Pride in the Job QUESTION

What have you done at a job, either your current one or an earlier one, that you took real pride in? I had one of those experiences this past month.

I was answering the phones in my office on the Friday afternoon before Labor Day; the office manager was out sick, and since the secretary retired, there is no backup. Understand that answering the phones is NOT specifically part of my job description. But I simply can’t stand an unanswered phone at work. (TOTALLY different at home, BTW; that’s why God invented caller ID and the answering machine.) In fact, over a year ago, I specifically requested and got phones that would pick up the main lines.

There’s this woman on the phone, Lauren from ABC News, who calls about 2 pm. She’s working on a series of stories about people who lost their jobs but subsequently started their own businesses. The trick for me is that it’d have to be someone who had waived confidentiality as one of our clients.

As it turned out, at our annual meeting in May, I happened to be seated near the Rosenbergs, for whom I also did some library reference work. They were receiving an award from us for their startup, Moolala, a “self-serve yogurt café.” I pointed Lauren from ABC News to their story, and a couple others, on our webpage. Then I requested that Lauren send me an e-mail to explain what she wanted, so I could forward her message to our internal listserv. She did, and I did; the director of one of our Long Island centers facilitated the connection between the network and the entrepreneurs.

Lauren had told me the story was going to be on Good Morning America Tuesday morning; this turned out to be incorrect. Instead, the story was on World News Tuesday night. Here it is.

If I hadn’t insisted the phone be answered, the Rosenbergs, and by extension, the organization, would have missed an opportunity.

I’m rather happy about this outcome.

0 thoughts on “Pride in the Job QUESTION”

  1. Roger, first – on behalf of all administrative people who ever had to take a sick day, THANK YOU. Most higher-ups believe answering the phone is beneath them, and you did the right thing. You’re a mensch!

    Second, what a moment of serendipity… all the stars were in alignment. You were meant to answer that phone at that time. Great story, and hope the Rosenbergs are not affected by the floods.

    As for me, a moment when I felt GREAT was this: I was playing piano bar, and a (very obvious, tall, large-handed, gloved) transgender woman sat down. Everyone was staring at her, and she was doing her best to examine her drink from every side, knowing all eyes were on her.

    I finished the song I was doing, then said, “Hey, we have someone new at the piano bar. Would you like to make a request, hon?” She answered, in a smooth baritone voice, “The Man I Love.”

    We exchanged winks, and I said, “Oh, girl, you know what I like!” Everyone else loosened up, and by the end of the night, they were buying her drinks and engaging in conversation. She was a star – and that made not only my gig, but my whole week! Amy


  2. As it happens, that episode of “World News” was one of the few I saw that week. I saw the story and thought it was a great, feel-good story. But when I see a story from a place in New York State I haven’t heard of, I often wonder how close it is to you. I later hear the “Long Island” part, but it turns out it actually was close to you, in a manner of speaking.

    Well, done! Sometimes you just can’t tell where one simple thing — like answering the phones – will lead.


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