Monday, October 26, 2009
Kudos. . . and Other Things
Remember when I bragged on Fed-Ex awhile back, when they went out of their way to give me good service? I have two more companies to brag on.
DC has had a jacket he ordered from Lands End approximately 15 years ago. Recently the zipper broke. Not long ago I discovered that Lands End now has a retail outlet inside the Sears store in a mall near us. We headed up there the other day to see if they perhaps had this jacket in stock. There was a good sale going on, but this jacket was not there. He picked out two others, only to find when we went to pay for them, that only one of them was on sale. He asked the clerk about the other jacket he had really wanted. I mentioned that the only problem with the jacket was the zipper. She told us something amazing - their clothes are guaranteed - and no matter that the jacket was 15 years old, had served him well for all those years, was a bit frayed around the cuffs, and the zipper was broken, it was totally covered. All he had to do was go to the catalog desk, put in an order, and a brand new coat of the same style would be sent to our house. It arrived today. That is what a call a good company!
I've shared recently about DC's employer, Walker Manufacturing. They've been in business for over 25 years. They take their employees' welfare very seriously. When sales went down 35% over the last few months, it was impossible to continue producing at the normal rate. They have had two lay-offs and two furloughs in the last few months. It has been very hard on them, as well as those who work for them. We feel very blessed that DC wasn't laid off, but was allowed to go to part-time and continue working.
Today the company made the news. A crew was out there last Friday covering a very heart warming story. Rather than have a third layoff, they are sending some of the guys out into the community for volunteer work, while they are being paid by the company. There is a tremendous amount of good will being created, as well as keeping the guys busy and making them feel good about themselves on top of it all. Our friend, the CEO, says it has been such a positive experience for everyone that they'll seriously consider continuing the program once things pick up again (which hopefully they will!)
Today I read a Christmas book - it must be the combination of colder weather and practicing all of that awesome Christmas music for the community chorale. I put this book by Richard Paul Evans on hold at the library awhile ago, and it already came in. I also have Debbie Macomber's annual Christmas book, The Perfect Christmas, and will read it soon.
The Christmas List was a very moving book. James Kier, the main character, had the unusual opportunity to read a premature obituary about himself - and also comments that were made about him after the obituary appeared on line. That's all I'm going to tell you, except that it changed his life. It took only a couple of hours to read, and it is well worth your time. Here is one of my favorite paragraphs:
"The true meaning of Christmas? God's grace. And the understanding that we cannot earn grace any more than we can bargain for love. By its very nature, grace must be unearned and freely given, without cost, constraint, or commandment. The best we can do is to open our hearts to receive it wholly, with all our strength, desire, and intent, that we might become children of the Gift."
I have only one very good memory of Halloween, and that was way back in the 5th grade in Heber Springs, Arkansas. It was a big deal in this little school. Every year, the week of Halloween, everyone brought home made goodies to school to sell at recess and lunch time. I don't know what the money was used for, or how much sugar we all consumed that week, but it was a contest between the grades and it was lots of fun.
Each class elected a king and queen candidate for the big celebration at the end of the week. I don't remember much about it, but I think each class had performances of some sort. The class which sold the most goodies and made the most money had their candidates crowned king and queen. At least, I think that's the way it went.
I guess I must have been pretty popular in those days, because I was the 5th grade queen candidate. My brother was the third grade's king candidate. My sister, who was in 4th grade, wasn't elected in her class and was a very unhappy witch at the celebration. We have a picture of her, but I think it's on a slide, so I can't share that one.
Mom made me a beautiful red satin dress - I was so very proud of that dress. Dad made our crowns. It became a real family affair.
Two months after this event, Dad took a church in northern Minnesota and we left Arkansas. I have very fond memories of those days in that little school in Heber Springs, Arkansas.
Have a fabulous week!