Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Special Thank You to Lara Olson Boswell

A while back I read an outstanding book called This Is The Moment by Walter Green and it held such a profound message tucked between the pages that I thought I'd take a moment to share something with all my readers. Too often we live out our last days with a feeling of regret, for moments we wished we had but are now too short to fulfill or that thank you we were meaning to share with a special someone has long since passed and one of you is no longer around. So I thought I would take time on my blog to acknowledge those special people from time to time. This is my legacy, if you will, of those special people I will highlight and share what impact their time with me has had.

I met Lara back when AT&T hadn't really become to corporate giant it is today. When customer care still held some meaning and significance; where you actually got service when you called in. Back in those days we had local call centers for the customer service calls spread around the United States. But buyouts and mergers being what they are, those were the good old days now remembered.

Lara Olson was a Customer Care Supervisor, which meant she was responsible for monitoring a team of representatives whose job it was to take your service related calls. Lara was quiet for the most part, not those loud, obnoxious bosses whose job it was to stay so focused on numbers and stats that you hated to come to work. Yet she was efficient in a gentle way. She responded to her representatives in a positive way, much like a mom would to her children who did outstanding work, she would be your biggest cheerleader and small moments of victory became giant milestones in the hearts of those representatives. I think every single member of her team grew in stature because of her kindness and loving attitude.

She was not the helicopter boss either, you know the kind I mean. The one's who standing around micro-managing every aspect of your work and making sure you colored within the lines. Lara was a creative, color outside the box type of person. The one you would never feel worried about if things didn't go well during some aspect of your job. She was a true coach and leader and NEVER failed to step up when the job or a representative needed help. She NEVER denied the opportunity for a customer to speak with a customer as most often did.

I never heard one bad thing ever mentioned about Lara's work performance or her as an individual, in fact quite the opposite. I believe she had one of the most loyal teams in Customer Care because she was so well liked by her team. If there was an issue, it wasn't due in part to Lara, but by someone who had pushed the bar too far to see how high it would go. As a Customer Care Trainer, it would be inevitable that we would work together, but never would I imagine I would have an amazing friendship with her and her beautiful family that lasted longer than our jobs did.

She became for me, one of those people you could talk to about anything. Since she had no door on her cubicle, it was always open!! :D We spent so many hours talking in her cubicle about everything under the sun and some days it was the only way to get through our work day and leave somewhat intact. In Lara, I found an ally! I found out what true friendship looked like.

To this day, Lara's personality is always positive even when deep down inside, she may be having the worst day of her life, you would never know it. She hides it quite well from most people, but those who really know her can see it. She is the spirit of calm that I so often lack at times. She is a great mom, to her daughter Keira, almost going on 5 soon! Now she is my favorite person to share taking vacations and trips to Disneyland with along with your amazing family! In all that time, she has never known except for the occasional phone calls, texts or emails, what she means to me in my life. I look up to her. She is my hero in so many ways, but most of all because I have the honor of sharing the title of friend and family with her.

We may not be blood-related by birth, but there is NOTHING I wouldn't do for this remarkable lady. If you find yourself lucky to have her in your life, or to be able to call her a friend or family, than you are truly rich beyond measure. You have found what most people lack in life by being able to share her friendship. To this, I say Thank YOU, Lara for being one of the most amazing lady's God had the opportunity to bring into my life. Thank you for sharing your friendship and family with me. You are a gift I will never take for granted and just wanted to take this opportunity to share this moment with you and let you know what you being in my life has meant for me.

(OK, now if you're reading this Lara, which I know you will, or someone will share it with you, you can stop crying NOW! I love you that much and wanted to tell you!)


Terra said...

What a sweetheart she is, and you are too, to write this while she can appreciate it.

Sandra said...

How sweet, what a great post. If I were Lara I would be crying too LOL