Saturday, January 31, 2009

Connecting with people

I was asked to post something about work. As stated in earlier post, I started on Tuesday at Casey’s. The first night I met someone that I graduated from high school with. My brother, cousin and her daughter came in. We had a young man trying to steal a dollar bag of candy. He was told not to come into the store again.

Learning the cash register was easy for me as I have been on cash register before. The cleaning was more difficult, because I have not done physical work other then around the house in a long time. Most of my previous employment involved mental work, little to none physical work whatsoever. However, the second night at Casey's became easier as my feet and muscles were not as sore as the night before.

It feels great to get out in the public again. Meeting old and new people from all walk of life. I enjoy talking to each one of my customers.

One night an elderly lady came in buying dry cat food for a gentleman. She knew that the cat food was more than the person wanted to pay. But it was snowing outside and she did not want to go to the other side of town to Wal-mart. Therefore she bought the cat food. The next night, she came in again. I asked, “How the cat food work out last night?” She laughed and was surprised I remembered. We connected through communication.

I have worked with the elderly for a number of years. Some of them are very lonely and want connection with a person. Last year, I worked in a nursing home. Many of these elderly only have the staff to comfort them because their family does not come by as often due to living out of town or out of state. Which make some of the elderly feel like they are forgotten.

These elderly does not know what the computer is about, let alone know how to turn one on. But they do know what a card or letter is. Before the time of computer, I used to write to Grandma Whitcher, who lived in a very small town in Kansas. In the beginning, I wrote to her weekly. Over time it turned into monthly and then maybe six times a year before it trailed off to a letter with a Christmas card before she died. Busyness and time can take away what is really important, being connected with the ones you care about.

Earlier this week, I went to get the mail. Of course the mail consisted of a bank statement, advertisement and a couple of bills. I turned to Brad and said, “You know what I missed?” “I missed getting letters in the mail and writing them back.” In today’s world, we communicate with emails, text messages on phones, and other technology that I’m not aware of. (maybe I’m getting old too :-) ) Is this way of communicating as personal as writing a letter with a paper and an ink pen?

I watch my son, Brad, who is in his twenty, glide over the phone text messaging to friends. I see him laugh and make expressions on his face when that person responds back. It seems that he is as much connected to the person he is writing to as I am connected to the person when I write a letter with an paper and a pen. Those who knows me that my favorite aisle is office supply. I love pens! Those stationaries are pretty too.

On the news, they said that teenagers text hundreds to thousands of messages a day. When I heard this, I thought that there is no way, people my age would text that much until I saw my friend, Kim texting several messages to her spouse, children, and friends. (maybe not hundreds, but a lot). At first she was slow in texting back. Today, she whipped messages back to me in no time. I am sure it helped when she got a new phone with a qwerty keyboard.

Connecting with people by technology can be personal. But I have seen it become a relationship hinder to the person sitting next to you. I remember being at Apple Bees having dinner. Behind me in a booth, a man was talking on his cell phone while his wife was eating dinner across from him. The man talked on the phone the whole time they were at Apple Bees and did not talk to his wife. No wonder relationships are failing. I wanted to turn around and say, “Put that phone away and pay attention to your wife!” But I didn’t.

Connection with people is very important in building a relationship. Whether it is customer relation, client relation, friends or family relation, we all need to feel connected with someone else. God wants us to build a healthy relationship with others not destroy relationships with people.

If you have been feeling disconnected or if you disconnected yourself with someone over time because of busyness or other reasons, maybe it’s time re-evaluate that relationship and get connected again. Put away that cell phone and get away from the computer and have a meaningful night (quality time) with a special friend, spouse, children. If you cannot visit your grandparents, great aunt or uncle, then write them a personal letter or send a card. I promise you, that will be the highlight of their day. By doing this, you will be able to grow stronger in a relationship with that person and stay connected.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad to know you are enjoying your new employment! You are right when you say that connecting with people is very important in building relationships. This post and all of your previous ones have been excellent!! Keep 'em coming Rena!!! They are very reflective and have been resonating with me. Looking forward to reading your future blogs.