Do you care for your team?
This story has a funny and happy ending, and the lesson learned was great.
In 2011 I was attending the monthly training upgrade in Naples with my company. Everybody arrived the Friday late afternoon to have the opportunity to have dinner together in a popular restaurant. Popularity was due to their specialisation in all the typical Naples meals, from seafood pasta to fantastic pizza.
I was sitting at a table with “my” team, and we had a lovely dinner and much fun.
Usually, the bill was up to the company, so we left the table, heading to the hotel at the end of the dinner.
However, I was stopped by a waiter before leaving the restaurant. He asked me to pay the bill for everyone who had eaten at the table.
My first reaction was, “S𝘰𝘳𝘳𝘺, 𝘐 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘬 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘮𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘦: 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘢𝘯𝘺 𝘱𝘢𝘺𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘸𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘮𝘦𝘦𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴”.
His answer was,” 𝘠𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘣𝘰𝘴𝘴 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘨𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘯 𝘮𝘦 𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘤𝘪𝘧𝘪𝘤 𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘶𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘨𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘭”.
I was annoyed, I paid, and when I reached the hotel, I looked for board members asking for an explanation! But everybody was already in their rooms.
Saturday morning, I had breakfast, and I was one of the few who got up early, looking to speak and clarify with the person of interest.
When I sat at my table, I noticed something under that plate: there was an envelope. When I opened it, I found:
- The equivalent of the bill in cash (refund)
- A brief note, handwritten by my boss:
“𝘐 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘧𝘪𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘵𝘦𝘢𝘮, 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯 𝘪𝘯 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘮𝘪𝘴𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘶𝘯𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘤𝘵𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴. 𝘞𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘋𝘰𝘯𝘦”, with a smile designed after his signature…..
How do you take care of your team members?