Disclaimer: For those of you that actually read my stories, pls lemme apologize (explain) if you think I’m doing nuthin’ but bragging & patting myself on the back.
This is MY story. MY life.
And while I’m trying my best to “entertain” you, I also aim to teach you stuff.
Stuff that I’ve learned…one way or the other…through my life & especially, my lengthy career in financial services.
And while I can simply spout off a bunch of theoretical stuff (like you would see in a textbook), I would rather use my REAL LIFE events to further illustrate my points.
It’s great to say, “You need to be a really caring leader if you wanna be successful!”, but WTH does that really mean?
How can you actually do that?
How do you incorporate that into your daily business life?
I’m not recalling all this stuff & all these stories just for my own bloated ego…
…but I’m truly trying to demonstrate how I “did it” in the hopes that it’ll serve as a good lesson.
As a learning opportunity for you.
As a way for you to connect “the theory” with “the reality you face every day”.
Now we continue with our regularly-scheduled programming…
(I just wrote this story this morning, Sat 1/9/21, as I tried…in vain…to register for the COVID-19 vaccination being administered at the Alamodome here in San Antonio.
I fall into “Class 1B” (chronic kidney disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, blood disorder, fat, etc.) & was hoping to be vaccinated ASAP.
Back in late October of 2020, I came across a post on Facebook from a friend & former associate of mine at the USCC (I’m the “former” & she’s still there).
For argument’s sale, we’ll call her “M”.
“I’m now a work in progress thanks to my mother-in-law’s support. I haven’t been under 200 blood sugar in 3 months, even with insulin. Eating right and walked on the treadmill today before work with Janie’s encouragement ❤️❤️❤️“
Being the nosy bastard that I am (at least that’s what I tell the police…I actually do it out of love ’cause I care so much for my friends & my Citi family & I’ve been down that same road before), I commented on her post.
Then followed up with a private message.
She was bemoaning the fact that “things were getting out of control” (her health, weight, blood sugar, eyesight, energy level, etc.), but she was now trying hard to reverse course.
Undoing what years of doing bad had done.
It was pretty apparent to me that she was suffering from the throes of diabetes, something of which I’m way too familiar!!!
I strongly encouraged her to keep a VERY close eye on her blood sugar.
Several times a day.
Once a day simply does not cut it!
I advised her to speak with her doctor about getting a prescription for a CGM/Continuous Glucose Monitoring system. Instead of constantly poking yourself to test & measure your blood sugar (prick your finger with a lancet, drip a drop of blood onto a test strip, read what the glucometer says, take insulin as appropriate), you wear this little device…probable the size of a silver dollar…on your upper arm or belly.
It’s constantly measuring your blood sugar level. All you hafta do is wave a special reader, or even your iPhone, near the device (I call it “the patch”) & the info is electronically transmitted for your viewing pleasure.
No fuss, no mess, no pain.
Awareness & acknowledgement are the first steps in trying to “correct an issue”.
We talked about other stuff besides constantly “being aware of your blood sugar levels”, like the need for regular insulin dosages (vs. once a day injections), eating right, what’s “right” with regard to insulin dosages, “target rates” for blood sugar, the damage that diabetes does to your body (kidneys 🙋🏻♂️, eyes 🙋🏻♂️, heart 🙋🏻♂️, man plumbing 🙋🏻♂️), etc..
She was very receptive to my “poking around” (no pun intended) as she knew that I cared & she fully realized how very serious this whole thingie was.
She didn’t need me to “wake her up” as she already realized what was happening to herself, but I was able to provide further insight into understanding the “exactly how & why” certain behaviors must be followed…and why others must be avoided.
At Citi, our National Training organization (Deb Harrington 😉) always spoke about the “willing learner” & the importance it held in successfully enhancing an employee’s knowledge & skills base.
M was, undoubtedly, a most willing learner!
A few days ago, I saw her comment on a mutual friend’s post (we’ll call her “A”, who has come such a long way & is now an incredibly-beautiful…and sexy & smart & absolutely-hilarious…woman) about these no/low-card noodles & different recipes they’re sharing with each other & what works & what doesn’t, yada, yada, yada.
I’m reading this and I’m smiling broadly from ear to ear!!
Both of them are so gung-ho & so damned determined about doing the right thing for themselves…I’m tellin’ ya, it was genuinely inspirational.
So last night…
…I message M & tell her that I saw her comments on FB & how very proud I am of her!
She acknowledges just how very difficult this whole struggle to eat right is, but fully understand how important it is that she does it.
She mentions that the struggle is, indeed, hard, but “I love me more now”.
That absolutely blew me away!
I reply with “I’m gonna keep pushing as I love you, too! BTW, you can always tell me to go away…but that won’t stop me!
“I’m stubborn & care too much about my friends & my Citi family! ❤️🙏🏼“
Editor’s note: It took him (me) AAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLL this time to finally get to the point he (I) was trying to make from the very beginning!
“I remember that stubbornness! We went through a very hard time, my husband and I, when he left the military…that transition is always so difficult when it’s all they know. After 14 years in the Army, we were struggling with 3 kids to take care of so I was working 80 hour weeks. I’d do my 40 in service quality then 20 OT hours and another 20 OT for message team. One night you called the SQ line at 3 in the morning and I answered. You made me go home, said my family and health was more important and I needed rest. I kept this up for several months until my husband found a job but it was the kindest thing anyone had ever said to me even though I had to continue to work 80 hour weeks for months after. I never forgot that call though.”
BTW, it was during this time that I led the SQ/Service Quality group (Site-wide Monitoring) as well as Service Escalation (the “Supervisor/Sup Gate”).
Yes, some of you would (did?) consider that as a “conflict of interest”.
“How could you possibly run a group in CitiPhone while also leading the area responsible for monitoring all the call centers, including CitiPhone? 🤔🤔🤔“
Did I mention my multi-personality syndrome?
Oh, trust me, as SQ Director, I was waaaaay harder on the Sup Gate than any other call center group as I expected waaaaay more outta them!
But I was just trying to illustrate ONE SPECIFIC EXAMPLE, one behavior that shows how a true leader “must really care for, and worry about, his people’s welfare…above everything else”.
For M to remember this incident, more than 10 years after, not only makes me extremely proud, but underscores the importance of “always doing the right thing for your people”.
It may not be…in YOUR mind…some incredible act of kindness or some divine wisdom you shared, but no matter how large or small you believe it to be, that’s not always the case with the employee.
Throughout my career & even today, I’ve been constantly reminded of some things I’ve said or done…No, not THOSE things!!!…that somehow, had an impact on someone, somewhere.
Hell, I’ve written 235+ stories so far! One would think that I covered everything already (and may have made up a few along the way to fill in any blanks…not true!), but apparently, I haven’t.
It’s so heartwarming to know that not everyone has a picture of me taped to their dart board or in front of their “body outline” target at the shooting range.
Either way, I was always keen on honing my people’s skills!
🏹 🧔🏻 🔫
As always, thank you so much for listening!