The Light of Empathy

The Light of Empathy

I, like many people, take my own talents for granted. There are many things I can do, and when I want to do them, I just do them and they are done. These are therefore not a big deal to me.

On the other hand, to someone who is unable to do them, they are a big deal. I work at The Home Depot. It is my job to help people. I help people everyday, but sometimes I get an opportunity to change or improve someone’s life.

A few days ago I met a lady who was recently widowed. Her name was Shirley. She came in and asked if Home Depot could install two light fixtures for her. She had already purchased them from a mail order catalog and showed me the pictures she cut out of her magazine. The truth is that our district is one of few that to don’t install lights or fans. I explained this to her and apologized. I asked if she knew anyone else who could help her. This is when everything changed for me.

She said her husband used to do all these things. She went on to say she had called seven different electricians and no one returned her call. She did not even have a power source where the lights were to be installed because her apartment complex would not allow this. She accepted this and decided she was content to have them hung just for decorations.

When people are asked questions, it is just a reflex to simply answer them. Many people in retail believe their purpose to be just that. I suppose they are not wrong. However, I did not hear a question for which I was to  provide an answer. I saw a poor defeated lady who just wanted to improve her surroundings and all it would take was someone willing to care enough about her.

Home Depot does not generally make a practice of going to customer homes to do this kind of thing. Particularly not when it for something they did not buy from us. I wanted to see a good ending for her, and so I asked for her phone number and told her I would call her in an hour. I said, “Shirley I am going to figure this out for you. Go home and wait for my call.”

I got permission from a manager to leave work early and go to her home and take care of this for her. When I called Shirley and told her of this she did not believe me at first. She was overjoyed and could not believe this was going to happen the same day we spoke of it. She asked me how much I charged. I laughed and said “nothing”. She cried and said “Thank you so much”.

I got to her home and put up the lights, but kept thinking how much better it would be if the lights were to work. When I got finished, I asked her to come by the store the next day because I had an idea for how to make the lights work.

The next morning as soon as i got to work, I took two regular light bulbs and glued a battery powered LED light to them. When she came in they were finished. She remarked that this never would have occurred to her. She said,”Tom you are an amazing brilliant man”. To which I replied, “Yes ma’am I really am. How astute of you to see that”. She laughed. She then cried and hugged me and then I cried. She could not have been happier. Sadly my job with her, was done.

I think how tragic it would have been if she had gone to another store or spoke with another associate. I count myself lucky was the person she asked. it is sad to imagine her walking out of the store no better off than she went in. I take great pride in having a job at a company that celebrates this type of initiative and allows me to make this opportunity into a reality.

It doesn’t happen everyday or even every month. Sometimes when I think the things I do are not important or that they don’t matter, I think back to some of the Shirleys or Edies I have encountered. It is then I am fully aware why I do what I do.

I am Tom Nardone, and you are welcome.

Help me. I can only spread so much bullshit by myself.
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Brody Bricker Vol II. | Brody Bricker Makes the News!!

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The Adventures of: Brody Bricker

VOL. II

Brody Makes the News


Brody Bricker was one of my best friends growing up. He lived to cause trouble. He would do anything to get a reaction out of someone. He had absolutely no conscience, and the only time I ever saw him smile, was after causing any kind of mayhem.

I have changed his name, the names of his victims, and the names of any businesses that might have suffered at the expense of his entertainment.

These are his stories

Ladies and Gentlemen, Brody Bricker

It was never a good idea t cross Brody. He would always come out on top. He never lost because he had no fear and no conscience about anything he ever did

One Saturday Brody and I decided to go to the movies. We were taking a short cut through the woods to go to the movie theatre. We had done this many time before, but this time we ran into some kids who were playing in a tree house. We tried to just ignore them, but they had some problem with us cutting through their yard and told us to go around. We said we were sorry, and we started to go around, but that suddenly was not good enough either. They wanted to fight. One of the kids said “Now we are gonna kick your asses” Brody said great which one of you assholes wants to go first.

