A moving, sincere goodbye

July 28, 2012

My daughter works for the St.Louis Metro, and one of her colleagues, who was leaving, wrote this farewell message to those who work for public transport in a culture of private transport. My daughter shared it with me. I found it very beautiful, and would like to share it.


I just wanted to thank you for what has been an incredible five years working for and serving public transit in St. Louis. I promise I will keep my trite “The end is just the beginning” aphorism to a minimum, but my departure of Metro is filled with excitement, sadness, sentiment and wisdom for me. It has been an absolute joy working with all of you as individuals and professionals, and I’m glad to count many of you as friends.

If no one tells you anything of worth today, beside “Go home and have a great weekend!” let it be this: What you do here, everyday, is very important. The service you provide is sometimes the link between work and dignity, and despair, for many St. Louisans. For others, it is an example, even when not perfect, of St. Louis’ ability to grow, prosper, and come together as a community.

You are not always appreciated enough by the community, and certainly not compensated in direct proportion to your value. But your work, however seemingly removed day to day, makes a very big impact on so many folks’ lives. It mattered to mine. No matter how narrow the politics and challenges of this business shrinks your world, please think of the thousands of bus stops and platforms, each with thousands of people, getting to work, seeing family, and living in their communities with pride. You make many people’s lives just a little bit easier. I hope that they inspire you, as they did me, to work with passion and resolve.

Please take care of one another, be kind to yourselves, and thank you for the many memories, lessons, and love. Keep in touch.