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!


19 comments:

Mary said...

Dawn,

My friend, JoAnn, gave me The Christmas List for my birthday but I haven't read it yet. I do love the stories of Richard Paul Evans and you can hook up with him on Facebook. I'm looking forward to reading the story but think I'll wait until a little closer to Christmas.

Your husband's company is one that you should brag about. They are doing what all companies should do...sharing the talents and skills of their workers within the community. The company that is replacing the coat is fabulous. You don't find many like that these days.

The photo of you and your brother is a treasured memory. I love the crowns your Dad made for both of you.

I did enjoy the writer's meeting tonight and am glad you are enjoying the chorale practices. Enjoy!!!

Blessings,
Mary

Needled Mom said...

Isn't it nice to find such loyal companies? The good guys will survive in this economy.

I am going to have to pick up The Christmas List. The suspense is killing me.

Your Halloween in Arkansas sounds like it was filled with good memories. I wonder if the school still has the same traditions. I can certainly see where the girls get their looks. It is a darling picture. Your parents did such a great job on your outfits.

Hootin' Anni said...

Oh my goodness Dawn, this is one fabulous post. I so wish you could share it with the blog world! Wow...I don't know where to begin. First love the photo of you and your brother...and the crowns. And the smiles!!!!

I remember those bake good sales at our schools also, and how we raised money for some such activity of books or just about anything. It taught us to WORK for something needed.

And the books....I know what you mean about the weather and associating with holidays or some such event in life that makes you want to sit down and read a good book on the subjects.

Fantastic post, once again.


Oh, and the Land's End....I love their products Too!!! And volunteering and on the payroll....amazing!!!

Hope your Tuesday treats you well.

Nadine said...

Great picture of you and your brother. Love the dress.

Those are good companies. I've never heard of a clothing company to guarantee a zipper after 15 years. That's just incredible.

PEA said...

Hi Dawn:-)

It's good to be back into the world of blogging after a few days away! How wonderful that DC was able to order a brand new coat to replace the one the zipper had broken on...that's the type of business you don't mind dealing with:-)

As for DC's company he works for, it certainly does warm the heart to know that they care about their employees and will do anything to help them. These days too many companies just know you as a number.

I won The Perfect Christmas book in a giveaway and I just received it today so I'm quite looking forward to reading it. I will have to look for The Christmas List one, sounds so interesting as well.

I so enjoyed reading your memory of a past Halloween and I love the picture of you and your brother with your crowns:-)

Hope all is well over your way. Been snowing and raining here so I've been pretty much staying inside. Need to catch up on my bloggy visits anyway:-) xoxo

grammy said...

Love the memories. Cute picture too.
So was the Paul Evans book a new one?
I always think I want to read Debbie M's books, but always wonder if it is a continuing story that you need to start at the beginning...let me know (o:

Sammy said...

Well, that photo just made my day! I love it!

DC's company sounds really wonderful. You've written about them before and I've thought that they really go above and beyond. If only more companies took these kinds of risks. I have no doubt that the rewards are great.

There's nothing better than enjoying a great book. I love getting into bed after a long day and reading for a long time before I go to sleep.

I hope you're having a great week, Dawn!

Anonymous said...

Dawn,


Thanks for telling us about Lands End. I'm still wearing a coat that's so old, Don't remember when I got it, but it fits so comfy I
just don't want to break in a new one. But if I do, will check with Land's End.

How nice that there's still store clerks who care enough, and take the time to help you, as that one did.

Judith said...

Hello again, Dawn,

I must have made a mistake here, but to clarify, "Anonymous is me, Judith.

A Hint of Home said...

That was great of Lands End. I didn't know they had that policy. Your husband works for a very kind hearted company. What a great idea they have instituted.
Loved your picture.
Was your Dad a pastor?

Susie said...

Don't faint! I am leaving a comment. I just popped in to say hi :) We love Land's End, C buys all the boys school uniform shirts from them and they last like crazy.
What a great company your hubby works for. It's heartwarming to read in such tough economic times.
You and your brother make such a cute king and queen. No wonder you have such fond memories of that special Halloween!
xo

Becky said...

My hubby was such a cute little boy. I love that picture of him.

Robin said...

They replaced the coat after 15 years? That is simply amazing. I have never shopped there before because they always seemed so expensive. I can see that it would be worth it though. That is really impressive.
I love your picture of you and your brother! How sweet!

Grammy and Olivia said...

Good post...and I think Lands End has the best customer service you can find anywhere.

Sharon Lynne said...

A priceless picture. Your dress is so cute, and your brother...in his bow tie. The crowns are great!

Have you gone on your trip yet?. (to see blog friends and Kevin?)

I've been out of touch for a week due to a lot of stuff going on.

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