Friday, July 02, 2010

Bringing Balance

Is it irony or coincidence?

I never know.

On the day that I wrote the post about the elderly man being dropped off at the wrong terminal at the airport, I opened my email at work and read a wonderful note from Elizabeth Perry, a Vita staff. The email was about an act of kindness she witnessed as performed by a WheelTrans driver. Here, take a look at what she wrote:

Hi everyone,

I wanted to take an opportunity to recognize some kindness I witnessed today.

A Wheel-trans driver just came to pick up one of our members (a bit late, but understandable). While loading the member onto the bus, this driver took the opportunity to have a conversation with our member (she didn’t even realize that I was there). This member has a profound disability, he’s also blind and can’t answer back verbally. She spoke to him with kindness throughout the loading procedure, reassuring him he was going home, letting him know what she was doing and she was joking around with him. This driver has a huge heart and smile and made sure that no matter how stressed she was feeling due to traffic, she didn’t let that ruin someone else’s day.

Too often people with disabilities are passed off and are not seen as “normal human beings” that have emotions and feelings.

It’s a wonderful thing to see it when someone takes time out of their day to talk to members, be friendly, maintain professionalism and make someone smile with such a simple act of kindness. One of my co-workers has an email tag that says “Never let an opportunity to pass a kind word be missed”. She’s right on the ball with that, and I thought I’d share the kindness.

This was a perfect yin to the yang of the other article. (Did I get that right? What with being unsure of the irony of all this, I don't want two bloopers in one post.) It serves as a reminder that an organization cannot be judged by one person or one interaction. As a matter of fact, I don't want to be judged based on one interaction - and resent when that happens.

I believe that WheelTrans provides mostly exceptional service and I have seen more positive interactions than negative. This note from a wonderful staff wanting to report something wonderful that she'd seen reminded me to be careful about portraying individuals or organizations as 'thoughtless'. An action may be thoughtless, a person, an organization, may not be.

I think it is important to bring notice to situations where mistakes happen. It's the only way that growth can occur. But it's also important to bring praise to an organization when things are done well, exceptionally well. I've asked Elizabeth to write to WheelTrans customer service and she was glad to do so.

So here's to remembering to be balanced in our approach and to provide praise along with the criticism.

Here's to you WheelTrans driver!

Nice job.

You represent your organization and your team of drivers well.


Kristin said...

Glad to hear such a positive story too.

Dave Hingsburger said...

Kristin, thank you so much for being a faithful comment maker. This went the whole day without a comment. I kept checking and saw that people had visited the blog but by the time I went to bed no one had commented. I felt like I'd written a loser post and read it over and over again to find what was wrong with it. So, for your kindness, I truly thank you.

Katja said...

I've never commented, but I really enjoyed the story in this post.

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