It’s time we start sharing moments of music in the midst of all the noise.
Allow me to start with a story about my new friend Mr. Irfan from Toronto.
I arrived at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport yesterday evening. After making it through customs by answering questions about whether or not I had milked a cow in the last week or so from another country, I opened the Uber application on my phone, typed in where I needed to get to, and hit the button to be connected with a driver.
Four minutes later a new black suburban pulled up.
I got in.
I asked him how his Ubering was going. Like you do… To which he replied, he didn’t use the service much, he owns eleven vehicles like this one, manages a team of drivers that serves a consistent clientele, and he just turned on the app since he was near the airport and on his way home. Quickly, I was proud of Irfan. I liked his style, efficiency, and humble pride.
We began to talk. We talked life. We talked about his family in Pakistan. We talked about Target, Wal-Mart, traffic, corruption, winter, mortgage rates, and skyscrapers. We were human. Together. ‘Neighborin’ as they call it on the am radio back at home.
Before he dropped me off I asked him what the chances were of him driving me back to the airport the next day. He handed me his Mr. Irfan card (which is brilliantly to the point) and told me to text him tomorrow with a few hours notice.
A little before lunch today I sent Mr. Irfan a text saying that my presentation should be done by 3:00 and that I should be ready at 3:30 outside of The Spoke Club in downtown Toronto. I asked if he would be available. Promptly, he responded, “I will.”
After my presentation I gathered my things and it was 3:00 on the dot. This was thirty minutes before I told him I would be ready. I sent a text to Mr. Irfan to say I was ready and that I would be waiting outside of the venue. “No rush.” His response? “Come down stairs. See you in one minute?”
As I walk out of the building, Mr. Irfan is rounding the corner. He parks his vehicle, opens a side door and the luggage door, and gives me a greeting waive I’ll never forget. I’m talking about a waive that was like Forest Gump’s waive to Lieutenant Dan when he was captain of Jenny #1. He was so happy to see me again. And so I waived back with equal joy. I wasn’t his client. He wasn’t my driver. We were friends.
I had just given a message to a group about how being faster than expected is better than being on time with your services and information you provide. Mr. Irfan was a perfect picture of this. I had also just shared with this group of real estate agents in Toronto that people would rather have a friend than a Realtor. I suddenly realized I would rather have a friend than a driver too. Then I thought about how all of Mr. Irfan’s actions were so small, hidden, and unseen…except to me.
We made our way through traffic and then Mr. Irfan pulled up to the terminal to let me out. He handed me my bags outside of his office on four wheels and then we gratuitously locked eyes knowing that there was more than an exchange of currency for services that had transpired in a day’s time.
I then asked to take my picture with him. Good people! I took a selfie with my driver turned friend! And now I’m sharing it with you. He was human, he was sharp, he was faster than expected, and I would gladly send my wife, mom, or grandmother to him if they’re ever in Toronto. How’s that for a review!?
Mr. Irfan drove off and I thought to myself, what a wonderful world.