Archive for April, 2017

When You Exude Positive Energy, It Will Come Back to You in Racing and In Business

April 12, 2017

My friends love to hear my stories about my “good karma” experiences, and they have been asking me to write a blog about them.  This is that blog, and it features some of my favorite stories from last year or two.

Sometimes Home Is Closer Than You Think

When I lived in Cincinnati, I drove more than 45 minutes each way to shop at Costco.  I was there almost every week because I was buying food for my cooking classes and my personal use.  I knew all the staff there, and they knew me.  They were like an extended family.  I knew about their health, their families, their hobbies and so many other things.  I loved that.  When I moved to Kansas City, I found a Costco much closer to where I live.  I’d been shopping at this same Costco for more than a year.  One day, I got into the checkout line with 180 eggs and a bunch of fresh vegetables, fruit and lean protein.  The gentleman checking out my purchases looked so familiar.  I knew that couldn’t be. Then he says, “You’re from Cincinnati, right?” I tell him I am and ask how he knows that. He smiles and says I used to work at the Springdale Costco where you shopped. I was nearly in tears. I knew who he was.  It was Gene, one of my favorite team members at Costco.  I was so glad to see a familiar face from home. I ran around to the other side of the conveyor belt and gave him a huge hug and kiss and told him to tell his wife I said hello.  I asked how she was doing and he told me she is a manager at another Costco in KC and her transfer to that store is what brought them to Kansas City.  He asked me, as he looked at my purchases, how marathon training was going.  I told him it was in full swing and going well, all while holding back tears of joy.  I had been clicking my heels and saying, “There’s no place like home!” since I got to KC. That day my Cincinnati home came to me.  Now I wait in line for Gene even when there are shorter lines.  He is my KC connection to fond memories of home.

Sometimes Home Is Closer Than You Think Part 2

I was flying home to Cincinnati to race and visit friends.  It was the day after Delta’s computer system crashed.  Lots of flights were delayed or cancelled.  My flight was scheduled to leave on time, but I got to the airport very early anticipating long lines.  As I’m waiting in line, I notice the Delta agent looks familiar.  But I know I’ve never seen him at the KCI airport.  He asks me, “Where are you going?” I tell him home to Cincinnati. He says your driver’s license says you live here. I reply with a smile, “You asked me where I’m going…not where I live.” He then asks where I lived in Cincinnati. I said Burlington, Kentucky. He smiled and said I used to live in Oakbrook and worked at CVG, the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International airport. That’s why he looked so familiar. He had checked me in on flights numerous times when I lived in Cincinnati.  As I headed to the gate I said, “Please take good care of my bag. My racing gear is in it.” Imagine my surprise when it was first off the conveyor. Here’s why…Vince had priority tagged my bag.  It was treated with VIP status.  Bless his heart. This is what I love about Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky people…hearts of gold and we take care of our own.

A couple months later, I was heading home to Cincinnati to visit friends and relax…no racing on that trip.  I had hoped to see Vince when I checked in, but he was not there.  As I was waiting for my flight I decided to take a walk around the gate area.  At one of the gates (not the one for my flight), Vince was checking people in for their flight.  I was so glad to see him so I could thank him for taking such good care of me and my bag in August.  I walked up to him and said, “I know you won’t remember me, but can I give you a big hug?”  He looked a bit puzzled, but said it was fine.  I went on to tell him that he had priority tagged my racing gear bag to Cincinnati a couple months ago and it arrived safely and first off the conveyor.  He smiled and said I know exactly who you are.  We used to be neighbors.  I smiled, gave him another hug and headed to my gate so happy that I could thank him in person for what he did for me and his kindness.

Once a Runner, Always a Runner

After leaving the Cincinnati airport with my priority tagged bag, I headed to Avis to pick up my rental car.  Art (who I’d never seen before) greeted me and asked me if I had a reservation.  I told him I had one and had a free upgrade to my reservation.  Art told me that due to the computer issues with Delta, many people rented cars when they couldn’t get flights out of Cincinnati and their fleet was depleted. I said that the upgrade wasn’t an issue, I’d be happy with any car that had a big trunk since I had to pack my large suitcase due to having a lot of racing gear.  He asked me, “Are you a runner?”  I told him I was and asked if he was a runner too.  He said he was in his younger years.  I smiled and said, “I bet you were fast!”  He said he was.  I laughed and said, “Me…not so much!”  We both laughed about that.  Once he got my paperwork done, he told me he got me the best car they had left but he was having them wash it and clean it out since it just came back in service.  He wished me good luck on my race and told me to run like the wind.  I thanked him for the good luck wishes.  When the driver pulled up with my rental car it was a full size car with a huge trunk…much nicer than what I’d expected.   Runners in Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky also take care of their own.

Share Kindness and It Will Be Returned

One night when I came home from work and a run, I didn’t feel like cooking dinner.  I told my dad we were going to a grocery store down the street to make salads for dinner from their salad bar. As I was waiting for my dad to finish his salad creation, a lovely older woman asked me, “How do you get to the checkout? I’ve never been in this store.” I told her I’d walk her there and told my dad to please follow when he was done. As we were walking to the checkout lane, I asked her if she was from the KC area. She said she wasn’t.  I said, “This is a lovely store, but there are grocery stores here that are much less expensive.” She said she knew that, but the roast she was buying was on sale. She got in the checkout line in front of us and the young man ringing her up asked her if she had a store loyalty card. When she said she didn’t, he asked her if she wanted to apply for one. She told him she didn’t have a need since she was from out of town. I asked him, “Can she get the sale price on that roast without a loyalty card?” He said she couldn’t. I asked him to please use mine. When he was done checking her out, he told her she saved $33 with the store loyalty card. She nearly had tears in her eyes when she hugged and kissed me and thanked me. It made my day!  In the midst of all the violence, hate and political rhetoric, we must not forget that we are all human beings and a little kindness goes a very long way.

You Never Know What You’ll Learn When You’re Being Friendly with Strangers

I went to packet pickup for the Rock the Parkway Half marathon last week. I was fifteen minutes early and the volunteers weren’t allowed to hand out packets until 11am when packet pickup officially opened. So, I walked to the Garmin booth and started talking with Brian. We talked about local and national half and full marathons that we loved and other things running geeks talk about. During the conversation, I mentioned that my Garmin Vivosmart HR+ was acting up and not tracking my runs and walks this week. He told me Garmin’s headquarters had a customer service center where I could walk in and get help. I didn’t know that. So I headed to Olathe, Kansas which is about 10 minutes from where I was picking up my race packet, and Clint took extraordinary care of me. He looked at my activity tracker and realized it couldn’t be fixed. He then went and got me a brand new one to replace my old one, for free!  He then set it up for me and synced it to my phone. I have always said that Garmin’s customer service is as good as Disney’s. And this is why I constantly tell people that I can’t imagine owning any other brand of GPS/running/fitness gear than Garmin. I tell them when it comes to quality and customer service, I think Garmin is the best!  My new tracker works great and it’s a more recent model so it has some features my old tracker didn’t have.  I’m really enjoying the new features.

So what do these stories have to do with business?

What goes around comes around in racing, life and business.  People respond to your positive (or negative) energy accordingly.  When you are kind to strangers and co-workers, they will be kind in return.  When you are helpful, people will be helpful in return.  When you show you care, people will care about you in return.  Racing, life and business are simply about the Golden Rule.  Be golden and you will have shining moments and amazing experiences like the ones I’ve shared in this blog.