I first shared this story of an extraordinary Hertz employee in a Christmas 2004 issue of The Leaders Edge, the Jim Doyle & Associates management coaching program. I’ve recounted it many times since then, and it has also been circulated to Hertz employees around the Southeast. I hope you enjoy reading it.
James works as a bus driver for Hertz in New Orleans. He ferries people between the airport terminal and the Hertz facilities a few minutes away. I fly into New Orleans quite often and I always rent from Hertz, so I’ve seen James a few times this year.
If Hertz has a more positive employee anywhere in America than James I haven’t met them. (And I’ve met a lot!) Getting onto his bus is not a routine experience. He greets every customer in such a warm way. The very first time I rode with James he carried my suitcase out of the bus telling me, “Hey, you look like you need a break.” When I handed him a tip, he said, “No thank you, sir. This is my job.”
Saturday I got onto James’s bus again. “Happy Holidays, sir. How are you today?” He greeted me like he had known me for years. He even shook my hand and wished me a great Christmas when I got off the bus four minutes later.
James was back on duty when I returned my car on Sunday. “Hello again, Mr. Doyle,” he said. (How did he remember my name?) Before the bus departed for the terminal, he spotted a couple who had just returned their car and had a lot of luggage and holiday packages. I watched as he jumped off the bus and went all the way across the parking lot to help them with their things. In all my years of renting cars, I have NEVER seen a driver do that. The folks he helped offered him a tip. I watched as he turned it down.
He asked me if this was my last trip before the Holidays. When I told him I’d be flying back into New Orleans on Christmas morning, he said, “You’ll probably see me. I’m working a 12-hour shift that day.” When I started to commiserate with him for having to work, he wouldn’t hear it. “It’s all good. My family is grown. Besides, work is sort of like my vitamins—it keeps me going.”
Work is like my vitamins. It keeps me going.
I spent the flight home to Tampa thinking about James. And about Fred, the mailman who is the central character in Mark Sanborn’s best-selling book about customer service and attitude, The Fred Factor. (Fred was Mark’s postman and he delivered extraordinary service to his customers!)
Here is my lesson from James. I love, and frequently use, a meditation/affirmation that says, “Everything I give is given to me in return.” I think that means that if I send love into the world, love is returned back to me. If I give service, I get service back. (I also think that if I send anger or resentment into the world I get that back!!!) While watching James, two things became apparent to me. First, he gives abundantly. But here’s the really cool thing. He gets back. James probably gets more genuine compliments and positive strokes than most of us will ever get in a lifetime. How? By serving in such a totally unselfish way. So in a wonderful way, his service to others provides him with the fuel to keep going and to keep serving. Positive energy CREATES positive energy.
How would it be if we saw our roles like James? Serving abundantly. Loving life. Giving to others with no expectations. But getting back abundantly as well.
We are so grateful for the privilege of serving the TV business. All of us at Jim Doyle & Associates send you best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and a prosperous 2018. Thanks for all you do for our business.
Jim Doyle and the JDA team are passionate about helping Sales Managers get better. One of the ways they do that is the Sales Manager’s High Performance Boot Camp. This program gets rave reviews with a combination of real-world ideas and inspirational outside speakers. There are only a few seats left for Boot Camp 2018, January 28-30 in Tampa.
There may be no better investment you can make in your future than to help your sales manager get better.