I spent most of last year in a leadership development program that was focused on teaching recent(ish) college grads to integrate faith and calling and to understand that all work is holy. I learned a lot, but i was impressed this morning with how much i have to learn.

You see, every day I plunk a few quarters into a basket on the toll road. Usually the people at the booths nod or say thanks, but often they don’t acknowledge me at all. I always stop my train of thought and think about what their lives must be like with a job like that. Once I caught a woman leaning out of her window, eyes closed, catching the last bit of evening sun on her face. No matter what the interaction is, I figure that it’s not a big deal–after all, I’m just there to pay my toll and go on my way.

On Monday morning I drove up to the toll plaza with a dollar and needed change and I was greeted by a man with a Jamaican accent and a beaming smile who handed me my quarters and blessed me with  “Have a Great day!” I smiled for the next few minutes, then drove on to work. The next day I happened to get his booth again. I was floored. He was so nice and full of joy. Today I prayed that I’d be in his lane and I was. I plunked in my quarters, reflected back a big smile and said, “What’s your name?” (and then instantly felt a little creepy, but whatever). He told me it is Casey. I told him mine and to have a great day and continued on my way to work. It really made my morning.

Now, I have a cushy desk job with a good salary and a fantastic boss where I get to be creative. and I rarely shine like that.  I’m both humbled and inspired.  and with toll-booth workers like this, who needs an EZ Pass?

edit 10/16: i got his booth again this morning and said “Hey Casey!” he grinned and said “Abby!” close enough!

edit 10/29: i now have developed a lovely habit of slowing down, carefully studying the toll worker sillhouettes and the swerving to get Casey’s lane.  He know my name is Amy and I smile for about half of my morning commute.

edit 11/21: we’ve developed quite the rapport. Casey asked to come to my birthday party. I told him no, maybe next time. It’s a great story.