A proud winner of the "Martha" award

Island Transit last week gave me its coveted “Employee of the Last Four Seconds” award, and plastered the two buses I ride every day with posters of yours truly beaming down at the other riders, none of whom have won any recent Island Transit awards.

I was humbled and yet proud, though I can’t take all the credit. True, my column last week in which I whined that I’d never been named “employee of the month” prompted the award, particularly the part in which I said I’d even take “employee of the last four seconds” if I couldn’t get something better. But like I said, I must share the credit. I’d like to thank my family, who raised me in such a way that any award I might win in adulthood was bound to be minor, seeing as how I must have been hiding behind the door when the brains were passed out. I’d like to thank my high school English teacher, Mrs. Barry, who was so impressed by my writing that she said the less I write, the better it is. And I’d particularly like to thank my wife, an honest person who seldom reads this column so she won’t have to give me an honest opinion about it.

I am deeply touched by Island Transit’s “Employee of the last Four Seconds” award, even though I don’t work for Island Transit. If I did, somebody who put in an impressive five seconds of work would have edged me out. But it’s the thought that counts, and I proudly accept the award. I don’t know what happened to the posters on the first bus I rode that memorable morning, but the driver of the second bus allowed me to take the posters with me. “Allowed” might not adequately describe how badly he wanted me to take the posters. “Forced” might be a better word, as he parked the bus right in the middle of the road and noisily drew the emergency brake, so I’d have plenty of time to remove the posters before departing. I missed one in the back of the bus, but he insisted there was plenty of time for me to go back there and get it. The rest of the passengers waited angrily, knowing they were going to be late for work. Too bad, you bunch of losers.

I packed the posters into the office and my co-workers were duly impressed. My boss was relieved that now that I had an award, she wouldn’t have to give me one at the company Christmas party. The rest of the editorial staff, who had won numerous statewide newspaper writing awards this year while I won absolutely nothing, seemed relieved that I’d finally won something other than those two third place writing awards from past years hanging in the company bathroom.

While I’m proud to receive the award, I know in the back of my mind that I’m not fully deserving of it. Island Transit has many more deserving people who actually work for Island Transit. They get up early to transport people around the island and hardly ever end up in the ditch, so I know they’re better than me. I feel like the winner of the Special Olympics 100 yard dash who, even though he won, can’t shake the feeling that somewhere out there, there’s probably somebody better.

In closing, I’d like to thank all those at Island Transit for this award. It’s my Oscar, which in honor of the Island Transit Director Martha Rose I’ve decided to call my Martha. Hang in there, all you other Island Transit riders, you too may win a Martha some day.

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