Why I Do It

Many Tanks

We all have something we do to pay the bills.  For most of us that’s a job.  And besides the obvious reasons, like needing to make the house payment and pay for food, our jobs have things about them that sometimes make them worth getting up in the morning.  For me, one of the advantages is when a customer appreciates my work and takes the time to say so.

Window Reflections

Most of my time at work is what I call “widget based.”  We have certain goals – The Company calls them production goals although we don’t actually produce anything – and the jobs or tasks we do have a certain number of points assigned to them.  Every month our success (or lack thereof) is determined by how many of these widgets we do.


Of course I’ve been doing this kind of work a lot longer than most of the people I work with, and I remember a time when our primary focus was taking care of our customers, no matter what we needed to do or how long it took.  The Company says it still cares, and I suppose at the most basic level it still does.  But my job, and The Company’s method for determining how well I do it, is based on the number of widgets I do.  We don’t measure customer satisfaction, with me or anyone else.

Faucet and Awning

Sometimes though, while I’m sitting at my desk trying to figure out how squeeze out a few more widgets in order to earn enough points to keep my job, I get e-mails like this one from a customer who I made happy:

Hello Tom,

I received the renewal documents for the (loan).  We have both signed and I will be mailing them back today in the self-addressed envelope.

Thank you for believing and trusting in our company.  I did want to update you on the (balances) of these loans.  As of Friday, I paid off the remaining balance on the credit card and I also paid down $70,000 on the line we are now renewing.  Just wanted you to know.

Have a great week!

Thanks again,

So in this whole crazy world of business, even though I might not get any points from The Company for happy customers, I can still get points from the customers.  And I think that makes for good Karma.  And plenty of reason to go back tomorrow!

Palm Shadow

8 thoughts on “Why I Do It”

  1. It’s most certainly good to get those kudos, especially if they come outside of your ‘widget producing’. Thankfully, we get some of those kinds of things from internal customers, too. Though, given today’s environment, in general, silence makes me happy too. It means that folks aren’t complaining and our software is just humming along peacefully. 🙂

  2. I always thought, no matter who’s paying you for those “widgets,” if you’re not working for yourself, for your own goals and fulfillments, then you’re going to eventually hate your job. It often only takes a little more effort to care and relate to the customer and I think it’s always worth it.

    Nice “Tom Dills” shadow & reflection series of photos — I like #4, those shadows at the top.

  3. It only takes a moment to email someone and show your appreciation for their work. Some people never realize how important it is to other folks but a simple gesture like this can make someone’s day.
    Very nice series, Tom

    1. People are always quick to complain but seldom take the time to thank someone when they do something unexpectedly positive. I try to take the other approach and thank people when they do well.

      Glad you like the photos, Ken!

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