Wednesday, February 16, 2011

They May Not Remember What You Said....

Kim's back!

Tonight I was out and about doing the things that Realtors do in the evening. And as is often the case, I was worked up from work, not quite ready to go home and wind it down,  and was deciding whether I needed to do any errands first. There was nothing, but I was craving chocolate, so I decided to pop into Shoppers Drug Mart. I walked in and there was Kim!

Kim  has been a cosmetician for quite a long time. I really like her because she know her stuff: she understands what products I need, has a knack for choosing the cosmetics that complement my complexion, and makes the process of dropping a hundred bucks or more even seem fun! But three months ago Kim got a promotion and left Bradford to manage her own cosmetics department in Toronto. Shopping for beauty products just hasn't been the same. In fact, I had even started looking for other places to shop - there just wasn't anyone who knew my needs like Kim did.

So I went in to get my chocolate bar. "Oh my god Tina you look fabulous!" I looked up and there was Kim behind the cosmetics counter. I ran right over and she came out from behind the glass divider and a spontaneous hug as we squealed like old friends who have not seen each other forever.

We hung around and caught up, chatting about her experiences in Toronto, comparing notes about the holidays, talking about real estate, and the familiarity of it felt good.

Suddenly  I asked about a product I had been meaning to check out but had put off because I really didn't have anyone  who inspired me to feel confident about making the purchase.

Then Kim did what Kim does best. "Tina, remember you said you really liked....... well you should see this......." It went on like this and the next thing I realized I had spent 90 minutes in the cosmetics department and still had no chocolate bar to show for it. My purchases (plural) were lined up and ready to be rung in and I made her wait while I ventured to the other side of the store in order to add a chocolate bar to the pile.

90 minutes and (bleep) dollars later (censored) I left the store feeling really upbeat. I just topped off a good evening with a fun time!

Aha! There was a lesson in it for me too. They may not remember what you said, but they'll never forget how you made them feel. I've heard that many times but tonight I experienced it firsthand.

And I realized that as good as I am at my job, I can do better in different ways, especially as I seek to build relationships rather than completing transactions. Kim, through excellent service and by demonstrating genuine caring that made me feel like I am important to her, has made herself indispensable, even if only in a very small corner of my world. Imagine becoming indispensable  to every person who has ever bought or sold with me. I would never have to look for clients again!

I think lessons present themselves to us in ways we could never imagine. Acquiring the discernment to recognize them makes me a better person on so many levels.  Lipstick and a life lesson.  Very cool.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Giving Back

Politician bashing is a bit of a sport in our Country, manifesting itself in many ways.  Rick Mercer has mastered the art! And of course while anyone who puts themselves 'out there', making their lives a matter of public record may be targets and/or subjects of scrutiny, it seems to be the Politicians who are most subjected to criticism and ridicule. I mean, athletes and entertainers behave badly and we hero-worship them - go figure. A Politician has a temper tantrum in an airport and we all shake our heads disapprovingly. We expect more from them and we cut them little slack. Rightly so... to a point.

I know; I've done it! I'll probably continue to do it in a partisan fashion that would make our Prime Minister proud were it not for the fact that he and his party will most often be the targets of my biting rants. (I'd like to say sorry, Helena, but you were such a target rich environment!)

But there's a flip side here - an important one!

Inasmuch as we love to hate our Politicians, I believe we need to consider that these men and women often put a lot on the line to serve Canada. Many of us take for granted the freedoms we enjoy because of our democracy, which would not exist  without people stepping up and running for office.

Jim Prentice recently left public service to take a top banking job - good for him. I'm not a fan of him or his government, but I do recognize that 10 years of an MP's salary is a lot less than he could have been earning  all this time in the private sector.

We do owe a debt of gratitude to men and women of all political stripes who choose to serve in this way!

It is with this sentiment that I'm proud to throw my support behind Kyle Peterson in Newmarket-Aurora as he seeks the Federal nomination in that riding! Kyle is a passionate Liberal, an articulate communicator, and will make a fine MP. A lawyer, Kyle grew up in the area and is married with one young child. That he is willing to dedicate himself in this way at the prime of his career and earning power is admirable, for sure.

To all Liberal minded folks in the Riding, please sign up HERE for your Membership so we can confirm Kyle's nomination and be ready for the next election!

And to all the others who serve (yes, even you Mr. Harper), Thank you!