It may not be the time of year we normally think about 9/11—not that we will ever forget—but here’s a story from that awful day I will always remember. Share if you’d like!
John G. Miller, author of these books
Asking a Lousy Question
Hours after the terrorist attacks, I was asking the whiny question, “Why do I have to do everything myself?” Looking back, I was mindlessly rearranging my garage, doing my best to not feel the pain.
I was also avoiding what sat on the back of my pickup truck: a new natural gas-powered furnace/heater for our above-ground pool—which I knew I could never lift off alone. My plan was to levitate it to the ground with sheer mind control.
Not feeling very good about anything, I was suddenly interrupted by a pleasant, “Afternoon, Sir. How ‘ya doing?”
Some Moments You Never Forget
With my back to the intruder, I turned just enough to see two men in crisp, clean uniforms approaching the garage door.
Oh, man, that’s the last thing I need! I thought. I knew exactly who they were.
I muttered “Hello” and kept pushing garage contents around hoping these people would disappear. I looked again. Darn, still there. Schwan’s guys. Good guys. Providers of food. Great food. I just wasn’t in the mood to buy stuff. What I really needed was a large crane or a small army to help me remove the chunk of iron and steel from my vehicle.
Knowing they wouldn’t leave until they’d been of service, I straightened and turned to shoo them away …
Then I noticed something about the younger fella: 21″ biceps! And the other gentleman had clearly spent half of his life in the gym. Before I could say anything, the older guy said, “Need some help gettin’ that off your truck, Sir?”
My Small Army Had Arrived
“Ah, well, sure!” I responded. “Stand back, Sir, we’ll handle it!” one said. With veins bursting and muscles bulging—but no grunting—they grabbed, hoisted, and carried the furnace around the house and into my backyard faster than I could say Buy More Schwan’s!
I thanked them six times. They assured me it was no big deal. Then, an uncomfortable quiet enveloped us as we all knew where we were going next.
It was time for me to spend some money.
I spoke first: “So, what do you have on your truck today?” With a twinkle in his eye, Dennis Naibauer, the local field trainer for Schwan’s Sales Enterprises, proclaimed, “We have filet mignon, Sir—and lots of it!”
$127 later, I shook hands with Jason Tator, a former wrestler, and his mentor, Dennis. On a miserable day for our world—and for each of us—they left me standing in the warm summer sunshine with a smile on my face.
Seeing Our Job As Helping People
A week later, I spoke to the Schwan’s sales manager, Doug Rosenthal, who shared, “John, I’m telling our route people we’re all hurting, we’re all in pain, but we still have a job to do. And that job adds value to the lives of others. In our own small way, we can help people even at a time like this.”
Especially at a time like September 11, 2001.
A part of practicing personal accountability is asking for help. Reaching out is a good thing. It’s a sign of strength. Rather than lamenting, “Why do I have to do everything myself?” and going down that victim path, it’s healthy to seek help from others. There are lots of folks who want to go beyond their “job description,” as Dennis and Jason did that painful day. It’s great to find people like that, isn’t it? But …
It’s even better to be a person like that. No matter our job, we can help people.
So let’s remember, we’re here for each other. We really don’t need to do everything all by ourselves.
In what way do you add value beyond your “job description”? Do you reach out for help often enough? Share!