Rugs, Jazz, Frying Pans and Onions
January 22, 2011
Oh and more than a little paperwork and a dog and pony show of less than epic proportions.
I’ve been thinking about this idea for over a week and I’ve now voiced it to a few people with very positive results.
It started last Saturday when I finally got around to ordering my new rug to be made from specially ordered carpet. I bought it from Dick’s Carpet One on Ashby and San Pablo. My salesperson’s name is Susan and she made me feel so comfortable in my decisions. She wouldn’t let me order anything until I took the sample card home and looked at it in the light of my apartment. She made me double-check my measurements. We chatted, we got a good feel for one another, we bonded. It was excellent. She also came up with very price efficient solutions to flooring solutions in my front hall and kitchen. Things I wouldn’t have thought of. She sent me home with samples to really think about it before I make a decision… which I made today so all flooring decisions have been made. Because I created a relationship with this wonderful woman.
While the idea of building relationships was brewing in my head, I meet a man named Spider. I was lost outside the building where I was supposed to be working a hiring session. This wonderful man noticed I was looking for a way in and asked if I was with the hiring group. I was and he said if I waited he could let me in. I was listening to this amazing jazz rendition of Fly Me To The Moon by Oscar Peterson and as we walked up I said in an off-hand manner, “I should probably turn off the jazz now.” And Spider told me you should never turn off the jazz and held up the book he was carrying… a biography of Charlie Parker. He said I should come back and say hi… maybe talk some jazz. Five minutes to make a new friend. It might not be a deep connection but it’s still nice.
Friday I emailed and called back and forth with a lady at work about paperwork and when she did things perfectly I told her it was perfect… so when I was missing things and I detailed what I was looking for she told me she appreciated my clarity. Oh and she got me exactly what I needed. On one of our phone calls I said that it was all apart of building community. Because if we are a community then we have a vested interest in one another. At the end of the day we are all in this together. My day ended with an email from her telling me she was proud to be a part of my community.
On Friday I also went to a dog and pony show that while not impressive did give me the chance to meet and greet with people outside my immediate office. More community building.
Then today I was discussing frying pans at Rocket Restaurant Supply (and may I just say that while I don’t need new pans I kind of want them). This discussion involved the owner of the store and another shopper and myself. We discussed major brands, current trends, origin of manufacturing and a few other things. I will definitely be shopping her more and more. I love people who know their product. But the amazing thing was that as the discussion came to an end the other shopper had a few questions for me. I had mentioned my time at Williams Sonoma and she had a customer service issue. I listened to her store and gave her the best advice I could. Because that’s what community does for one another.
Finally, I was at the Bowl getting groceries and while I was picking out an onion, a gentleman behind me commented that I wanted to make sure that the onion was firm. I nodded and said it was always about finding that hidden smooshy spot and making a decision on whether or not to get the onion. We ended up having a really nice little conversation about learning things and being in the moment and paying attention and community.
So in the end… it all comes back to community. Because while it feels like you might be alone out there… it doesn’t always have to be that way.