Today we met a 'service provider' who was not only competent at his job, but also human and helpful beyond the call of duty. We had arrived at Gloucester Green far in advance in order to catch the last bus to Faringdon, which was due to leave at 7:20 pm in line with the Sunday schedule that the internet said the bus company was operating on. Because it was cold we sat in a cafe and just as we were stepping out of the door at 7:10 to get on the bus, it pulled out and left. It looked like we were stranded in Oxford for the night. We went to the Stagecoach bus office where the usual indistinct and useless mumbling was about to begin when our hero stepped in. At first he only explained that they were a different part of the company and had no information about the running of the Swindon route - that office would be closed. When I had called the Swindon office and found that they were, indeed, closed, I came back and he made some phone calls and then said that the only option was to file a complaint, take a taxi, get a receipt and then get Stagecoach to reimburse the money. We have a long history of trying to screw reimbursement money out of Stagecoach, and never would I want to go through that process again, but nevertheless, there seemed to be no choice. So I filled in the form that he provided, he gave me his name and number and helpfully suggested that when we get the taxi we should secure a quote first and not rely on the metred fare. So off we went to find a taxi in George Street and were negotiating with the driver about the £50 fare when suddenly the Stagecoach hero ran up behind us and breathlessly declared that another bus had just arrived (because it turned out that they were operating on the Saturday rather than the Sunday schedule!) and he was concerned that our claim wouldn't be processed if the Company knew we could have taken another bus. So off we ran back to Gloucester Green after him. It is for such people, in whom the milk of human kindness has not run dry, that the phrase 'God bless him' is reserved. I wish it were possible to show appreciation to these random individuals whom one encounters when least looked for and never sees again, but alas! they will never know what an effect they produce on those whom they help.