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Letter From The CEO: Dec 2016

Dec 1, 2016, 11:05 AM by


Santa is Watching Year-Round

My daughter is in college and is dating a boy who we will call Bill for the sake of anonymity. I don’t like it one little bit! I was in college and I was a boy, but I must admit I do like this kid. He seems very nice, is devoted to my daughter and wants to be a doctor. What’s not to like? Except for the fact that he is a boy and is in college with her! However, I have always told her that she will be able to tell if a boy is nice by the way he treats the waiter on a date. I know this is a cliché, but it is a true one. It is not just about the waiter, it applies to the cashier, the dorm janitor, the lunch lady and so on. The fact of the matter is nice people are nice.

We have nice people who work at the Y. Let me give you two examples…Janet opens the desk at the Arapahoe Y, and Armando is on the facilities staff at the Longmont Y. It would be hard for me to find two nicer people on our staff. This past week I had two shocks. The first was when I was walking past the front desk and found a lady literally raising her voice in anger to Janet because Janet had asked for her membership card. Imagine the horror of being asked for your membership card at a membership organization! The second shocker was today when I received an email from a member indicating that Armando gave him a dirty look because he asked him to mop up some spilled water. Perhaps I would have actually checked into this accusation, but this person ended their email with a derogatory racial slur so that pretty much negated any further belief that their complaint had any validity. Here is my point: Nice people are nice, and mean people act mean. We don’t have time for mean people at the Y, or in our lives. Shuck them from your lives. Granted, all of us have bad days and no organization is perfect. I had to send out an email apologizing for how disorganized our basketball was this season. We are not perfect. But here is how you tell if someone is not mean when they have acted meanly…They apologize.

I have had blow-ups in my life at people who didn’t deserve them, but I think I have almost always gone back and said that I was sorry. I know it is trite to say that during the holidays we should be nicer, but we really should be nicer all the time. Judge yourself by how you treat others who are in service positions. Don’t pay your bad day forward, don’t filter someone’s comments through your bad day and don’t believe in perceived slights. Give people the benefit of the doubt, take a deep breath, think about your Grandma and what she would want you to do. The person on the help line did not break your cable box or interrupt your service during the Broncos game. When did we become so intolerant? I think we should all be intolerant of intolerance. We should not stand for it online, in person, or in our lives. What is really sad is usually we are mad about first world stuff. We have lost some perspective.

Controlling one’s personal anger is the hardest thing to do. It is the pinnacle of emotional intelligence. Figure out a simple way to remind yourself to be the person you want to be. In our house, my wife has a wooden Santa that she leaves out all year. It blends in with the furniture, so most of our guests don't notice it. Wooden Santa is there to remind us that we should try to be good all year round. I have no believers left in the house, but who does not believe in the power of the holidays for good?

If you believe in the power of good and in the joy of the holiday season, then please take the time in the morning to give Janet a smile,  and tell her you think she is awesome. Also, go find Armando and let him know what a good job he does every day. They deserve some extra love this season.

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