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Pickle Stories

Superior Plumbing

At Superior Plumbing, we give "Pickle Awards" to our service technicians in recognition of outstanding customer service. These awards are based upon YOUR popular video "Give 'Em the Pickle!" which we watched about two years ago. The pickles are... still coming in weekly!

Sgt. Dick Roos is currently training at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, serving with the 34th Infantry Division prior to leaving for Iraq. A woman called our company last week asking to speak with Dick. She went on to explain that several weeks ago she was stranded along the highway after a tire blew on her car. Several cars went by without stopping, but Dick did stop. He went to the nearest station, spent $60.00 on a new tire and returned to change it. She explained to him that she was going through some hard times and did not have the money to pay him and it might be a while. He said, "Don't worry, I understand." She asked for his home address and he gave her his BUSINESS CARD - because he was "pickle oriented." She called to thank him, to let him know she would have the money by the end of the month.

Needless to say, she was very impressed with the generosity and kindness of our employee. She said, "What a fine representation of your company - believe me, when I need to have any plumbing done, you will be the company I will call." I explained to her that Dick was serving our country for 18 months and assured her that the money would be given to his family. We are showing Give 'Em The Pickle for the 4th time to our team next week! What a difference it has made.
Sgt. Dick Roos is currently training at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, serving with the 34th Infantry Division prior to leaving for Iraq. A woman called our company last week asking to speak with Dick. She went on to explain that several weeks ago she was stranded along the highway after a tire blew on her car. Several cars went by without stopping, but Dick did stop. He went to the nearest station, spent $60.00 on a new tire and returned to change it. She explained to him that she was going through some hard times and did not have the money to pay him and it might be a while. He said, "Don't worry, I understand." She asked for his home address and he gave her his BUSINESS CARD - because he was "pickle oriented." She called to thank him, to let him know she would have the money by the end of the month.

Needless to say, she was very impressed with the generosity and kindness of our employee. She said, "What a fine representation of your company - believe me, when I need to have any plumbing done, you will be the company I will call." I explained to her that Dick was serving our country for 18 months and assured her that the money would be given to his family. We are showing Give 'Em The Pickle for the 4th time to our team next week! What a difference it has made.

Mary Kipp
Superior Plumbing Mary Kipp
Superior PlumbingSgt. Dick Roos is currently training at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, serving with the 34th Infantry Division prior to leaving for Iraq. A woman called our company last week asking to speak with Dick. She went on to explain that several weeks ago she was stranded along the highway after a tire blew on her car. Several cars went by without stopping, but Dick did stop. He went to the nearest station, spent $60.00 on a new tire and returned to change it. She explained to him that she was going through some hard times and did not have the money to pay him and it might be a while. He said, "Don't worry, I understand." She asked for his home address and he gave her his BUSINESS CARD - because he was "pickle oriented." She called to thank him, to let him know she would have the money by the end of the month.

Needless to say, she was very impressed with the generosity and kindness of our employee. She said, "What a fine representation of your company - believe me, when I need to have any plumbing done, you will be the company I will call." I explained to her that Dick was serving our country for 18 months and assured her that the money would be given to his family. We are showing Give 'Em The Pickle for the 4th time to our team next week! What a difference it has made.

Mary Kipp
Superior Plumbing

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Above and Beyond Room Service

Stephen Fell of the Courtyard by Marriott
The following letter was addressed to the General Manager of the Courtyard by Marriot, Richardson at Spring Valley. The letter was written by Thomas Hitchcock, a patron of the hotel, who wanted to applaud and thank a helpful member of the hotel staff.

To: Landon Amberg
General Manager
Courtyard by Marriott
Richardson at Spring Valley

Dear Landon,

On the second day of my stay at the Courtyard in Richardson I suffered a pinched nerve in my back. I have had this happen to me before and I immediately knew that this time would much worse than before as I was in a training class and needed to be there. I just couldn't take the time off my daily schedule to get the rest and help from my family that I desperately needed.

As I hobbled by the front desk I inquired about the possibility of getting a heating pad to aid in my recuperation and was told that unfortunately the hotel didn't have one. I wasn't exactly surprised, but an employee named Stephen Fell said that he could get one for me. The surprise was that he would go out and get one for my use.

That first full day of class was one of excruciating pain. When I returned to my room, there on my bed, was the heating pad that would make the rest of the week bearable.

The comfort that that heating pad afforded me was as close to the TLC that I would have received from my own family as I could have asked for. Not only did Stephen go to the trouble of getting me that glorious heating pad, he also provided me with a free movie, cookies, drinks and a refrigerator. I was so grateful that I just had to let you know how this act of kindness on Stephen's part has made this week of training possible.

