I called the wife of one of our customers who recently had passed away to make an appointment to pick his equipment. “Hey Joe” she said in response to my normal “This is such and such with such and such.” We set a time for me to come out and we ended the call. Now for the record my name is not Joe.
I should interject here that one of my pet peeves is someone getting my name wrong on the job. It is one of the many pet peeves I posses. I have a whole zoo full of them, though some are domesticated most run wild, but this one is truly job specific. Why? Because it is my responsibility to handle the job given me. When I set out to fulfill that job I want you know who to ask for if there is an issues or request needing to be handled. I do not want someone to call in and say ” I am not sure who I talked to” or ” I talked to Bob and he said to call” and the office tells them there is nobody by that name who works here. The office gets bogged down trying to figure out what is going on. The customer gets frustrated because time is wasted. And I get poked in the eye. Well not really but sometimes it just feels that way.
Now back to the story.
On the way to pick up the equipment I spent some time wrestling with my response to people getting my name wrong on the job. I do not get bent out of shape if someone gets my name wrong in my personal life. I decided that I needed to change that little quirk and set out to walk through that thorn filled garden within me. After weighing a lot of factors and my responses to them I came to this conclusion: People are people and there are worse things that can happen to me. Now I could focus on the job before me: Taking care of people.
Part of that is being empathic to the the Family of those who have passed. Sometimes the equipment is a painful reminder of the one they have lost. On the losing someone part I had no problem understanding where this Lady was coming from. I am in the middle of grieving the loss of my Mom. I am also helping my Dad walk through the darkness as well. I get it. I also know a little of the back story of this couple’s journey which adds colors to the canvas of the tale. It is a pretty cool one as well.
You see they dated back in high school years ago and took separate paths after that. They both went on to marry someone else and traverse their own stream of life’s journey. Life took many years and both of their spouses away. More time passed and their paths crossed again. They got married this past Summer and moved into her house. He worked, took care of the place and keep chasing dreams. She was there with him all the way.
The dreams came to an abrupt end but as I stood and listened to her she still believed in them for him. She was grateful he died at home. She said they had taken a trailer to town earlier that day. In hind sight she realized if he had the heart attack while driving others could have been hurt. I also sensed she was not talking about her self. They had been talking and cutting up she said and they enjoyed a dinner at home.He passed away later that night at their home. Not at the house but at their home.
As I finished loading up, and giving her one last hug, I felt somewhat ashamed I had corrected her on getting my name wrong many times before. She thanked me for taking care of her husband. As I was leaving she said ” Take care Joe”. Not surprisingly I did not feel like correcting her this time.