It’s that time of year again. The Jewish holiday of Passover is upon us. Jews around the world retell the story of the Exodus from Egypt and forgo bread to eat matzah for a week. Here in the UK, it helps that it is also the Easter holidays. So time to recline, relax and write the next instalment of A Transport Take on the Exodus.
We left the Hebrew chariot chauffeurs, cart train drivers, Nile ferry men and sedan chair carriers escaping across the Sea of Reeds: https://hdbudnitz.wordpress.com/2014/04/22/a-transport-take-on-the-exodus-2/
Moses soon led them to the foot of Mount Sinai, but the Hebrew Transport Workers’ Union were puzzled. It was a barren mountainside. There were no customers here. There weren’t even any decent roads, never mind a river or body of water into which the heavily-burdened cart trains could unload the little ferries. Moses had told them of a promised land, where customers were courteous and tipped well.
“This is the Lord’s mountain, where the Eternal will give me a map by which to lead you to your destination,” Moses reassured the Hebrews. “However, God will also give you The Ten Transport Services Commandments.”
“What are they?” the Hebrews cried, but Moses had disappeared up the mountain. He came back carrying three tablets of stone.
On the back of one, they could see the beginning of two words: Go- and Ma-. That was clearly the map, as God provides the best mapping service and directions to everywhere. Moses read the inscriptions on the other two tablets aloud:
- Thou shalt help people or their goods get where they want to go.
- Thou shalt make thy services easily available and affordable.
- Thou shalt respect the customer’s choice of which service to use.
- Thou shalt integrate thy services to create a seamless journey for the customer.
- Thou shalt serve all customers to the best of thy ability, regardless of tribe, need or weight.
- Thou shalt avoid conflicts with other travellers and their vehicles.
- Thou shalt not discomfort a customer or judge their choice of destination.
- Thou shalt not attract customers by false promises.
- Thou shalt not carry customers in thy vehicles if those vehicles are not safely maintained.
- Thou shalt not overturn or undermine the ability of thy neighbours to also transport people and goods.
“What is this?” cried the Hebrews. “Are we being told to do or not do that which only a short time ago enabled us to visit the Ten Transport Plagues on the Egyptians, as instructed by Moses and God in order to free ourselves from the Pharaoh’s exploitative employment practices?”
“With freedom comes responsibility,” said Moses. “You must make transport a respectable and professional occupation or you are sullying the reputation of He who freed you. You must cooperate with each other and win the trust of the customer.”
It was too much. There was an episode of mass road rage and the tablets upon which the Commandments were written were broken. Unfortunately, so was the map. The Hebrews now had to find their way to the promised land without an accurate journey planner, as Moses refused to act as guide. Deserts are notoriously deserted places with few landmarks, so it would not be easy. Forty years might have been a bit much, but it was fall to a future generation to follow the Commandments as a guiding light to offering a reliable transport service unto the nations of the world.