Yesterday, I finally took the step for a new smartphone after seven years of using my last one. So, I stepped into the store, was told someone would be with me shortly. Soon a staff member in his early thirties showed up, shook my hand with an eye-catching yet humble smile. He introduced himself to me but I wasn’t able to hear his name. I felt like his soft voice somehow was drowned in the vast amount of store noise. With a slight hesitation I leaned towards him and confessed I hadn’t caught his name. That is when he gestured his ears. He was deaf on both ears, couldn’t speak loudly himself but he could read lips. I was stunned as I wasn’t expecting this and somewhat selfishly it crossed my mind if the difficulty in communication would eventually impact the quality of my decision making, as to which model to buy.
Pete then proceeded to inquire what I was looking for and how he could help. The ensuing minutes were nothing short of magical. I realized within the next minute or so, I was communicating with someone who could read my lips flawlessly. He was making me talk in order to narrow things down. In our dance, he gave me enough confidence I wouldn’t be hurting his feelings if I had to ask to repeat what he had just tried saying. After I made my choice and bought my phone, it was time to reinstall everything I had on cloud onto my new phone. At the store. With Pete. I was excited.
At some point during the transfer, the cloud process got interrupted. Pete was trying to press this or that button. Nothing seemed to get it going. The transfer was stuck. I noticed inside of me that I was becoming impatient and worse yet, worried. At some point I must have looked away without realizing. Probably I was simply gazing other customers in the store to sooth my anxiety, attempting to separate myself from the problem in front of me. The, as I turned my head back towards Pete, I found him holding his phone to my face as if to say: “- Read it!”. I noticed he had written something on it with big and bold fonts while I had made myself mentally absent from the scene a minute or two ago. On his phone he wrote: “- I don’t want you worried. There is always a solution to an obstacle in this world. This is especially true for a problem with iPhone. We can always resolve any issue with Apple. Because it was coded by humans”.
A chill went up my spine, and I’ve learned a very impactful lesson at age 56, for which I am grateful in this holiday season. A day later, I am enjoying my phone, it is working great, and noticing the Earth today is not off its axis.
Thank you, Pete, for who you are, how you carry yourself and showing us impaired like me, the way.