By John Igbinosun
Nana twitched a bit in her chair, she could see herself all dressed up for tonight’s date and boy was she excited!
She had picked up that red sequence dress and was going to unleash those Gucci heels for the first time since like forever. Her Givenchy Oud had been delivered the night before and her Uber was on standby just in case things got a little sour.
She smiled to herself, but not for long as the grey communication device on her desk jolted her to reality… Buzz Buzz Buzz.
She’d always thought this ringtone was so annoying and in the next life she would abolish it from existence.
“Always pick the call on the first ring,” she could still hear her supervisors’ words bugging her head.
“Thank you for calling Brixtol Airline support, my name is Nana, how can I help you?”
There was silence, or so she thought and she drew in a fresh pelt of air to repeat her opening greeting. “Thank you for calling–”
She had to stop abruptly as she could now hear subtle sobbing in the back ground.
“Hello? Can you hear me please?” At this point she was already hoping she could end it and log this one as the infamous ‘Dropped call’. She wore an evil grin at the thought of that.
“I- I- I need help”, a weak and shaky voice came in from the other end of the receiver.
Nana paused for a moment to stare at the headset and responded, “okay? How may I help you please?”
“I… I can’t find my Barbie anymore,” came the voice finally after some moments.
The voice from her calculations could not have belonged to anyone more than 6, maybe 7 years, now that she thought about it. “Your Barbie?!” There was a slight dash of disgust wrapped in her surprised response, but she quickly got a grip and went on. “What is your name?”
The voice still very shaky responded, “my name is Betty”
“Ok Betty” Nana said a bit more softly now, “Where is your mummy?”
“I don’t have a mummy” said Betty now with the sobs gently intensified. Nanas heart melted at those words and she froze for a moment, not because she didn’t know what to say, but because this child was her. She had also never known her mother!
The old wounds of pain and rejection filled her like an overflowing bottle of sparkling wine. She knew just what Betty was going through and what it meant to be alone. When nothing but a toy could be the only ray of hope for a better tomorrow.
By the books, she should have told Betty that this was an airline and not a Toy store, she should have told her to call someone older or just hang up the phone.
The next words she could hear herself saying were “Ok Betty, where are you?”
Later that Evening, Nana had cancelled her date and taken the last flight to Abuja to deliver a box of a Barbie to a girl she barely knew at an orphanage she never knew existed!
15 Years later, she stood teary eyed at a graduation ceremony of a now all grown up Betty. She would never forget the words rolling off that plinth.
“I never expected any one to pick the phone that day, I didn’t even know what I was doing when I touched the redial button on the telephone, but 15 years ago, the call I thought was a mistake turned out to be the best decision and gift I have ever received in my life.” Betty continued. “I told God that if I could get that Barbie again, I would not end my life like I planned. He heard me and sent an angel that day and because of that one act, I knew I was truly loved”.
The extra mile can be seen in so many lights, some require much more than we expect and others may just be a simple kind word or follow up. But the essence of being helpful, showing love is not a function of a once in a year celebration or week, but a constant resolve to affect one life at a time with every interaction.
Every voice and every face has a story that could one day turn into a testimony, not just for the person, but for you and it is just because we cared to listen and act on that story!
We can turn every customer to a future testimony, not just for the organization you work for, but also for you.
Be the change today. Go the extra mile in every way.
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