Good friends who do anything for each other

During the course of my now 15-year career, I’ve met a lot of interesting people. I’ve met really inspiring, ambitious people, the types of people who’ve made me look in the mirror and think, “wow, I’m the definition of mediocre.” I’ve met dull, baloney-and-cheese sandwich boring people, the type who brings the same lunch to work every single day and never do anything new because, well, nothing compels them to do so, and they don’t see value in it. I’ve met people who volunteer regularly to help those less fortunate, who donate thousands of dollars each year to charity because they acknowledge that while they’ve had good luck and opportunities in their lives, there are plenty more people who are nowhere as lucky as they were. I’ve also met people who are so selfish that they have said, out loud in front of many others, that they see no reason to help those they do not know personally because they will never see how their help “really paid off.” You meet a lot of people over the course of 15 years, especially when you’re on the road traveling to different places, and especially when you work externally with customers from all walks of life.

Yesterday afternoon, I was on the phone with one of these interesting customers. He’s the kind of person who is very reserved when he’s being recorded on our Zoom calls, but once you get him on the phone, he totally opens up and tells you everything and anything; he loves talking and sharing, and he is truly an open book. Although he is based in Virginia, he had been working from the Bay Area since the beginning of February. One of his very best friends from high school was doing a clinical trial to help with the recurring liver problems she’d been facing, and the side effect of these trials is that they can really wipe you out completely to the point where you could be bedridden for days. She’s a single working mom raising two sons on her own with no family nearby. So my customer, being this selfless friend, decided to drive his car all the way from Virginia to the Bay Area, rent an AirBnB, to help out this friend, plus her two teenagers. He said he drove because he wanted to be able and ready to help with anything from getting her to appointments to doing grocery runs, and he didn’t need the added expense of a rental car for that long period. He got an AirBnB for the first 1.5 months so he didn’t encroach on their personal space since they live in a condo with limited room. He was planning to spend the last two weeks of this month at their home.

“It’s really not a big deal,” my customer insisted. “Three plus years ago, I could never do this because we all had to be at the office, but now we’re remote first. So as long as I have a computer and Wi-Fi access, I’m all set to work. So when she told me she had to do this, I knew I had to help. It was a no brainer to me. I’d do anything for her. We’ve known each other for 40+ years. And all my kids are out of the house! So I’ve got no responsibilities!”

Even if you remove the ability to “work from everywhere,” I still don’t know many people, if anyone, who would temporarily relocate for two months across the country they live to help out a friend in this way. I was really awestruck and thought… wow, I must also be an inadequate friend next to this customer…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.