When you help others, sometimes you help yourself

At some of my previous employers, they were big on “qualifying” the customer. Somehow you needed to rank how important they were. Rich: important. Lots of computers: important. Big house: big priority. Small House: Small priority. I HATED that, but all industries tend to do that. People who have more money to spend get better service, regardless of whether they actually spend it.

Sigh.

If customers are paying the same amount, don’t they deserve the same level of service? My old boss would actually make the schedule based on more affluent clients going first.

One key decision I made with my business was not to do that. It made me sick and I’d try to find ways around it (“I think this is the brother of a State Senator” or “I think she’s a big shot at the University”)

No matter the size of your bank account, we try to treat all clients like they are our most important. My father always said: “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice” Students in particular tend to get the short end of the stick in the local economy. Businesses figure the don’t have a large amount of money and will move out of town in a few years. Of course, we don’t do that. It’s not something I think about much, it’s simply the right thing.

Recently, my efforts were rewarded in a unique and touching way.

Many people know I’ve been helping my Mom find housing here in Kansas. Ever since my father passed away, she and my sister have had a difficult time in Florida. Navigating the public assistance/senior citizens program has been a nightmare. The people that work at this housing developments are severely overworked and underpaid in this economy and I can’t blame them for being exhausted. That makes this more complex for me requesting assistance.

One place I called had an apartment manager who seemed to go out of her way to help me after I left a message. At one point she asked “This *is* DoctorDave right”. I never identified myself as such, but she noticed it from the caller ID. She then went on to say how helpful I was to her daughter who was a student in town. Honestly, the situation wasn’t that remarkable because it’s just kinda the way we do business. However, the manager was delighted to help the person that helped her daughter.

Nice.

I never expected to be in the position of having to help my Mom find housing nor did I know this student had a Mom who was an apartment manager. When you help people, regardless of what they can do for you personally, you often have nothing to show for it expect satisfaction you did the right time. Occasionally, like in this situation, you get reminded about why you do what you do.

I wonder what some of my old bosses would say about this?

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