There has been this theme running through my days over the last few weeks... It has to do with noticing and thinking about how much value is added by the worker-bee type people who provide the products and services we buy. For example, when I take my redeemables to this particular redemption center, my spirits are always buoyed by the people who work there--pleasant, funny, hardworking people who make it a good experience rather than drudgery to deal with all those bottles. During my routine eye exam last week, my opthalmologist and I got going on a mutual rant about organizations that value their bricks and mortar more than they demonstrate how much they value the people who work in their buildings, provide the services, and give those organizations their positive reputations.
My regular readers will remember an earlier post in which I was bemoaning the loss of "my lumber guy" who moved to Florida. He always made my trips to the store pleasant, quick, and productive. Since then, I have been to the store five times. I have dealt with at least half a dozen different people, and I have spent hours there on multiple occasions. Exhausting hours--like I-need-a-nap-to-recover kind of exhausting. [A little off topic, but equally annoying: To top things off, I ended up with a flat tire after driving, as directed, through the back customer-service lot to pick up an order. I had to buy a brand new tire to replace one that had less than 3,000 miles on it.] Don't get me wrong; everyone I have dealt with at the store has been pleasant enough. But I have also encountered a lot of inexperience, and skepticism, and some pass-the-buck behavior. There is a very nice young man who has helped me some, but he is brand new to the store. It will take years for the new trainees to reach the level of experience and performance that Tim demonstrated with ease every day. I have no idea how this company treats its employees. For all I know, it may be an exceptional employer that demonstrates appreciation for its employees in many meaningful and ongoing ways. I do hope that Tim heard each and every day he worked there that he was valued and appreciated.