9.2.10

Day 302. The Pizza One.

Ok, as many in the midwest and east coast areas know, we're receiving what is between our 2nd to third FOOT of snow today and tomorrow. All anyone wants to do is stay home and be safe. On my way home from errands this evening what did I see but the Domino's delivery man chugging along in his car through the slush and salt ahead of me. I get to go home, he doesn't. I get to stop worrying about the roads, he doesn't. I get to chose to not drive my car, he doesn't. And yeah, I know, he chose this job and yeah, I know its not rocket science. But it is brave in its own little way and I doubt he's getting any extra financial incentive from good ol' Dominos to put himself and his car at risk tonight. I'm home now, burrowed in with pup and hubby for a warm evening, but I'm thinking of all the people who are delivering stuff to people like me all over tonight, and I am sending them my appreciation.

Day 301. The Somber One.

Unfortunately, I had to spend time at a funeral home recently. Strangely, its a specific funeral home that I've had to be at more than a few times throughout my life. I'm not a big fan of these things - or at least when they are put on in the traditional sense. They are stressful, not often fostering of true grieving, and stifling in their stiffness. Whenever Stephen and I are going to, or coming from, a funeral, we have the same conversations about how we want OUR passing to be marked (or not - please people, I'll be gone, go have a party or something) and then we laugh about the stereotypes of every funeral and funeral home we've been to. Perhaps we do this to brace ourselves with humor before heading into these things, who knows, but we've picked apart the tacky carpet and wallpaper, lack of food (and drink!) and so many other things well before we arrive.

Anyway, this recent visit had me positioned in a place where I was directly observing the funeral home employee who was there to work the funeral we were there for (not a fan of open caskets, people, the hall was much easier to handle). And, instead of jumping to my snarky remarks I watched this gentleman. When you really look at this work - its got to be a grind. You have to handle people (and their emotions!) during one of the worst times in their life. Its not exactly a barrel of laughs, you have to dress up, witness pain, grief and unfortunately sometimes fighting. You're stuck on your feet the whole time trying to fulfill people's needs when what they really need isn't something you can bring them, oh and you have to polite and respectful all the time - and appear kind, but not too jovial, supportive but not condescending, available but not obvious. That is One. Tall. Order. (and when its snowing you have to worry about the door that won't close, all that snow, salt and ice and the many, many coats.)

I have a new respect for those in this line of work. Like those who work in some specific fields of health care and other area of support, these people are special. They have a gift for caring, selflessness, and tradition. They see us at our most raw, brutal and hurt and they face it, accept it, and move on. They have to be attentive and supportive but yet they can't care too much - otherwise i think the burden would be crushing.

Never noticed these folks during a service or visiting hours, and yet never looked for anything? Well then they've done their job. Thank you to those who do their best to allow us to grieve, heal and reunite. I don't know that I could do your job every day - particularly because of that dang wallpaper.

4.2.10

Day 300. The Doing Their Jobs One.

A few days ago, Stephen and I were fortunate enough to visit our friends in Cincinnati to watch the season premiere of LOST. Obviously, this required a trip down the infamous 1-71 S. Stephen and my life has been marked by lots of travel on interstates and thus lots of looking out for cops/ state patrolmen etc. Its always been a personal frustration when you see a cop pulling someone over for speeding only to see multiple cars with flat tires/ broken engines just a few miles further down the road with no attention.

So, it is to the nameless Ohio State Patrol Men that were on I-71S between Columbus and Cincinnati to whom I tip my hat this evening. We never saw a single car pulled over for speeding, what we did was multiple people with flats being helped, people who needed other roadside assistance getting attention.

While 100% wrong, I felt like it had been a long time since I'd seen a police officer doing what I believe I should be paying them to do. So seeing this example this past week was a refreshing change.

To those who continue to serve, and take care of the people in there service areas/ counties/ states I salute what you do to take care of us during our travels and I offer that I will give a bit more consideration that part of that is monitoring our speed and accepting that sometimes we think poorly of you when you're ticketing us ;)

2.2.10

Day 299. The Shockingly Nice One.

Well, this must be the seventh sign, I am about to highlight someone who works at AT&T. Let me be very VERY clear, this is about the person - not the company ;) In fact, if AT&T cared, this post is a direct plea to them to get more people on board like the lovely, smart, Debbie Reynolds. [And yes, that is her real name - I asked her]

Long story short, AT&T screwed up our bill...again. You'd think after 3 years of service they'd have it figured out, but I digress. So, I was calling to get things fixed, again. I was dreading the call between the layers and layers of call routing I anticipated and the inept customer service that I have always gotten. But, I was lucky to be wrong! Debbie was kind, patient, listened and understood my problem, and was appropriately empathetic (not that scripted "I'm sorry to hear that, Mrs. L. crap).

Debbie handled my issue in a timely, professional way. Halfway through the call I realized I was actually enjoying it and feeling like my issue was being resolved. And then, the true kicker, calm as day, Debbie says "oh, and Happy Birthday! I see you just had a birthday!" Coming from years of dealing with people who you have to repeat your phone number to after every transfer and every level of analysis that this woman actually looked into the record deep enough to see that my birthday was yesterday and then thought to say something? Amazing. Nice. Kind. Above and beyond the call of duty.

AT&T already has an official "feedback" from me about the best employee of theirs that i have ever met but now the world (who probably cares more!) knows too!

Debbie - you rock.