Hooray for the SSA

To the Editor:

On the afternoon of August 25, as I was preparing for Irene’s arrival, I received a call from an SSA representative at the Palmer lot asking me if I owned a green Hyundai? My immediate thought, unfortunately was negative. I was certain they were calling to tell me something bad had happened to my car.

I replied, “Yes, is anything wrong?” Their answer, “No sir, we are just calling to advise that your car is parked in a low flood-prone area, and we suggest it be moved to higher ground as a precaution against the upcoming hurricane.”

I thanked the person and asked if I should come over to move my vehicle. “You won’t have to do that sir, we can move it to higher ground for you, if you would like.” I replied yes, but how. “Just take your key to our Vineyard Haven office where it will be tagged and sent to us. You just have to let us know whether you want to us to keep the key in Palmer or send it back. We will move your vehicle to higher ground in back of the ice rink, and mark its pole location on the tag.”

I thanked the person, told them to hold the key at Palmer and immediately proceeded to the SSA’s Vineyard Haven office. The lady that helped was busy with other Fun Loving Tourists (FLTs), trying to beat Irene to the mainland. She was not only very pleasant, but treated me with respect and kindness. She asked that I fill out a key tag describing the vehicle including its license plate number, if possible. It wasn’t mandatory, but would be helpful. When I couldn’t immediately remember the license number, I told her I could call my wife to get the info. She cordially told me that I didn’t have to do that. She could help me in a moment, but asked that I step aside while she shortened the line of FLT’s. After waiting only a couple of minutes she was able to locate the license plate information.

To say the Steamship Authority was busy is an understatement. Taking the additional time speaks volumes for the grace and talent of the SSA agent. I can only hope the SSA can locate this woman, hopefully reward her in a tangible way, or, at a minimum, place an “atta-girl” in her personnel folder prior to her next salary review.

Peter Cabana

Vineyard Haven