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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Frontline Advocacy & the people of Boston

Boston_AttendingWhoever tried to tell me that people from the Northeastern US were distant, cold, or unfriendly LIED. The people of Boston are wonderful, friendly, and helpful. Let me give you an illustration: 

Allison and I walked to ground transportation at the airport not knowing diddly-squat about how we were going to get to our hotel. Nancy and American Libraries magazine had suggested the Shuttle for $17 so we walked up to a bus driver and asked where the shuttle was because we needed to get to the Westin. 

He told us to go wait in the heated shelter for bus #66, radioed the bus so they’d know we were waiting, and called out to let us know how long it would be (less than 5 minutes). When the bus arrived, the driver hopped down to help us load our bags and drove to the next stop which was the T stop for the train. His shift was ending, but he made sure to tell us which stop to get off (2 more). The next driver hopped on, took us to the water transportation stop, hopped off and helped us with our luggage. Then he led us to the dock, showed us how to use the mic (directions are posted), and called a water taxi for us. He showed us where to wait and made sure we were safe. 

When the water taxi arrived, he helped us with bags, gave us a mini-tour of the harbor, told us to eat at the no-name restaurant, helped us unload bags, then showed us the quickest and easiest way to walk the 2-3 blocks to the convention center. The secret was to enter the Boston World Trade Center, take the escalator to the next floor, and walk a straight line to the convention center with no traffic lights and one continuous sidewalk the entire way. 

Each of these people went out of their way to be helpful, friendly, and informative. They provided the basic service we needed, but then went beyond to ensure we had a wonderful visit by being helpful and knowledgable. By the way, it cost $10 one way and $17 round-trip. You can come in on one day and leave another and that’s still a round-trip. The bus shuttle was free. 

The boat (water taxi) was enclosed so we enjoyed the view without being cold. It was a wonderful experience. This is how frontline workers should be. Friendly, helpful, and providing a better experience than we expected.