The tale I’m about to tell is not specifically about the golf industry, but can certainly be applied when you consider what an unexpected, kind gesture can mean to somebody not having the best of days.
In the case of the golf industry, that might mean turning around a day for a member or a client, perhaps an employee.
The term “pay it forward” involves no cash, credit cards or financial transactions, just simply the motivation to return a gesture of kindness when somebody needs it down the road.
That gesture of kindness came my way Monday morning with the passenger side of my car caught in some deep snow on one side of the driveway following a weekend in which three different strong bands of snow came though with ice to cap it off.
To be honest, the leftover snow on one side of the driveway was my fault due to half-baked cleaning I did with a snowblower the previous day.
So, when my tires got caught in that snow on Monday, I figured the work week was starting off the same way it began a week ago. It was actually a week ago Sunday that I first expected the next few days would be rough ones.
A lady in a booth behind me at a restaurant where I’m a regular was coughing throughout my entire breakfast, even did it as she passed by to pay her bill at the front.
It was as if she hadn’t heard all the warnings about this flu season, or just didn’t care, but I suspect it was her who paid the flu forward to me. The next day, the cough, chills and fever, aches and pains and other symptoms were becoming clear as a week ago Monday wore on.
A few friends made jokes about the man flu, but trust me, this was gender neutral nastiness that kept me up nights coughing until the symptoms one by one began to ease up, but not necessarily disappear. Some might have celebrated the fact that I even lost my voice for a couple of days.
However, by the time last weekend rolled around, I had turned a corner. Still, I didn’t need to see the weather report that I mentioned earlier. Still trying to shake off the remnants of the nasty bug, I had a clean-up job with the snowblower both Saturday and Sunday.
The nice thing is that with the snowblower, those sessions usually only last about 25 minutes start to finish, but lately, mine has had snow clumping up in it rather than throwing it, so doesn’t do as nice a job and you have to keep bouncing the machine to keep it blowing the snow.
On Sunday, the plan was to get more of the driveway done, then go rest and get the remainder done on Monday. I thought I’d gotten enough done on Sunday to get the car down the driveway the next day, but it wasn’t the case and that’s how my passenger side got stuck.
After much digging and getting salt underneath both tires and burning of rubber, the car was finally extracted, when I noticed my neighbour on the sidewalk. “Bit of trouble?” he said with a smile.
“It was,” I replied, explains the trials and tribulations of the last week. We had a little chat and he asked if he could help with anything, but as I left for a quick meeting, I could tell I didn’t have a choice.
When I returned, the driveway was completely done, wide and welcoming with no concern for getting stuck in the snow or making the leftover remnants of the flu feel even worse.
Those remnants are still there as I write this. I still get the odd coughing spell and it’s tough to sleep at night because of it, yet I’m far from miserable due to one simple gesture.
When the folks up the street were thanked for that gesture, they simply shrugged it off as “a neighbours thing.”
I hope it’s a people thing because if that’s the case, people will never be replaced by automation or technology in the effort to make clients happy through kindness and reaction over programming.