I work at a large law firm with offices throughout the US and our attorneys and staff do a lot of traveling. I am going to make sure that the appropriate people within our firm are informed of my experience. You have an employee by the name of Stephen Fell who should be applauded for his kindness and thoughtfulness. Please thank him again for me.

Thomas Hitchcock

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Have You Had Your Pickle Yet?

Mia Vandiver of the Oklahoma Central Credit Union
Dear Bob,

I just began my new job with this company, and all week I have been hearing; "Have you had the 'pickle' yet?" from various individuals, with a mysterious glint in their eye. Well, the 'pickle' was scheduled for Friday, so by the time Friday came along I was pretty psyched about learning what everyone was talking about. I even asked them to give me a clue about what might be in store, but they would just tell me to wait and I would find out.

Well, the time finally arrived, and I watched your pickle video. Amazing! I had been to Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor, back in the '70s, to celebrate many birthdays! I lived in Tucson, AZ at the time and those celebrations were unforgettable. I remember once they ran out of candles, so they improvised with a match, stuck right in the middle of my sundae.

Your "pickle" story triggered many wonderful memories of my childhood, and I just want to say thanks! And thanks for teaching me the true meaning of a "pickle."

Sincerely,
Mia Vandiver
Oklahoma Central Credit Union

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Employee Receives Pickle Award

Dahinda Darling of the US Postal Service
This excerpt is from an article by Christina Smith that appeared in the West Register Newspaper, January 25, 2005

Dahinda Darling is the first recipient of the pickle award, an honor for workers who make customers happy.

A south-side postal worker's experience with pickles last week brought a smile to her face instead of leaving her with a sour taste in her mouth. Dahinda Darling, a sales service associate for the US Postal Service, was honored for going the extra mile and received a pickle award for a job well done.

Doug Morrow, post office district manager said Darling was honored because of a letter sent by customer Paul Grillo. Grillo said he appreciates the service he receives and is especially thankful for Darling's kindness. "It's the way she greets people. She's always got a smile, she's always calm and treats people with respect."

Officials plan to continue the pickle award when other employees are singled out for stellar service. The idea of the pickle, Morrow said, came from the employee training tool of Bob Farrell, founder of Farrell's Ice Cream. "It's all about making the customer glad they came in, and that they want to keep coming back. You have to make them feel special. Give them the pickle!"

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Pickles produce pride and perk up performance

Cheryl Waale of Westmark Hotels
When we began planning for the 2004 season, we decided to build on the positive energy. We knew we wanted to continue to improve service delivery and felt we could make a big impact if we improved teamwork. We created a "Pickle" employee recognition program where employees could recognize each other for going the extra mile for a guest, as well as co-workers going the extra mile for each other.

Prize Picklers receive a coveted golden pickle pin for Premium Pickle Performance. Examples include:

  • Oma Gilmore, for loaning a guest her baby stroller.
  • Josa Felicino, for doing a guest's laundry when the vendor missed a pick-up.
  • Nicholas Townsend, for driving guest around and helping housekeepers make beds.
  • Mike Awmack, for driving a sick staff member to the doctor (300 miles each way) on his day off.
  • Kim Nohr, for escorting an elderly guest to a local casino
  • Chef James, for pitching in where needed - the dish pit, clearing tables, and even carrying luggage.
  • Chris Summar, for driving to Anchorage (360 miles each way) to pick up Polish student exchange workers.

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Former Farrell's Employee Still Living its Principles

Andrew Otto, former Farrell's store employee
Dear Bob,

I was part of the opening crew (a waiter) for the Farrell's store in North Riverside, Illinois, in 1975. At the pre-grand opening, Bob Farrell himself came and spoke to us. A bunch of us kids invited Mr. Farrell to sit down with us, and, much to our delight, he did.

We found out that his favorite was a Coffee Soda, that some of the items were named after his daughters and that he loved the Northwest.

Then he told us this crazy story about a regular customer, his regular waitress, someone who filled in, and a "pickle for a nickel." Bob, that little talk made a big impression on a 17-year old kid.

Thirty years later, I still remember this when I fix a client's printer for no charge or spend extra time to make sure a user understands the computer system that he has purchased.

I also want you to know that Farrell's was one of the best jobs I ever had. I met many, many friends. I got my first kiss from a girl, my first taste of real job responsibility and a lifelong love of ice cream. I learned to wait tables, cook short order, deal with cranky people with a smile, and clean sticky tables with soda water. I can still "float a root beer float" much to my family's delight.

It makes me sad that there are no more Farrell's around this area. I miss those places. I still have my nametag and the little black tie (is that pathetic or what??).

Thanks again,
Andy Otto
Lisle, IL

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