I'd Like To Share A Story & A Thought About Dr. Sandhu DVM
Many, many years ago, the phone rang at Medcare Products, and the voice on the other side placed the first of many, many orders with my company. His accent gave away his Indian origins, as did his name, Dr. Sandhu. One of the things that stood out about his calls were that he always made us feel special. If I was fortunate to answer his call, I was usually greeted with enthusiasm and something like ' Oh my goodness, it's the big man, Mr. Simon - how are you today?' We would chat, and invariably he would ask 'When are we going to meet? Why don't you come down to visit?' His practice was called Columbia Animal Hospital, and he was located about 40 minutes away from me - But I never did get out to see him.
In fact, I have only met one or two of my customers in person. I enjoy the mystery and the comfort of being the voice on the other end of the phone. I'll never forget meeting a supplier after many years of our 'phone relationship' and his comment upon meeting me was 'You sound a lot heavier on the phone!' Jeez!
Dr. Sandhu was a loyal customer and always a ray of bright light when he called. And then, one day, after many years, he told me that he had sold the practice and was going back to India to farm. I thanked him, and wished him well - and did not forget about him.
Recently, another Veterinarian called from Dr. Sandhus' area and I brought the good doctor up in conversation. We reminisced about what a wonderful person he is. I mentioned that I would love to call or email him - just to check in, say hello and to tell him how much I enjoyed his calls. To let him know that he may no longer be a customer, but he is still very much in my mind. We both remembered that Dr. Sandhu had a son who is a physician in the area. I looked the son up and left a message with his secretary. Yes, this was the correct Dr Sandhu, the son of the Veterinarian, yes his father had returned to India - and, his father had passed away.
I still think of Dr. Sandhu - fondly. I did not ask if he was ill when he sold the practice, I did not ask if perhaps, going back to farm in India had a deeper meaning. Should I have met him personally? I don't know. Should I have tried to connect with him sooner? Perhaps - several years passed since he sold his practice. Why did I wait? Was I too busy, too absorbed in other matters?
Wherever Dr. Sandhu is in the Cosmos, I wish you well. I wish you peace and tranquility - I thank you for his friendship - and I will not forget you.
Ps. Take a minute to let someone know that they count, that they are significant - that you appreciate them. Of course this applies to family members - and it should also apply to people you cross paths with. Ok, now I'm done, for today.