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It was never meant to be that day. For God’s sake, it was a Monday morning. A random
act of kindness on a desolate American road. Far away from the road rage of most American
cities. A random act of humaneness, I called it later on. No, it was a Monday morning after all.
I took a quick look at my organizer and realized that I had two important meetings scheduled for
Monday. The first meeting was to take place within a 45-minute drive from my company office.
The second meeting would be held at the office to go over some administrative issues. Even
though I was not feeling well, I had to report to work. So I dragged myself out of bed and
looked out the bedroom window. After a week of overcast weather, the weather person finally
had some good news to announce. The weather report called for a 75 degrees Fahrenheit and
included this statement: “This is the Spring weather report we have all been anticipating.” Even
though we were already two weeks in the Spring season, it was still cold here in the San Joaquin
Valley of California. This weather pattern did not sit well with the local farmers and citrus
growers who had suffered massive losses in the millions of dollars due to the recent freeze.
A week earlier, my physician had prescribed some allergy pills to me to combat this case
of bad allergies. I reached the pill bottle and took 2 pills as prescribed by the physician. Then I
took a shower, got dressed, ate breakfast and kissed my wife and kids good-bye. The cool
morning breeze was very inviting and refreshing. I gazed upon the horizon and could see the
chains of mountains surrounding the valley. Their peaks were still covered with fresh snow. It
was a bright promising morning . No one could even have the courage to think that this was the
same valley that was covered with blankets of fog days earlier. No one would even think that
these beautiful mountain ranges trap all the pollution from the valley floor. Yet, this was the
Fresno county, one of the richest and most diverse agricultural areas in California.
After a 30-minute drive, I arrived at the office. One of my employees exchanged
greetings with me and made a remark. “I like the way you dress. I like your bright colors,” she
complimented me. “Thank you,” I replied. “I am going to represent the company at a meeting in
Merced. Besides, I am originally from a place on the American continent where color is
everywhere. Maybe that’s why I prefer accentuating colors...” I stated, opening the door to my
“I am running late to my first pick-up,” the employee said, alluding to the consumers she
worked with out in the community. I bid her farewell and safety on the road. Considering that
Fresno is well-known for her red light runners and car theft, it was appropriate to wish that
somebody be safe on the road. One must practice defensive driving here all the time. In other
words, one must drive and watch out for one’s safety while watching out for that of the next
drivers. I often find myself teasing a friend of mine for driving for others because he keeps his
eyes in the back more than he focuses on where he is heading. In short, he is very alert and does
careful driving around here. Despite the numerous raids by law enforcement officers of this
town, red light runners are still doing their dirty deeds, thereby endangering many innocent lives.
The secretary received a message for the program director. The latter communicated
with the program managers through the interphone. “The Merced meeting just got canceled,”
she announced to us. “So you guys can take care of your caseload duties.” I walked out of my
office to the garages to check out vehicles that need to go to the shop to be repaired. I counted 2
spare vehicles that morning. In case one broke down in the field, we could send out one of the
two spares to rescue the workers. On my way back into the office, I stopped by the kitchenette
to get a glass of water. The secretary, the program director, another program manager and I
started sharing some of our weekend news. They were sipping some hot decaffeinated coffee.
All the while, we were anticipating the arrival of the other program manager who was out on
vacation for a week. He had sent us postcards from the many coastal towns his spouse and he
had been to.