Walk In Their Shoes

guide-dogs

It is clear that some of us are in a certain place at a certain time for a preordained purpose but we don’t realise it until after the event….

Recently I travelled by tube to attend an evening event with a colleague.  When we arrive at Bond Street station a complete stranger foist’s a man’s arm into my colleague’s and asks her to “direct this man and his dog to Selfridges – I need to catch my train! ”.

Tom introduces himself, then adjusts his position and asks Jan to proffer her arm to assist him. With that first hurdle safely over, together with guide dog, we navigate the rush hour crowds and escalators.   Jan was merrily having a full blown conversation with Tom, who was ever so witty and jovial, whilst the beautiful placid white Labrador exercised patience unknown to humans (or maybe only the biblical Job).

You do not realise how accomplished, talented and awesome people like Tom are until you have to go into their world and do what we sighted people take for granted….when you think of the endless traps there are i.e. escalators, cones, steps, roads, traffic lights….I could keep on going.  It’s not until you walk in their shoes that you realise having all your senses is truly a gift.

selfridges1When we successfully cross Tom over to the Selfridges side of the road he lets us know that he can find his way from there. Lo and behold, at the traffic lights we see  a blind lady and her dog waiting patiently to cross…..or so it seemed!!  With Tom safely on his way, Jan thought to do her second good deed of the evening and also help this lady cross the road to which she replied, “I don’t wish to cross the road I am waiting here for my husband….!”

The penny dropped…could she have been waiting for Tom? We explain that we just crossed a man named Tom with his dog so she blew her whistle !Tom’s dog slowed down and turned around in response… I could see them heading towards the goal of Selfridges and there was only one thing for it….. Off I trundle, at a pace (I have not travelled at these speeds for over 30 years) and catch up with the quick stepping Tom.

I quickly tell him that there was a lady with a dog at the traffic lights next to The Body Shop and he promptly states…”Oh! that will be my wife!”

I start to berate him for telling us Selfridges instead of Body Shop to which he promptly states “Everyone knows Selfridges so I can get my bearings from there.” Awesome perspective and can do attitude.  All of the attributes needed for an Event Manager!!

Just as we wish them well and tell them to enjoy their night ..after all we have navigated part of Oxford Street during rush hour, escalators, traffic lights and then some…we find that they are going in exactly the same direction as we are. We continue our journey together with lots of light banter and interesting conversation. We are now firm friends and a bond has been established!!

Our last deed of the night (well Jan’s actually) is to get them across Wigmore Street where they have boarded up the pavement to undertake repairs to a building.img6529  Tom’s wife, who is partially sighted, starts to navigate the road but we are not having any of it. I finally get to do a good deed and step into the road in front of the oncoming traffic with my hand held out firmly indicating drivers to stop. No heartless driver could see two ladies assisting a couple with a pair of guide dogs and not stop…could they? We deliver them safely outside of  ASK, ask-pizza_280_721758awhich is their monthly treat to themselves and Tom quips…”Thank you International Rescue, can you pick us up at 8!”
Chortle, chortle, chortle!!

As we are in the business of Event Management…this one encounter encompassed our entire offering. Logistics, Audio Visual, Production & Account Management….it’s what we do!!

Marcia & Jan

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