My husband is dabbling around with car shopping. We’ve had the same vehicles for over 8 years and with his being close to the 100k mile mark, he figured it was time to begin looking around.
Since I worked at a Ford dealership for 10 years, our car buying had been quite easy. But as Matt pointed out recently, he can finally consider other makes and models. (There is no fury like an employee or an employee’s relative purchasing from a different dealer. Just kidding…sort of.)
His car-shopping has been quite comical for me to watch. I look over his shoulder as he peruses web sites, and I even got the greatest kick out of listening to his side of the conversation with a salesperson over the phone.
A Little Bit of Background…
You see, every bit of his car shopping was exactly what I did, on the other side, for almost a decade. My department handled all the Internet business, and we spoke with car shoppers over the phone before they came into the dealership.
Every time a person called into our dealership and asked to speak to a salesperson, the receptionist would announce, “customer care,” and we answered the call. Our goal was to take time with each prospective customer, answer questions, and ultimately to set a time for them to come to the dealership in person.
Over the years, I hired and trained dozens of employees to do just this and to do it well. They were constantly ready and available for the next phone call to come in. While many employees revolved in and out of their positions over the years, there were a few who were simply masters at their jobs. One was Brittany. Brittany was the first one I hired when the department launched. She learned the “car business” like a pro and treated her job as more than a job. She invested in the good of the company and worked hard.
Always Ready, No Matter What
What impressed me about Brittany was that no matter what was going on, she was always cheerfully ready to speak to the next customer. Some days she would have had little sleep because of a sick baby. Other days she would come when she was sick and barely able to whisper (which is its own challenge when your whole job is on the phone). She would walk the half a mile to personally look at a car while nine months pregnant just to answer a customer’s question from out of state. And there were those days when we would be in a great conversation – or eating our annual Thanksgiving pot luck feast – and get interrupted by a sales call. Brittany was always ready and available, no matter what.
What motivated Brittany to excel at her work and to push through temptations to check out for the day? Sure, she worked for bonuses, but she truly did have the dealership’s overall success in mind. She knew her job went beyond herself. Contributing to each sale contributed to the success of the dealership, which contributed to local jobs, which contributed to local families. This wasn’t just a job for her. She saw the big picture and devoted herself to it.
Always Ready for God’s Work?
Just like there’s “always someone needing a car,” God is always at work, and I have been thinking about Brittany’s example lately.
In a Kingdom sense, I want to be like Brittany. I want God, when is he is working in lives in ways I can’t fathom, to know He can count on me. Whether it be for a smile to the waiter or conversation with an acquaintance, or an openness to invest more deeply in a person, I want to be always “on call.”
I want God to be able to say, “That’s my girl, I can count on her. I’m going to cross her path with someone today so she can show my love.”
I am praying my eyes would open to opportunities surrounding me. I am praying I will always be available, “on call” should God bring someone to my path. And not only “if” but “when.” I want to expect it, to be looking for it.
The Flip Side
You know who were the least successful employees? The ones who just came to punch the clock. The ones who only were truly available when it was convenient. The ones who always seemed to have excuses as to why they couldn’t take the next call.The ones who were only interested in working for what was in it for themselves.
I don’t want to be like that. I want my Lord to know that I’m here, rain or shine, convenient or inconvenient. I’m not there yet, but I’m striving. Striving to be available when a child or potential child of God needs “customer care.”
The Rest of the Story
When I became a stay-at-home Mom, I left a job and people I loved. (And yes, part of me still cringes when Matt researches a non-Ford or Mazda vehicle.) But I left the department that was my baby in the best of hands – Brittany’s. Then, when her family moved to another part of the state, she got a job at another dealership and launched her own department, where she is still, I can surmise, always available.
It brings to mind the verse that when we’re faithful with little, we’ll be put in charge of much.
Brittany was faithful for 9 years, and she is now in charge of much.
Do I want to see God’s work knock my socks off? Heck, yeah. Maybe it starts with being faithful in little, being available the next time I get that Holy Spirit nudge and say, as I can hear Brittany saying now, “I got it!”
Brittany and I not only were coworkers for 9 years – sitting 10 feet from another – but she became a dear, close friend, more like a sister. This picture was the last time we had the chance to catch up earlier this year.