the kindness of co-workers

I work in outside sales. I love that I don’t go into an office everyday. On occasion, I miss the Monday morning catch-up or the water-cooler conversation. For the most part I don’t miss that day-to-day interaction with co-workers. It’s just never been that important to me. I much prefer the randomness of my days and getting to converse with a variety of people. The downside to all of this is you never quite develop great relationships with your co-workers. Sure I see them on occasion; we work together on a semi-regular basis. But, it’s rare that I have the feeling that a co-worker’s “got my back.” Recently this all changed.

Earlier this year I was working with a potential client. Things were going along as expected–there were a few bumps and set-backs but everything was progressing smoothly. Then, without notice, they seemed to fall of the face of the earth. I couldn’t get a response via phone or email, my co-worker experienced the exact same thing. I just chalked it up to a lost client. Not something I like, but something that happens in sales.

Then just as suddenly this client was back calling and emailing. However, this time they were irate. Why wasn’t anybody calling them back? Where was their contract? What had happened? I started the process again and thought things were moving along. Until the day I received that awful email! I have never been spoken to via email or in person the way this client spoke to me. There was nasty language (stuff that would make a sailor blush!), inaccurate accusations and phrases that weren’t meant to be nothing more than hurtful and rude. I was shocked and decided then I was through with this customer. Fortunately, my co-worker felt the same way and so we were through.

Boy was I wrong! Here we are 3 months later. That client has now signed a contract (for which I will get all the benefit) and has started using my product. The thing is, I haven’t spoken to this customer since June when that nasty email was sent. As it turns out, this client contacted my co-worker a few weeks ago. This kind gentleman took over the contract negotiations and closing of the deal (knowing he wouldn’t make a penny off of it) so I wouldn’t have to work with this client again. His actions almost brought me to tears when I heard. Not only did he negotiate the contract. I also learned that upon visiting this client again he informed them their actions and word were inappropriate, they had no right to speak to me that way and if they ever felt the need to use that kind of language they could speak to him directly. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a pretty tough girl who can take care of herself. But to have someone defend me that way was unexpected and truly appreciated.

I don’t think I’ve ever had a co-worker (even ones that I’ve had a great relationship with and saw everyday) treat me so well. This guy is a gem! If he treats me this way, I can only imagine how he treats his wife. How do you express gratitude for such kind actions? I did send him & his wife a gift certificate to one of my favorite restaurants with a kind note. But, it just doesn’t seem like enough. To be honest, I’m not sure I could ever repay this small act of kindness. I only hope that some day I’m able to pass along this same type of kindness to someone else.

grateful

Last night we celebrated Brookie’s 9th birthday (can’t believe that beautiful munchkin is getting so old!) Brookie is my brother Justin’s oldest daughter (and I promise there will be more about the birthday at a later date). I’ve always been close with Justin. Maybe its the fact that he’s only a couple of years younger than me. Maybe its the fact that he dropped out of high school (true story) to attend BYU a year early. Maybe its the fact that I lived with him and his wife back when they had only 3 kids and number 4 was on the way. Maybe its the fact that I’m their built in babysitter (seriously, you have no idea how much I LOVE those munchkins!!) Maybe its the fact that I see him almost everyday since I use space in the real estate office to run my own business. Regardless of why, I’ve always shared a special bond with my brother!

Last night after Brookie has finished opening all of her gifts from family, my brother mentions that they have one more belated gift. At which point, he hands me an envelope obviously containing a card. He apologizes for the lateness of this (my birthday was back in January), but better late than never. Inside was an unbelievably sweet note wishing me belated birthday wishes and thanking me for all I do for them:

Better late than never!
We hope you know how much we appreciate your willingness 
to always watch our kids and to be a super aunt.
Our kids love you so much.
We are lucky to have you in our lives!

Included with this card was a gift card (of FAR more value than I deserve from them) to one of my favorite stores – Banana Republic. I am truly overwhelmed by their generosity. I don’t think they realize how lucky I am to have them in my life. And, how lucky I am to have such wonderful nieces and nephews who are willing to hang out with me and show me such unconditional love!
I was almost brought to tears last night and am brought to tears as I write this today. (I really am girlie and not just a guy). The sweet, kind note was more than enough from this wonderful family (but I am looking forward to spending that gift card!) These little acts of kindness remind me of how truly blessed I am in my life. My life would be very sad without these sweet munchkins and their wonderful parents (and I mean ALL of them, not just my brother Justin and family!)