About 10 years ago, I was a customer service representative for a company that built convey lines and silos for various manufacturing companies. One of our clients was a company that made cookies. Not just any cookies–cookies with a marshmallow on top and covered in dark chocolate. So delicious!
This company had an issue with their convey line and needed a part. It was a small part, but without it, their line was down and they wouldn’t be able to meet their deadline. I talked with the company’s manager, who said that if I could get that part to him by the next day, he would send me some of these wonderful cookies.
So, I pulled every string I had to get him the part. I didn’t do it because I wanted the cookies (not that I didn’t want them, but that wasn’t the reason I worked so hard to get him that part). I did it because it was my job to make sure the customers got what they needed–I was a customer service rep, after all–and the manager was kind, explained his needs, and helped me understand exactly what the consequences would be for his company and the employees if the part wasn’t received.
The part arrived in time and they were back in business. I forgot about the promise of cookies. I was happy that the client got what they needed and there were other clients waiting for their own parts.
About a week later, I received a box. The box wasn’t small at all and there wasn’t just one box of cookies. It was a case of cookies! I immediately called him to thank him for making good on what he said. He told me that I was the one to be thanked and that I should be sure to wait a little while before I ate any of the cookies, because they were so fresh off of the line that the chocolate needed to bloom to make them taste better. He was right and those cookies were wonderful!
How did all of this change my perspective? It helped me realize that…
- My job wasn’t as insignificant as I once thought. That one small part he needed made a big difference in the manager’s life, the lives of his employees, and the lives of all the people who love those cookies! Every little thing we do reaches places we would never suspect.
- His kindness reminded me that there are people in this world that care just as much about their job as I do…those that would go to any lengths to get things done, without getting angry, yelling, or threatening.
- Simply knowing that the line was working again made me proud. Those cookies were definitely a bonus.
- We should remember that we are in this together and no matter how tough or impossible something seems, as long as we have each other, we can make it work.
- My Granny’s wisdom was as true then as it is now: If you really put your mind to it, anything is possible!
Since then, I have had many experiences that have reinforced my realizations, and I foresee many more.