Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A chance for good works: kindness needed in Silicon Valley

I said a wish and a prayer for the Indian tech worker, name badge still on, stuck in the middle of El Camino Real tonight. Especially memorable: the driver of a souped-up Mercedez-Benz blaring his horn as he turned in two directions at the stop light and screeched around us. 
"Agro" is what my angelic brother Carl says when a person rages irrationally. That's what the hothead in the slate blue Benz was today as I commuted home from the main drag near Stanford University. As you can see in the photo, a not-so-old Toyota had stalled and needed a tow. I was the lucky recipient of multiple honks and screeching tires as I didn't move fast enough to get out from behind said broken-down vehicle. 

Funny, yesterday on my way to work I noticed a car about the same age with flashers on, blocking a turning lane. Impatient drivers squealed around as the woman inside glanced in every direction pleading for help on her cell phone. In the old days, before we all had phones and other gizmos in our cars, people would actually offer to push a disabled vehicle to the side and out of traffic. Everyone in the jam would be ecstatic to have the barrier removed while the do-gooders could demonstrate their superhuman strength. No such luck this week for the two drivers in need of car repairs, Silicon Valley is in too much of a hurry. 

When my children were small I purchased a clunker VW Vanagon for $3000 and it was a dream come true--until the first break down, and then the second and beyond. I began to believe in angels when an elderly gentleman pulled over within a few feet of my van as it stalled on the freeway--me traveling pregnant with a toddler and a soon-to-be kindergartener. The flanneled retiree casually approached from his 1960s Chevy pickup, tow rope in hand! Like I said, that was the good old days. Thank goodness my son, who drives a late-model Range Rover and may someday need a lift, lives far away from our "agro" bunch here in Silicon Valley. He might just get a push instead of a blaring horn.