school again in September, I've found myself having to face the main transportation hub on an afternoon, and that several times a week. It was a pleasant surprise at the beginning to see uniformed police officers in the loading areas ensuring that maxi taxis arrived, picked up passengers and left the platforms in an orderly fashion. As such, the City Gate that I experience now is not that which I remember from just a few years ago. People do still rush for maxi taxis when they stop though, but the situation is not quite as bad as when PTSC staff tried in vain to control both milling crowd and recalcitrant drivers.

It was just beginning to get dark this evening as the maxi in which I travelled entered City Gate; I was on my way back into Port of Spain en route home. As we pulled into the transport hub, I was pleased to see our Policemen still at work. But I was even more pleased to see something done by the officer who was controlling the Arima Bus Route Platform.

A 25-seater air-conditioned maxi was coming down the chute as my maxi pulled into the offloading area. He pointed his baton, ordering the maxi to stop well before it made the turn to the loading bay, and then motioned three adults with eight or nine toddlers in tow toward the maxi. At the same time I noted that he kept a number of other persons from stepping off the platform to approach the maxi. Once he assured that the adults and their charges had all boarded and were seated, he motioned the maxi forward to finish picking up its load.

It was a very minor gesture, and I'm sure one that the Police do every evening at City Gate. I'm also positive that the parents, particularly those with two or more little children to marshal through the crush are happy to have that extra help getting their youngsters home. In a time where the Police are often maligned and castigated for doing little, I think the officers assigned to the City Gate and the other transportation hubs in the country are to be commended for these little things that they do in fact perform.

I hope that the parents make sure that their children say "thank you, Officer." Teaching the little ones gratitude ensures that they know that it's good to thank people for efforts made on their behalf. It also serves to ensure that they grow up knowing that preferential treatment is not something to which they're necessarily entitled. But even if they don't offer their sincere thanks, I do, as a member of the travelling public.

From me to all of the Officers so assigned, thank you for making passage through our transportation hubs easier. And do keep up the good work.

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