I did not want to fight, but if they were going to insist, then fine. Two of them came forward one at me and one at brody. The rest of them scurried up the tree house ladder to get a better view. We were doing great and the kids we were fighting ran away, then the kids in the tree house started yelling and throwing things at us. We got out of there just in case their parents might decide to come out, and raise hell about the two of us beating the hell out of their idiot sons.

Brody was furious. He was enjoying beating those other kids up. I was the only person he ever hung around with, so he did not have many chances to kick anybody’s ass. He was even angrier that we ended up not going to see the movie that he had been waiting to go see.

Later that night I was spending the night with him and as usual we snuck out. Brody said to me “Tom, wait here for just a minute” He came back with a duffel bag and said “OK let’s go.” I didn’t know where we were going, and he wouldn’t tell me because he did not want me to chicken out, which I definitely would have.

As we were walking through the woods I said “Brody we are going through the woods. Why didn’t you just tell me we’re going to the movies?” He said “We aren’t going to the movies tonight.” When he said that I figured out what we were doing. I knew we were going back to the tree house where those kids were playing. When we got there Brody told me to stay where I was he would only be a minute. He climbed the chain linked fence that surrounded the yard where the tree house stood. He quietly snuck through the yard and went up the ladder, and into the tree house.

treehouse5-11-06 006I should note that this was not some half-ass tree house. The person who built this took time and money to make it very beautiful. It had a shingled roof and siding. Brody later told me that it even had a refrigerator and lights in it.

He was in there for 5 very long minutes. He of course, emptied the refrigerator into the duffel bag, along with any other snacks, or things of value. Finally I saw him coming out of the tree house and down the ladder. I gave a sigh of relief but this night had only just begun.

I noticed Brody was messing with some string on the way down the ladder. He then pulled out a lighter and lit the string. The string started burning very fast, I remember watching the flame as it was traveling up toward the tree house. All of a sudden WAHHHHH!! Out of the windows came a giant cloud of orange flames. Brody wasn’t counting on the flames to be so bright. I had no idea what the hell he was doing until I saw the flames. I completely freaked out, and ran back towards his house which was a good mile through the woods at night. He jumped the fence and said “Tom, we better haul some ass” I was so far ahead that I barely heard him. We were running through the woods, and within 2 minutes we could hear the fire engine horns and sirens. I turned back and saw flashing blue and red lights through the woods. I didn’t care to sight see for long. We got back to house and went right to bed. Brody wanted to talk about it, because he was so proud of the mayhem he had caused. I was too scared. I felt like a criminal.

I went home the next morning because it was too scary to be at Brody’s anymore for the weekend. My dad was watching cartoons when I got home. As I walked in the door, my dad said ”Hey your home early. You want to watch Tom & Jerry” That sounded safe enough so I said “Sure.” I always enjoyed watching cartoons with my dad.

I was watching cartoons with dad for a while. I actually started to forget about what had happened the night before. I had gotten past it, and then the morning news came on. It was the tree house. The news was there covering an arson investigation. Apparently the entire tree house burned up, along with the tree, and a shed. They showed the kids whose tree house it was, and they were crying. My dad said “Boy, Tommy, what kind of sick sons of bitches would burn down a little kid’s tree house?”  I said “Only the meanest kind of person dad”

I no sooner said that and the phone rang. Oh God!!!! I knew it was brody. He saw the news like I did and he wanted to brag and tell me how awesome it was that his work was being covered by the news media. I jumped up and got the phone and said “Hello” it was Brody He said “Are you watching the news” I said “Yes” He said “Did you see those assholes crying? And we even got their dick dad’s shed as a bonus” I said “OK I will be over later today.” And then I hung up.  Dad says “was that your friend Brody?” I said “Yes” He said “That sounds like some shit he would do.” I simply and truthfully replied “I was with him all night dad”.

I am Tom Nardone, and You Are Welcome!

Help me. I can only spread so much bullshit by myself.
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