There’s a lot of talk about Joe the Plumber this week-maybe representing a sudden interest in the opinions of working people? So, since yesterday was my last day as bookkeeper at Ballard Optical in (where else) Ballard, I’m going to throw out a couple of opinions here regarding the people I work with and why it’s so important to value the people you work with, those you work for, and those you serve.
Lisa, in the picture above, is technically the receptionist, decorating goddess, recycling queen, and a good friend. She is also now the temporary bookkeeper (not her first choice!). She treats each person who comes in, or who calls, as if they were family, maybe better than some families. It’s not a show. She really does care, and it goes way beyond just the business part-it goes above and beyond to the human thing and sincerely valuing people.
Cynthia, one of the two amazing opticians who work here, is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. She sincerely cares about each customer as a person, not just a business deal. Besides that, she’s good at her job, and she’s a lot of fun. Gentle caring people make for a for a really good workplace!
Isabell, who like Cynthia, was too busy for a picture yesterday, has been fitting glasses, choosing fabulous frames, and lovingly caring for people in this business (and the rest of her life) for a long time. She also goes above and beyond reasonable care in making each person feel valued and listened to, and trying to find solutions that work. Amazing lady.
And then there’s the boss, Dr. Kimpton. He’s been at this business for over 34 years, and is really good at it. The kind of guy you would want for a Dr. (thorough, systematic, stable, and fair). It was a pleasure to work for him for the last 4 1/2 years.
I guess what I saw in my coworkers here each day was the living out of the unwritten rule that good customer service comes from treating customers like you’d want to be treated. Applied theology in the eyeglass business. Go figure. If you follow that rule, you can find dignity and meaning, even in a working class job like this, and live in a way that treats even difficult people with dignity and lets you keep your dignity as well. I’m gonna miss these guys!