Awani Review

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flat frame |  Journalism

flat frame | Journalism

There will be no whining in this column. I don't have a shirt to rip today. Slice of life facts.


It was January 9, and Sylvie Patenaude was heading towards Saint-Denis towards the Metropolitan, heading for her home in Anjou.

But his car made a strange noise: “I'm telling you, I hit at least four potholes that day…”

MI Patenaude decided to check his car before entering the fast lane. Turn into Crémazie, turn into Berri, she was sure there was a garage nearby, but she couldn't find one. She stops in front of the bus and gets out of her car.

It didn't take long to figure out what was causing the noise that was disturbing Sylvie Patenaude in the passenger compartment of her old Hyundai Accent that she inherited from her late mother: one of the tires was punctured by a pothole…

She called her boyfriend. Baby, come and get me, I'm made levelYou are the one who has a CAA card…

“Then I went to see the bus driver,” M told me.I Patenaude, he's been on a break. I knocked on his window…”

Unlock the driver.

“Do you know where there is a garage nearby, sir?”

– I'm sorry, no. Why ?

“I flattened a tire…”

Photo by Josie Desmarais, Press

Carlos Diaz in front of his bus

Then the STM driver got out of his giant car, went to inspect the damage and asked Sylvie Patenaude to open the trunk of his car. Then he simply took out the spare wheel and started installing it in place of the flat tire…

There were no gloves, just his STM jacket, it was cold in there!

Sylvie Patenaude

The driver seemed to know how to change the tire, M reportedI Patenaude, who couldn't believe seeing this stranger come to his aid: “It didn't take ten minutes!”

Once the spare wheel was installed by the Samaritan driver, Sylvie Patenaude wanted to thank him, so she offered him money, but to no avail: the repeated driver refused.

“He just told me his name was Carlos, Carlos Diaz… I was in shock, Mr. Lagasse. I was grateful all day long. I thought to myself: ‘STM drivers do that?!’ So, that evening, I tracked down his boss, and wrote to him to shed light.” For Mr. Diaz's good gesture, but with a little trepidation, though, I was afraid he would be punished for taking the time to help me, you know how bosses can be, sometimes… The boss reassured me: No, no, we won't punish him, We'll submit his name to Meritas at the end of the year. And then, well, I wrote to you to tell you my story…”

I loved this story, but in adherence to the highest standards of professionalism of French Canadian journalism, I still had to verify the veracity of this story, so I used my hidden sources at STM (well, no, actually, I contacted the media relations department) asking to communicate with the driver. Carlos Diaz…

Boom, soon after, I spoke to him on the phone, this Mr. Diaz and his cheerful (pardon the cliche) accent from Colombia, his native country.

“I saw the tire on the ground and asked the lady: Are you prepared?” It was cold, yes, but I did it, and it only took me a few minutes. She wanted to give me money, so I said, “No, ma’am, I’m happy, have a nice day!” »

It emerged that Mr Diaz, who arrived in the country in 2008, had been a bus driver for STM for six years. His background: music. He was a band leader and also taught the violin. mechanical ? He grew up, so to speak, in a garage: “My father was a mechanic…”

Photo by Josie Desmarais, Press

Carlos Diaz has been a bus driver with STM for six years.

Help with our leg fibers. Just like a superhero who always pulls his cape into his BIXI basket, Carlos Diaz pulls an autonomous car battery into his car, so he can recharge the batteries of motorists in need.

My wife, when she sees a broken down car, often says to me: “Don't look, we have to get where we're going!” She thinks I help people a lot…

Carlos Diaz

But still, Mr. Diaz, you didn't have to go out and help this stranger, Mr. Diaz.I Patenaude, while you were waiting for service to resume on line 135, but you did so without hesitation, in the cold and all…

Why ?

“I'm glad I can help.” It comes to me from my mother, from my father. I'm Latino, and we help each other. We do what our parents showed us, you know…”

I was going to say we need more Carlos Diaz, but I correct myself: Carlos Diaz is everywhere, they are among us, and they do a good job every day. It's just that we never see them in newspapers. Newspapers lack slices of life.

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