My last essay mused on (mostly internet-based) business relationships in terms of paying bills, making “profile” changes online, and the vagaries of the world of technologically delivered “customer service.” Here, I’ll keep it more brief and deal with new/anticipated personal and business relationships in a small town. These relationships include, but are obviously not limited to, these:
- mechanics at an auto shop where I was pleased to find that the manager knows my new boss’s boss
- clerks at stores near where my wife will be working
- the guy who operates the trash collection truck
- a few men who gather early on Tuesday mornings to listen to video-based study of Paul’s letter to the Romans
- workers at the country treasurer’s office where vehicles are registered
- people in my neighborhood
- yes, the neighbors across the back yard whose volume kept me from sleeping the second half of the night last night
- staff at a nice Mexican restaurant called Maria’s
The private party from whom we bought a used pickup truck is someone who deserves to be treated with respect. Nor does it escape me that the people from whom we did not buy vehicles also deserve courtesy and communication. (As I was drafting this, I realized I owed one more person some communication, not only feeling that it was the courteous thing to do, but also because he had mentioned appreciating our having followed through, keeping two appointments, unlike other “flaky” people. I did text him before posting this.)
I did what I thought was a nice thing yesterday morning (and am not mentioning it here to pat myself on the back, but to encourage similar activities in you and me in the future). I waited outside with our city-owned, rolling trash dumpster as the truck came to our tricky street, wanting to find out where I could place the dumpster each week so the driver had the easiest time reaching it with the truck’s robotic arm. (It’s a very tight cul-de-sac, and I had seen him struggle last week, because of other parked cars and the narrow space available.) I think the driver appreciated my gesture. I am after good relationships.
My desire is to be a person that others appreciate for keeping his word, dealing in above-board ways, treating people with consideration, and doing little things that encourage others. Once in a while, I write an appreciation¹ letter to some company with which I’ve dealt by phone or WWW or e-mail. This kind of thing seems more significant, though, in local, face-to-face relationships.
In my town, I want to live the golden rule and brighten a few corners.
B. Casey, 8/20/16
¹ I also write “fussy” letters that object to company mistakes, bad policies, and the like, but that is beside the point here.