We drink a lot of water here at TFG. I mean a LOT. Those commercials where they point out that the amount of water bottles consumed in one year could circle the planet? We’re the stretch from Virginia to Austria. (Don’t worry, we recycle.)
Now, anyone who delivers all our H2O is going to get a workout, but our delivery guy – Michael – goes above and beyond. Not only does he haul in our myriad boxes of water, but he opens every (annoyingly glued shut) cardboard carton, removes each 20 pound jug, and places it inside the cabinets located closest to the floor. I point this out because it means he has to get on his knees in order to do this. Repeatedly. And what doesn’t fit in the cabinets, he hoists above his head to store on top of our refrigerator. And what doesn’t fit on the refrigerator, he tucks in a neat pile in the tightly packed corner of our workroom. He does all of this without having to ask where it goes…he was shown once, and each month, he walks in with a big smile, a happy greeting, and goes straight to the task. Out of the dozens and dozens of customers he must have on his route, he still “knows” us. Amazing.
Just to be clear, we at TFG are not lazy, pampered “suits.” Each person in this office is willing to do, and has done, whatever needs to be done…even if it causes runs in our pantyhose or scuffs on our shoes. We are service-oriented people, and we are proud of it – so when someone does it just as good or better, we sit up and take notice. We are never beyond a teaching moment.
I assure Michael that he does not have to unpack our order. He just grins back, “It’s no problem, happy to do it,” and I believe him. He uses his finger as if it were an ice pick to deftly stab through the thick plastic that covers the 24 pack of bottles, and he chuckles, “My kids love it when I do this…they think it’s funny.”
His comment makes me wonder…if this is how he treats a customer that he sees just once a month, how does he treat his family and friends? I’m sure it’s nice for him to know that the normal, everyday things that he does can make his kids laugh. It must be a heck of a thing when he actually puts some effort into it.
Once finished, Michael grabs his hand-truck and is poised to leave, but then pauses to ask, “Is there anything else I can do for you?” My jaw drops. “Haven’t you done enough?” I say, hoping it sounds as genuine as it feels. Again he responds, “It’s not a problem, really. I don’t mind.”
I take a leap and gush: “It may seem like nothing to you, but I want you to know that what you did is huge for me…getting on your knees to unpack our water means more than you can ever know to a girl in a dress and nice shoes.” He laughs as he carefully navigates his dolly past our wooden door, and is gone.
Now, I thought we were great at service, but Michael…well, he’s really great. He inspires me to step up my game. What little things can we do better here? What detail has been left out? Is there anything in my normal daily routine that brings joy to others? If not, why not? How can I make a difference to another person in “a dress and nice shoes?” Right now, I don’t quite know, but there is one thing I do know: to borrow an old 90s catchphrase – I wanna be like Mike.
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