I had a special request last night from one of our stations. It was for a tourist couple that had come to Melbourne and need our help whilst here. I was to phone them and see what their needs are.

We don’t usually go out of our way unless it’s something dire. This was a dire case. They thought their tour was inclusive meaning transfers were in place. Upon arriving here they realised it wasn’t. It means they won’t be able to meet any of their tours.

I couldn’t say no to them. They did need our help. If they were your average 30-60s and healthy I’d just direct them to an info booth so they can grab maps and let them figure it out.

The couple was in our usual client population. The old and vulnerable, the vision impaired, the deaf and blind, the newcomers.

Only after I talked to them did I realise how much of a mess they were in. They had no idea where to go or how to figure out their mess. On top of that the anxiety of being in an unfamiliar city.

Not only that they didn’t seem to have all their information with them and I guess that’s what made it hard.

In the end they only really need me to take them to their tour meeting place early tomorrow morning and then they should be able to find their way back at night once they know where to go.

On Sunday it’s with the same tour operator again thus they won’t need me til the afternoon to take them to dinner.

Today they are sightseeing within Melbourne thus can make their own way. I did give them a map and directions as to which tram to catch and which stop to get off.

Have also given them homework to do. One is to ring the tour company and ask them what time to meet. It’s because it’s not the head office thus different time of meeting. The other is to ring their travel agent to find out time of their dinner on Sunday. It wasn’t specified on their paperwork.

We don’t usually do weekend requests and I don’t usually take on shifts unless I can’t find anyone else to take them on. This was well special. I felt an instant rapport with them. Upon ending our conversation the client said to me. You know we were down in the dumps thinking our whole trip was ruined. Thank you.

This is why I volunteer. It’s knowing I’ve made someone else’s life easier with my time.