As I walked into the seminar, I remember thinking, “Here is another guy who wrote a book, and will droll on and on, then ultimately try to sell me a copy of his book. Little did I know that, not only would I go on to buy his book for me, and copies for lots of other people in my life, but he would provide me a great perspective for appreciating extraordinary people I run across in my life.
His name is Mark Sanborn, and the book is called “The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary.” I won’t spoil the book for you, but briefly, the book is about Mark’s mailman, Fred. It goes into the amazing, and almost unbelievable lengths Fred goes to in order to serve the people on his mail route. Later in the book, Mark goes on to label people that he runs into that go above and beyond as “Freds,” and enjoys describing “Fred Sightings.”
I am very fortunate to be able to work in a place that has several “Freds.” Our delivery men are simply amazing. I won’t go on and on, but here are a few examples of our Drivers becoming “Freds”:
- When I met with my biggest customer recently, she went on and on about her (our) delivery person, and how he doesn’t just drop stuff off, but takes everything to where we need it, knows everyone’s name, goes out of his way to remember things in their lives, and then, maybe most importantly, knows we have work to do, so he knows not to stay and take too much time. She confided that after he leaves, they talk about how important he is to them and they wonder out loud what he is like after work, and if everyone appreciates him as they do.
- I got to assist another one of our drivers as he installed a whole office full of furniture. He planned loading the pieces, had a strategy for unloading that would be efficient, and not put any risk of damage. As we approached the finish of the job, he found a piece that didn’t fit exactly. I was not able to see the flaw, but he crawled under the desk, made the adjustment and proudly stated the even if the customer might not notice, he would know it wasn’t as good as he could do.
- When I’m in the warehouse in the morning, I see them work together, strategize, volunteer to help each other, and take special care of the products they will hand over to our customer, and fret over small details to make sure “that” customer gets their best!
- One customer approached me and asked if I thought her (our) driver might be interested in going out with her daughter.
Our owner has done a great job of assembling the people that run Office Products Alliance, and he has always stressed that everyone is on the same team. There is no better example of that than the “Freds” that deliver your products to you!
So, do yourself a favor, please take a minute to notice and appreciate the next “Fred Sighting” that you run across. I’m confident that you’ll find one the next time you order supplies from us!