Great Expectations

America has become a nation of cynics.

We often go through our days thinking that the worst may happen to us that day and probably will. We worry that everyone is out to screw us over, emotionally, financially, academically, and vocationally.

We roll over, punch the alarm, then roll over and punch the snooze button two more times because we just don’t want to get up and face another day.

We expect the worst, and you know what? With that attitude, that’s often what we get.

Shift gears with me now.

I had a little financial crisis this week. Not earth shattering. Not one that would have kept me from eating. Not one that was going to derail Christmas. One that was just annoying, was (truth be told) my own fault to a large degree, and which might have delayed my anticipated and longed-for mini Christmas shopping vacation to Beaufort, my recharge town.

When this little crisis happened I was, to say the least, extremely annoyed with myself. There was nothing to do but face it head on, talk to some people, try to fix it, and hope for the best.

Reference paragraph number four above. Try as I might, I just knew fixing this problem was going to be a pain in my posterior. I knew it could be fixed, there was no worry about that, but I knew it would not be the way I wanted it done, on my timeline, or as fast as I wanted it to be resolved.

Enter Jessica, a senior level branch employee at the bank.

After I was greeted by a smiling employee who was shepherding each visitor to the bank through the line and to the proper person, I was asked to sit and wait.

Jessica came to retrieve me shortly. She was very warm, welcoming, professional, and she listened attentively to my tale of woe.

Immediately, she jumped on her computer, typed and scanned and clicked and entered and reviewed. She then told me the likely scenarios for solving my problem, the possible timelines for each, and how she might circumvent delays and speed up the resolution to my satisfaction.

This impressed me.

A big bank, wanting to solve a problem with my best interest at heart (pun entirely intentional). Unheard of, right?

A few more clicks, a signature or two, a couple of trips back and forth from her office to the front, and I had a very large cashiers check in my hand.

Jessica smiled.

I smiled.

We shook hands.

I had ordered a Christmas flower arrangement for her, to be delivered to her office by the end of the day, before I made it back to my office.

Sometimes, someone surprises you with exceptional customer service. Sometimes, you know that they have listened to you, that they really know what you need to get from your interaction with them. Sometimes, they do everything they can to make that happen. To delight you. To make you smile.

I wanted very much to make sure that Jessica knew that she went above and beyond in meeting my expectations, solving my problem, and making the rest of my week much more pleasant than it might have been.

How can we surprise and delight someone today?

How can we go above and beyond in solving a problem?

How can we make a difference in someone else’s life?

Have an excellent day, dear readers, and make someone smile.

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