So often our days come down to who we cross paths with or who answers the phone.
For any of us who must answer phone calls and often do our best to try and help people with just an exchange of voices, those calls can be very powerful.
We can never forget that we can make or break someone’s day at the most basic level with just how we chose to say hello. Right?
Especially in this new world of seclusion, our voice might be the only human interaction they have all day.
Well, here’s what happened to us. We had a big decision that had to be made. Stay with a tried-and-true company we have been with for over 30 years or make a move to that company that everyone else had been switching to in recent years.
John had been calling our old company hoping to get some exciting new information, but after more than three calls, he was more disappointed with each person he talked to.
When he called the new company someone answered, not with an abundance of enthusiasm either, but at least they were friendly and answered his questions. They even made an appointment to come out to see what could be done.
The end of an era for us. These “calls” made up our mind for us. It had to be a sign, I thought.
A wonderful representative of the second company did come out, and we almost took the plunge. But I could tell that John’s heart wasn’t 100% in it, and there just weren’t enough differences between the two companies to make the switch.
I said, "Why don’t’ we wait a little and think it over?" The representative could not have been nicer and said no worries at all.
When he left, I said to John why don’t we give the old company one more chance. I called and subconsciously I know our minds were made up in less than 10 seconds.
A voice on the other end answered by saying, “How can I make your day better?"
I felt like Renee Zellweger in the great movie “Jerry Maguire” from back in 1996. Remember, she said to Tom Cruise, “You had me at hello.”
Janie who lives in Florida had me with that warm sincere way she answered the phone. She set our mood, and we were ready to listen and be much more open-minded simply because of the way she answered the phone.
It only got better from there. I told her I usually answer our town hall phone with “Hi, this is Sherry. How can I help?” but Janie’s greeting melted my heart. Janie, almost seemed like she was wondering what all of the fuss was about.
She said she would transfer us to Josh, who would answer all of our questions. Surprisingly, Josh did. Every action or lack of action we take with each other has a cause and effect. Such an easy way to make a difference in someone’s life.
Now that I’m typing to you about it, it’s equally as powerful with those we love. Probably even more so.
For many of us, this might be where we neglect to use that, “How can I make your day better?” sincere voice.
I know sometimes with the girls and John if they call, and I’m in the middle of something in the office, they are sure not getting that cheery voice when I answer the call in haste. Often, it’s those we are closest to, who we miss the boat with, I guess you could say.
This week I had one of the best calls of my life with a lovely resident named M.
M. had left me a message a few weeks back to let me know what a great job my deputy Christie Campbell had done helping her with a tricky transaction. That good old going above and beyond thing that makes me melt every time!
What I also loved was that M. used in her voicemail the "Wah Wah Wah" phrase from "Peanuts," which I mimic all the time — though M. did it better than me.
She said that she never wanted to be one of those people who call only to complain. She prefers to share the good stuff that people are doing. I even saved the message so I could listen to it again and again when my spirits needed a lift.
My time spent with M. on the phone was a gift. M. said that she realized as she got older that she couldn’t change the world but that she could “have an impact in the small, tiny circle of people that come her way.”
She said she tries to “stay in the moment that we have with people, because at the end of the day that’s all we really have.”
Very much like the way Janie answered the phone with a perfect stranger, M. reminded me that our own families may need to hear this the most.
She said call up your children and tell them you love them, again and again. M. said to go a step further and share a funny story with them, one that only you might remember.
Don’t let those precious memories never be shared. The only guarantee we have is for the moment we are in.
So don’t wait. Write that letter or make that call.
Or maybe just ask someone how you can make their day better?
Check back next week for some fun family ideas and a couple of recipes, too, and a little bit about our new delicious pizza place!
Sherry Farrell is the Londonderry Town Clerk and a longtime resident of New Hampshire.