As 2012 draws to a close and 2013 rolls in like a shiny new coin, please take a moment to reflect on the San Mateo services and businesses that made a difference in your life this year. I have and this is my "thank you" note.
Here's my disclaimer: no one knows I'm writing this; I have no "agenda", and I'm not benefitting in any material way. Truthfully, though, I am benefitting from the good feelings and appreciation that these recollections generate.
First, the San Mateo Fire Department. Although I've lived on the Peninsula for 25 years, this was the first time a potentially hazardous situation caused me to call. A superb team from the South Humboldt firehouse quickly responded. Wow! Their expertise was augmented with kindness, problem solving, and action, and their Captain's leadership and concern were inspiring.
I know that cities and counties are always talking about cuts and budgets, but until you experience a situation where your safety depends on the best can you truly appreciate what we have here in San Mateo.
Next, San Mateo is fortunate to have so many fine local and small businesses, several in my immediate and nearby neighborhoods. Some who exceeded service expectations include Dittmann Plumbing; Phoenix Digital Printing; Trag's Market, Laurel Giuliani Designs, Deon Teeple, mortgage consultant, Marlene and the Manager of Mollie Stone's; Skip Dahl at the UPS Store, and The Betty Mills Co.
Finally, this is a county service, but drivers love to grumble when stuck behind a SamTrans centipede. On Christmas Day, in torrents of rain, I was driving behind a lone SamTrans bus as it wound through deserted wet and windy streets. I was happy to do so, because I knew that somewhere along his long route there would be someone standing at a stop absolutely grateful to see that bus.
Sometimes the "selfish gene" takes over and we only think about how we personally benefit, forgetting how hard our public services and small firms work to serve, exist and excel (whether that "business" is public or private), and just as important, serve others in our community who often have little influence over such matters.
So here is my "thank you" for exceptional service in 2012 and in recognition that our ability and efficiency to successfully function as individuals and as a community depends on all kinds of skills and dedication, mostly practiced quietly and without fanfare.
Happy New Year, and may yours be peaceful and prosperous!