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Michael Pemberton is president of UNIQUE Paving Materials. UNIQUE employs 40+ people and has been adding value to our economy since I was a one-year-old. That’s 55 years!

Like others who carry his title, Mike has spent a night or two worrying about the success or failure of the organization. He knows that if UNIQUE goes under, not only would it be a disservice to its paying customers, but more than 40 people would be unable to feed their kids, pay their bills, and build their life savings.

So when a guy like Mike sends us a story about serving customers that’s meaningful to him, we think it can be meaningful to all. Enjoy!

John, after a full day of work I flew to Fort Myers, Florida to visit my mom. The flight was late due to bad weather, and I was dragging. 

Upon landing, I tried to check in on my cell with Alamo for my rental car but got an error message. So I picked up my luggage and headed to the Alamo counter.

It was there I discovered their computers were down. 

Now, this could’ve gone two ways. The good news is, Ansel of Alamo—the fella behind the counter—chose the right path. 

Speaking to a group of customers, he described the problem and assured us that in spite of the time and effort it would require to process the paperwork by hand while calling each credit card in for approval, we would be taken care of as expeditiously as possible.

And so it began, Ansel got to work—smiling.

As he completed forms by hand and a few phone calls to Alamo’s card processing center disconnected, requiring redialing—Ansel just kept smiling. 

We all know he could have blamed the company for “buying cheap computers and software,” complained of the extra work or being understaffed, or gotten angry over the dropped credit card calls. But he didn’t. Instead:

He kept a positive attitude that helped me keep mine. 

In the end, the renting of my car took 45 minutes longer than usual, yet the strangest thing happened: When I finally walked out to get my car—I was smiling.

Nice job, Ansel! 

Rest assured, I’ll be renting from Alamo the next time I need a car.

Running a business is serious business. People depend on us. Mike, the president of UNIQUE Paving Products, gets that. 

So does Ansel at Alamo.

Please, forward this blog and spread this simple but powerful message: 

One does not need to be president, CEO, or VP of Anything to practice personal accountability.

Anyone can do that. Even me.

Questions:
How is your organization doing helping people at all levels act like Ansel?
Know any “Ansels” that you’d like to tell us about?
Share below!
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About John G. Miller

John G. Miller is the author of QBQ! The Question Behind the Question, Flipping the Switch: Unleash the Power of Personal Accountability, Outstanding! 47 Ways to Make Your Organization Exceptional and co-author of Parenting the QBQ Way. He is founder of QBQ, Inc., an organizational development firm based in Colorado dedicated to “Helping Organizations Make Personal Accountability a Core Value.” A 1980 graduate of Cornell University, John has been involved in the training and speaking industry since 1986. He lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife, Karen. They have seven children and three grandchildren.

Did you like this post? Try some of John's other ones!

5 Responses to “Ansel @ Alamo: Accountability in Action”

  1. Adam

    I had a similarly wonderful experience with Alamo this past weekend! My wife and I were in Phoenix from Albuquerque and our rental car had fallen through-from a competitor company. In short-the competitor refused to honor our reservations because we tried to use a Check/Debit card to pay. Needless to say-they lost a customer. I walked to the next space, which was Alamo, and spoke with the manager, Jayson Mitchell. Told him I was having a bad day-explained my situation with XYZ next door and asked if he could help. He did me one better. He offered me a better price and an upgrade. Way to be amazing!!!

    Reply
  2. Beverly Scruggs

    I’m planning on renting a car in about a month. Guess which company I’m going to call?

    Reply
  3. Robert Elgin

    I think that Michael should consider hiring Ansel. Individuals like him do not appear every day and just think how is thinking could influence the thinking of his other employees.

    Reply

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