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Reader submission: More than just a sign, kindness comes full circle. Thank you, Nick

This is a story about how kindness can come full circle. It’s not a big story, but just how a small gesture can make someone else’s day.

I am a school bus driver for TJA — Crystal Lake districts 47 and 155. I drive elementary, middle school and high school kids to and from school, five days a week. Every day I drive by First Institute, located at 790 McHenry Road in Crystal Lake, which offers medical, dental and massage therapy career training. They have a sign in front, on one side it says Career Training for Success and has information on their classes and their phone number. On the other side, they post a clever saying every week.

Some examples of previous postings are:

“If you’re cold, stand in the corner, it’s 90 degrees.”

“My recliner and I go way back.”

“I fear for my calendar because its’ days are numbered.”

“Doing nothing is hard, you never know when you’re done.”

“Went to the air and space museum but there was nothing there.”

“Please cancel my subscription to your issues.”

“It’s not a dad bod, it’s a father figure.”

I always look forward to Friday when they change the sign to a new saying. I started keeping track of them and have shared them with friends and family, and even my future father-in-law, comedian, Dickie Smothers, of the Smothers Brothers. They all enjoyed them.

On Wednesday, Jan. 26, I made a phone call to First Institute. I wanted to thank the person in charge of this sign that had brought me many smiles and laughs. I was referred to Nick Eigenschenk. I told Nick that I’m a bus driver and happen to drive by First Institute five times a day and how I really enjoy his signs and how I’ve been keeping track of them so I can share them with others.

We chatted a bit about it and before we hung up he asked me my name. I told him “Vicki.” That Friday, two days after I talked with Nick, I was on my way back to the TJA bus lot after completing my routes and as I was passing First Institute for the fifth time, I was excited to see they had changed the sign. There was a new saying to read and add to my list. As I read the new sign, I got the biggest laugh and smile on my face. It read: “What did Vicky the bus driver say to the frog? Hop On!”

What a joyful surprise that was!

When I got to work, I told everybody who was still there about the sign and it made them all laugh too and they suggested I go there and have someone take a picture of me in front of the sign. Later, I woke up in the middle of the night, Saturday night, and it came to my mind and it made me smile again!

On Sunday, my husband, Mike, and I went over there and took some pictures. He got the biggest kick out of it too and we shared the pictures with friends and family who all seemed to love it. On Monday, I shared the picture with TJA’s Director of Transportation Penny Fleming and told her the story behind it and she really liked it. She asked if she could put it in the Bus Biz newsletter post on our bulletin board and/or send it to the staff in an email. I said I’d love that!

I also texted it to Roxane Barbosa, a friend and co-worker, and she was having fun sharing it with everybody in case they might have missed it. Some of the other co-workers noticed the sign and asked me about it. Everybody seemed to really get a kick out of it and thought it was so cool and some even exclaimed, “You’re famous!”

I was driving by the sign with the kids from my Route 312, Bernotas Middle School, and I told them to look and see the sign as we were passing it and that it was a shout out to me.

I told them the story – about how I had called to thank a guy I never met, named Nick, who brought smiles to me with his signs and that I called to thank him for the enjoyment of his signs and then two days later he had included me on his latest sign! I said that if you show your appreciation of people and thank them and do good and kind things that it can pay you back in ways you would never expect.

They listened to my story then went back to their usual conversation and play. But I have noticed just how small things like signs put smiles on people’s faces and can make a big difference. It sure made my day. But I think it made other peoples’ day, as well. Thanks again, Nick, for making a difference.

Vicki Masucci West Kropp lives in Lake in the Hills.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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