Occasionally, you meet someone who is just so cool that they make up for 10 or so other people who… aren’t so cool. A few weeks ago I went to a UPS store to pick up some packages. The guy behind the counter was very professional and at the same time very personable. He genuinely cared about helping every person in the store. He asked people their names and used them. He stood out from the crowd.
About a week later, I returned to this store and was surprised to be greeted by name as I walked in. I would’ve been impressed if he had remembered meeting me at all, but to remember my name was quite amazing. His name is Steve and he is a younger Latin looking guy. He is the manager of that UPS store which makes sense, but interacting with him, you feel like you are interacting with the CEO of a large corporation.
Many managers act like victims of the corporate policies. They are bogged down in rules and their hands are tied when it comes to helping you with anything a little different. Steve is all about going out of his way to make you feel like your concerns are his concerns.
The next time I went there was fairly early in the morning. I figured he wouldn’t be there because he had always been there around closing time when I had gone before. Yet there he was – as professional as ever. He greeted me and helped me with what I needed. I then asked him if he worked from open till close. He smiled and said he did. “From sun up to sun down”. Then he said something that I will never forget. He said, “It is a gift” and that he might as well use the gift as much as he can.
I could tell that he was completely sincere. He truly saw his work (a four letter word to some people) as a gift. And this enabled him to treat it as much more than just “a job”. Many people don’t have jobs and yet those of us who do are often found griping about one aspect of it or another. It is easy to do.
I walked out of there thinking if anyone should view their job as a gift I should. My wife has previously written about the miraculous experiences that got me this job. A day or two previous to this experience someone had called me “the luckiest man in the world”.
My job is a gift. God reached into – not only my life, but many people’s lives, and made this work for me. One of my big fears is that I will forget – I will forget the blessing that it is to have work and be able to provide for my family. I fear that I will start complaining about little things and about the people I work with. I fear that I will forget God’s mercy toward me and become like so many other people who hate themselves because they hate their job.
I am grateful for the example of Steve the UPS store manager who taught me, “It is a gift”.