Twas the day before Thanksgiving and all through the house, not a turkey was stirring, not even a—–
Apologies. I might be mixing up my holiday tales.
I know that by the time this entry is posted, Thanksgiving will be over and we’ll be on our way to Christmas and the end and beginning of another year.
I recently celebrated my four-month anniversary as an MET in the glorious Daxko Nation. In the past 16 or weeks, I have noticed a significant difference between the members I call for the YMCA than the random people I contacted at my last telephone service position: they actually sound appreciative on the phone. They thank you for welcoming them with open arms to the gym and community center, which for someone who has never worked out before in their life and has no idea where to go from signup, is a tremendous relief.
Sometimes, we do catch people in a rush and they are not able to participate fully in our calls, but they thank us for the contact none the less. However, as a member of the Service Sales, I cannot even begin to count the number of times a mother or father has expressed their gratitude for helping sign their children up for something as simple as swimming lessons or youth basketball. Especially for the families that constantly participate in those activities, these parents understand that these lessons, programs, and sports develop the character of their children physically, mentally, and spiritually while also exposing them to the true meaning of community, whether that is Charlotte, North Carolina or Bangor, Maine.
On the other side of the coin, we as member engagement representatives get to offer own mentions of gratitude throughout our calls. Most of our clients are nonprofits and survive off generous donations and memberships. People do not have to pay X amount of dollars per month to work out. They could easily build a home gym in their basement or dust off their Jazzercise, Richard Simmons, or Tae-Bo VHS tapes and kick it into high gear. They take a chance by joining these communities. Occasionally, we do receive negative feedback, but we always recognize these comments as a way to grow and to assure the member on the phone that we appreciate everything they have to say and will do our best to honor their wishes.
As we head into the holiday with the bright lights, frenzied crowds, and reindeer, let us remember that the acts of giving and thanking never limit themselves to the last six weeks of the year; they are worth so much more than that.
Chris K. D. is an MET who enjoys writing songs and telling other people’s stories along with the occasional autobiographical tale. Feel free to listen (www.chriskdavidson.bandcamp.com) or follow (@ChrisKDavidson).