I want to begin today’s ‘good people’ post with an update to a previous post. Many of you many not have yet discovered Filosofa’s Word back in June 2017 when I wrote about Dan Price, the CEO of Gravity Payments, a credit card processing company in Seattle, Washington. What Mr. Price did back then was to slash his own salary from $1.1 million to $77,000 in order to pay every one of his employees a minimum of $70,000. He came into much criticism at the time, and many said it would never work … but it did! I was thrilled to see Fox Business have to eat their words, after they labeled him the “lunatic of all lunatics,” and Rush Limbaugh declared, “I hope this company is a case study in M.B.A. programs on how socialism does not work, because it’s going to fail.”
This week, Dan Price is back in the news. Gravity Payments succeeded so well that its income has more than doubled in the four years since Mr. Price initially boosted his staff’s salaries. Some time ago, he acquired another company, ChargeItPro in Boise, Idaho. This week was the ribbon-cutting ceremony, as the employees of that branch moved into a brand-new office, and Mr. Price, who flew in for the ceremony, announced that they, too, would be given raises bringing their minimum salary to $70,000 by 2024. They will get an immediate $10,000 increase, and incremental raises until they reach the $70,000 mark.
For the second time, I give Mr. Dan Price two thumbs up for caring more about people than about lining his own pockets. See … capitalism could work if every company owner had the heart of Mr. Price!
Jerry Martin drives a school bus for Copperas Cove Independent School District in Texas. Last week, he went above and beyond the call of duty after noticing that at one of the stops where he picked up children, the weeds and grass had grown quite high. Turns out, the house on the property is currently vacant and nobody has been keeping up with the yard.Mr. Martin worried about the kids standing in the tall weeds, so the next day, he took his own mower and … yep, you guessed it … he cut the grass! A little thing, for sure, but how many people would have done that?
David Vance is a customer assistant at Lidl supermarket’s Connswater branch in east Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK). Last Tuesday, a cashier called him over because his customer, an elderly gentleman, was having trouble paying for his groceries. His card was repeatedly declined, and the man didn’t seem to understand.
After a quick assessment and trying the card once again, David Vance did the nicest thing … he pulled out his own wallet, gave the cashier enough money to cover the man’s groceries, and said to the cashier …
“That’s fine, put that through.”
Just like that. The man, not really understanding what happened and apparently assuming that he had just paid for his own groceries, took his purchases and left the store. David Vance went back to work, the cashier took the next customer, and life went on.
Except that a customer in line behind the elderly man had noticed, and she, Karen Gibney, posted this on Lidl’s Facebook page …
“Today I watched one of your till staff pay for an elderly man’s shopping from his own wallet. I don’t think the man was aware that his card kept declining and didn’t seem to understand that the staff member had paid for it as he didn’t say thank you, he just walked on with not a word.
But I saw it. I saw him discreetly pay and sat back down at his till like it never happened. I wanted to let you know that this is one of the kindest acts I’ve seen from a staff member ever.
It was in your Connswater branch just after 9am. It would be nice for him to hear a thank you that he didn’t get from the customer he helped.”
David was a bit surprised when told by the store’s management of the Facebook post …
“Last week I didn’t think I did anything out of the ordinary, I just noticed one of our regular customers needed a hand. I was a bit taken aback to hear about the Facebook post and the traction it got – I don’t even have Facebook myself!”
Lidl has recognized David’s actions by making him “Customer Service Champion” for the month of October. See, folks, this is what good people are like … they don’t think twice, they don’t expect a reward … they just help people because it’s who they are.
It’s a shorter-than-usual ‘good people’ post today, not because I ran out of good people … nothing could be further from the truth … but because I ran out of energy. Still, I hope these three people inspired you, helped you to remember that the people we see everyday on the news are not the only kind out there, but that they are counter-balanced by the good people, quietly going about their business, not asking for recognition or reward.