Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Unsung Heroes

Do you work with some unsung heroes? I think everyone does. The folks that help keep your office or school running smoothly.

I came into work today to the news that our mailroom associate, Kendric, died suddenly last night. Rumor is that he had a heart attack. Many tears have already been shed and there is a sad quiet that has settled over the office.

I counted on Kendric for many things. Working directly with our governing board, it seems like I’m always preparing for the next upcoming board meeting. Kendric would help with getting the agenda books out to everyone and would sometimes come along with me for a drive to our printers to pick up the books. Out of copy paper—call Kendric. Jam in the copier—call Kendric. Need help in mailing something overseas—call Kendric. Box too heavy to move—call Kendric.

Last February, I was preparing for an Executive Committee meeting that was going to take place on a Sunday here in our offices. They were only meeting for a few hours, so no meals were planned, yet I bought some snacks and would have coffee, tea, water, and sodas available. My boss, trying to save a few bucks, insisted that no one needed to come in to set things up. Between another co-worker and myself, it was agreed that Kendric would come in. Since it was near Valentines Day, I bought some pink tulips for the table. I also bought a couple of bags of pink and red foil Dove chocolate hearts. I gave them to Kendric and said “I know this is silly, but would you mind just randomly placing the hearts around the table?” He just laughed and shook his head and said “Christine, you are too much”. The following Monday, he came to me with his cell phone. He was so proud of the table he took a photo of it to show me.

We all noticed that the last few weeks he seemed very tired and sometimes seemed to literally be dragging himself to deliver the mail. If I noticed him walking past my office, I would call out “How you doin’ Kendric?” and he would answer “Oh, I’m okay”. With the advent of email, my office snail mail has gone down considerably. Last Thursday though, Kendric came into my office with a pile of thick letters, close to 20 of them. I looked up and was shocked and blurted out “What the HELL is this?” He was so shocked he dropped the letters and bent over laughing. I’m so glad I was able to give him a good belly laugh.

So, please, take the time to stop and say hi to your unsung heroes.

Kendric, you will be GREATLY missed. Be happy and free.


Dog_geek said...

Thanks for the reminder to take the time to appreciate those around us. Kendrick sounds like a special person who will be missed by many.

KGMom said...

Ah--Christine--what a loss.
And yes, the unsungs heroes are what holds an organization together. They do tough work, rarely complain, and are greatly missed when they leave.
So sorry his leaving was not to retire.

Mary said...

If it weren't for the unsung heroes in the workplace, nothing would get done. I wish him peace.

I remember our maintenance supervisor at the high school in Maryland who was our hero. Just like Kendrick, we called on "Mr. Christie" for everything and he was always eager to please. After a few weeks of continual clouds and rain, I picked up the phone and said, "Mr. Christy, can you put the sun up, please?" That one short phone call made his day :o)

possum said...

Just found your blog today, hoping to see why you call it possumlady place. Found your cats... a pink octopus... and a great blog.
I, too have a cat collection. They collected me, I think. Like you, I recently lost one, a great fellow, Snuffy. And Rascal is sitting on my lap as I type this.
Sorry about Kendrick. You are lucky to have had someone like that. It surely makes a school or business place run smoother.

possumlady said...

Welcome Possum!! Sorry for the delay in responding. I DO love possums and I feed a number of them on my front porch. The name Possumlady is a nickname that a dear friend gave me many years ago. It's a lonngg story but basically the reason behind it had to do with my bad eyesight and mistaking a possum for a gray cat one evening...