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"Everyone wants to be appreciated, so if you appreciate someone, don't keep it a secret."
- Mary Kay Ash
I have worked at The Lebanon Enterprise for 12 years now, and the people I work with have become a second family to me.
I’m not just saying that. I mean it.
I think they would agree with me, too.
We are a family.
We’ve experienced lots of ups and downs together.
We’ve celebrated big life events with each other, such as gradUations, marriages and the birth of children and grandchildren.
We’ve also leaned on each other during hard times, too, such as the loss of a parent, divorce, and the every day stresses of life.
And, like all families, we don’t always get along. In fact, sometimes we get on each other’s last nerve. I’ll admit, I can be extremely moody with my staff. (I can be especially moody with my news editor, Stephen. Sorry, Stephen.) But, I try to make up for it by showing my coworkers how much they, and their hard work, means to me. Sometimes I do a good job of showing my appreciation. Other times, I fail. But, my goal is for my staff to always know how much they mean to me.
This week, we will be saying goodbye to one of our family members.
After eight years of working at The Lebanon Enterprise, Barb Battcher will be moving on to a new opportunity. While we are happy for her, we hate to see her go. She’s truly a ray of sunshine in our office. She has been since day one. I knew the minute I interviewed her on Feb. 2, 2006, that she was the perfect person for the circulation clerk position. She was so positive and upbeat during her interview, and that wasn’t an act. That’s just Barb.
She has provided excellent customer service to our readers with a smile and a cheerful attitude. And, not all of our customers are necessarily pleasant to deal with, but she has always treated everyone with respect and kindness.
I remember sitting at her desk one day when she was on vacation and I noticed a quote she had taped next to her computer. It said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” That quote says everything you need to know about Barb. She is kind to everyone she meets. For eight years, I have been comforted knowing that her pleasant voice is usually the first thing people hear when they call our office, and her smile is the first thing people see when they walk into our front door.
I recently asked my staff and several coworkers within our company to share some of their thoughts about Barb. And, it came as no surprise to me that there was a common theme in all of the comments. Barb is kind.
“When Barb answers the phone, you can literally see the smile on her face,” Jamie Sizemore, publisher at The Kentucky Standard in Bardstown, said. “She has such a welcoming and friendly voice that instantly puts you in a good mood. She’s so pleasant to be around and has always been a team player.”
Mary May, who has worked at The Lebanon Enterprise for more than 30 years, agreed.
“She is such a caring, thoughtful, kind and polite person,” May said. “She is always so nice to everyone that walks through our doors regardless of what she's going through in her own personal life. She is always upbeat and is truly a loving person.”
Renee Webb, circulation manager at The Springfield Sun, has worked closely with Barb during the past eight years, and they’ve developed a friendship that will last for years to come, Webb said.
“There’s just not one bad thing anyone can say about our Barbie, as a coworker, employee and friend,” she said.
Barb’s last day at the Enterprise is Friday. I know it will be an emotional day for all of us, and my hope is that Barb leaves here knowing how much she has been appreciated and how much she is loved. She will always be a part of our Enterprise family, which leads me to ask a question. Do your coworkers know how appreciated they are? If not, you need to tell them. You work with these people day in and day out and they need to know that you value them. Do you have a great boss? If so, he or she needs to know how much you appreciate them. Believe me, a few kind words can go a long way. Taking the time to praise someone for the work they do can make a world of difference at the workplace. We all want to feel worthy and appreciated, and we need to make sure we are showing that same sense of appreciation back to those we work with every day. You have a chance to do that on a very large scale in a few weeks. The Lebanon Enterprise is publishing a special Labor Day edition on Aug. 27. The Lebanon Enterprise will be filled with thank yous from an array of businesses. Show your employees, coworkers, bosses and supervisors appreciation and you will be rewarded. People want to work for companies that appreciate them.
I’m asking you to tell all of Marion County about your favorite boss or co-worker. Email me your story at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you could see their story in our special Labor Day 2014 edition.