February 1, 2010

One touching story, one special Customer, and one outstanding Crewleader

The following is a letter that Customer, Nick Knobil, wrote to our CEO, Dave Barger, about his jetting experience with us during cutover weekend. He is a member of a mission-based church that was returning from relief work in Haiti by way of Santo Domingo. The letter is reprinted here with his permission, in his own words.

Dear Mr. Barger,

On Saturday, January 30th, 2010, I was traveling along with other members of a Maine-based Baptist Church Mission that had been serving Haitians in the Dominican Republic. We had departed Santo Domingo around 8AM, and we discovered upon arriving in Orlando that our entire group’s reservation information had been lost in the software switch that occurred that morning.

Picture that Nick took in La Romana, the D.R., of young girls peeking into the room where a medical team is setting up supplies

Picture that Nick took in La Romana, the D.R., of young girls peeking into the room where a medical team is setting up supplies

The folks manning the ticket counter were having enough challenges as it was without us falling out of the sky into their already crowded laps, so they very nicely shunted us over to the side and dedicated a couple of people to figuring out our problem without jamming up the works for the other JetBlue customers.

We’re a pretty cheerful bunch anyway, and we were patiently waiting for things to get straightened out, when a fellow came out with a box of donuts and passed them around with some water and explained the technical difficulties that everyone was experiencing.

After the donuts were exhausted, the fellow (David Clark) started a JetBlue trivia contest amongst all us folks waiting in line with the winners getting free round-trip tickets to anywhere Jet Blue flies.

I hope you’re not dismayed to learn that nobody knew the name of the CEO of JetBlue.

Of course, in this age of executive scandal and misdeeds that’s not necessarily a bad thing, eh?

So, David was left holding onto a free round-trip ticket, and he looked over at our group and asked who we were and why we were sitting in a clot over to one side of the serpentine queue of JetBlue travelers.

We gave him our spiel of how we were one of many groups of people (not all Baptists, but even pagans like myself) that had been traveling to La Romana in the Dominican Republic for the past twenty years or so building a hospital to serve the Haitian sugar cane workers in that area. (You can learn more at www.laromana.org)

David asked, “Who’s your leader?”, and we all looked at each other, and one fellow answered, “God,” which got a laugh out of everybody.

David then handed us the last free round-trip ticket and said, “Here. You guys figure out what you want to do with it!”

We thanked him and huddled up to discuss what we would do with such a prize. After some discussion we came up with a plan.

Our group was already sponsoring two Haitian children and their mothers to come up to Maine Medical Center to have the kids operated on for some kind of congenital heart defect, so we decided that since there was obviously going to be a future need for this kind of travel to the U.S. for health care that we’d bank the ticket and use it to bring the next kid to the states when he or she needed it.

I thought that David would like to know what we had come up with, so (since we had some time) I tracked him down and told him what we had decided to do with his gift.

Without a moments hesitation, David said, “Well, you’re going to need another ticket.” And proceeded to go and get us one, so the child’s mother could also come along.

Not a bad story, eh?

I’m no theologian, but I’ve come to the realization that good and evil exist, and that we as individuals are either drawn into the battle on one side or the other, or wall themselves off and pretend that the battle doesn’t exist, or that they are powerless to affect the world around them.

Edmund Burke said, “Nobody makes a greater mistake than he who does nothing because he could only do a little.”

David Clark stepped in without a thought and will make a difference in the life of someone you, he or I will never meet. If that’s the kind of guy you like to hire, then you and the rest of your company are okay with me.

On behalf of myself and a whole bunch of other folks, American, Dominican and Haitian,

Thank You.

Nick Knobil
Chief Financial Officer
Precast Concrete Products of Maine, Inc.

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