Making a Difference
Some Values Don’t Go Out of Style
by Jack Guarnieri, Jersey Jack Pinball & PinballSales.com
We’ve all been in a situation where you could go the extra mile to finish the job, and maybe going the extra tiny step to make a big difference in the outcome. Do we always do it? Do we ever do it? I guess, it “depends…”
It depends on what it is and why we are doing it. It depends on who we are doing it for and the upside…or downside…of not doing it. I could be more vague but this is not where I want to go with this column.
I learned to always do your best and I’ve found that doing so is sometimes harder today than it’s been before. Doing your best means that you may still fall short of other people’s expectations but if you did your best, you were at least true to yourself.
I saw this picture (photo credit unknown) of a snow-cleared stairway. I looked at it for a couple of minutes trying to think what reasoning could be in the mind of the person who cleared the snow from half the steps. Obviously, I’m not stuck on why they cleared their side but why they didn’t clear the other side as well.
Maybe it had to do with some concern of trespassing or insurance liability, or possibly the person was in a rush with no time to spend clearing those other steps. Could it have been that they did clear the steps in the past and nobody said thank you or reciprocated? Could it just have been that the people who lived there were in Florida and there was simply nobody home to clear the steps for?
I have no clue, but like many people, I just wonder about things sometimes. I am absolutely sure I would have cleared the steps of snow on both sides. I also would have applied an environmentally friendly ice melt product on the steps, too. I remember many times using my snow blower to clear off driveways of people that didn’t ask me to and for some people I didn’t even know. Why not?
Today, a lot of people are just keeping to themselves for many reasons – minding their own business and taking care of themselves, their own and what’s theirs. This is fine and I certainly don’t want to encourage you to trespass or violate anything of your neighbors (and certainly don’t covet anything that is theirs either).
But, getting a little older is interesting as you sometimes find yourself doing things you’ve always done but finding that they’re not done too often now. For example, looking out for your neighbor, saying hello, smiling and being a good neighbor, are all behaviors that should never go out of style. Going back to that picture, I suppose it is possible that the neighbor loves to trudge up and down on snow-covered steps. When they’ve done that sufficiently, they’ll shovel them off on their own terms. “Thank you, but we’re fine,” they might say.
Still, looking at the picture makes me wonder. I’d love to know the story. Maybe an older person lives there who couldn’t clear the steps or would be in some danger walking on them. I really would love to know the story but the picture is what it is. As for me, I’d say ring the bell, check on the neighbor and ask if they would like you to clear the steps. Take the initiative to do what you consider to be the “right thing,” taking that last tiny step towards a big difference in a job well done, are timeless virtues. At the same time, MYOB (mind your own business)!
Jack Guarnieri started servicing electro-mechanical pinball machines in 1975 and has been involved in every phase of the amusement game business since then. He was an operator in NYC, then began a distributorship in 1999, PinballSales.com, selling coin-op to the consumer market. In January of 2011, he founded Jersey Jack Pinball (named after his RePlay Magazine pen name), which builds award-winning, full-featured, coin-op pinball machines. Email Jack at jack@ jerseyjackpinball.com.