I received sad news recently that an old friend, someone I had known for years, had passed away. The news was entirely out of the blue (as most sudden deaths are) and when I was asked how I best remembered my buddy Mal, I immediately thought of how much he gave.
Mal was the type of fellow who had time for everyone, for me he will always be remembered as a guy who gave time (no matter how busy) to each and everyone he met along the way …
Do you know many people like that?
I remember one family holiday to Greece, we’d flown to arrive mid-afternoon and the sunshine was blisteringly hot. The queue for the cab (all of 3 minutes) to our designated hotel was even becoming tedious – what else did I expect? Midday … in Greece??
So, our cab arrives, driver relieves us of luggage and the three of us jump into the car – immediately the driver opens an icebox on the front seat and produces three perfectly chilled, gratefully received drinks – ‘relax,’ he says, ‘we’re only ten minutes away … and the pool is good where you are staying.’
After ten animated, informative minutes, we reached our destination. Again, insistently in charge of luggage Costas (we’re on first-name terms by now,) duly escorted us to the reception, introducing us to our hosts (his mother and father) and upon completing registration, he politely offered his card and suggested … ‘ if there is anything you want during your stay, just call me.’
‘Perhaps you would like a suggestion of where to dine with your family during your stay?’
Our short stay in Greece became known as ‘5 days with Mr Costas’ … someone who went out of his way to understand, engage his audience.
As it happens, we did take up his offer of recommendation to dining. He’d directed us to a local taverner run by a close family friend … his sister. In fact we found the experience so irresistible we returned each evening before our eventual departure to the airport … via Mr Costas, luggage hauled and inclusive of in-car refreshments.
So, back at ‘the office’ when asked:
‘How was the break? Meet any good people? Was it anywhere you would recommend?‘
Mr Costas had done his job, given his time and made us feel special, just like Mal had done during the time I’d known him.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou.