Acts of Kindness

Thursday, February 5, 2009; 3:45pm

I am heading to the CTA El stop to take the train into Chicago. I say hello to the CTA worker at the bottom of the steps as I head up to the platform, chatting away on my cell phone. I hear the train in the distance and quickly flip the phone shut and start rummaging around in my purse for the CTA card.
Once located, I rush to the turnstile and insert the card into the slot only to learn I do not have enough money on the card. No entry, no way.

I quickly retrace my steps back to the money/card kiosk machine and start frantically searching for some dollar bills. Next thing I know, the CTA worker is at my side helping me to work the machine.
I come up with a single dollar…won’t do. I am struggling to find more bills…I finally find a five dollar bill. He begins to insert that into the machine and then changed his mind. He gave me back the bills, pushed a button to eject the card and motioned me to follow him to the turnstiles. He then proceeded to insert his card into the slot to get me thru…I then run to the train. I am seconds too late. The doors close. Feeling the disappointment of missing my connection after such great effort, I hear him calling out to the conductor and the doors magically reopen. I am on my way. Totally, totally awesome!
(the Obama effect).