Minding Your Business: Let's highlight employees who go above and beyond – Kingsport Times News

Marina Waters

Marina Waters
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If you’re like me, you’ve been busy imagining which Christmas gifts to buy your family and which Thanksgiving side you’ll be tasked with making this year. (My family usually looks to me for my deep dish macaroni and cheese, which I’m glad to report is a favorite among the Waters family). However, this week calls for a pause in pre-holiday celebration planning.
Thursday is Veterans Day, a day set aside to honor those who have served our country. The day was named a legal holiday in 1954 after the end of World War II. According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, the holiday got its start as Armistice Day, a day to honor World War I veterans and the proclamation of peace between the Allied nations and Germany that went into effect on Nov. 11, 1938 — on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For this reason, the day is often observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11 a.m. But now, the day honors those who have served in various American wars. Below are various announcements, including a few veteran- themed events that might help you celebrate the Nov. 11 holiday:
• Gate City will host a Veterans Day Celebration on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Grogan Park in Gate City. The event will include a patriotic ceremony followed by hot dog lunch. The event is sponsored by Gate City Frontier and the town of Gate City.
• The Kingsport Office of Small Business Development and Entrepreneurship will host a free Veteran-Owned Business Luncheon on Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Kingsport Center for Higher Education. For more information, go to https://clients.tsbdc.org/workshop.aspx?ekey=10410040.
• U.S. Congresswoman Diana Harshbarger’s office offers the opportunity to order an American flag to be flown over the U.S. Capitol on Veterans Day. Flags flown over the Capitol include a certificate, which may be personalized for a particular person, event or organization. For more information, go to https://harshbarger.house.gov/services/flags.
• Harshbarger also aims to honor veterans within the first congressional district of Tennessee with a greeting or congressional commendation to honor special occasions or achievements. For more information, go to https://harshbarger.house.gov/services/commendations-and-greetings.
• The Kingsport Public Library will host the following events this week:
— Thanksgiving Card Take ‘n Make, Thursday at the Kingsport Public Library
— Two’s Storytime in the Park, Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at Glen Bruce Park
— Experts in Arthritis Seminar, Thursday at 2 p.m. (via Zoom)
— Embroidery Class: Brick Stitch, Thursday at 3 p.m. at the Kingsport Public Library
— Cards for St. Jude, Thursday at 4 p.m. at Glen Bruce Park (For more information go to https://www.kingsportlibrary.org/event-calendar/#/events/)
• Gas prices have decreased by a penny on average over the past week, according to AAA. The Tennessee Gas Price average is now $3.15, nearly 15 cents more expensive than one month ago and $1.29 more than one year ago.
• The Kingsport Chamber will host its State of Your Kingsport Chamber Holiday Breakfast on Friday, Nov. 19, at 7:30 a.m. at the MeadowView Marriott Conference Resort & Convention Center. The Chamber will recap highlights from 2021, showcase what’s ahead for 2022 and present the Lifetime Member award. The event is free. To RSVP, contact Justin Hartsell at [email protected] or (423) 392-8827.
Notes from the field
In last week’s Minding Your Business column, I mentioned the hardworking employees who are working through the labor shortage. It’s added to the pressure, responsibilities and workload these employees would experience in what you might consider a “normal” year. And yet, some keep pushing through and are doing so with grace and kindness. I also detailed a recent experience I had with a lone waitress in a busy restaurant who still managed to offer excellent service. It seems I am not alone in my positive experiences. Sure, there are plenty of unpleasant stories of hateful cashiers and rude store clerks to go around, but the reader-submitted notes about recent good experiences at a local business thanks to an employee that went above and beyond just prove there are still good folks in the world — and ones that are willing to work hard and be kind. Below are a few of my favorites:
• From Daniel Milam: “Well there’s only one that comes to mind for me and that’s Malachi Kyle. He works at Curklin’s in Big Stone Gap, Virginia. He makes eating such a fun experience and he’s like a little brother since the first time you meet him. He is friendly with every customer and a great addition to the staff. He’s very outgoing and takes care of things as soon as a need arises. I invite everyone to take a little drive and enjoy some amazing food and do yourself a favor and ask for Malachi!!”
• From Ronda Thomasmeyer Poland: “I stumbled upon PHIL’S DREAM PIT one evening on my way home to find the lights on and doors open with loud music and an amazing aroma coming from the kitchen. I didn’t understand why there were no cars in the parking lot but went in anyway to place an order to go — only to find out they had not opened to the public yet. Phil himself asked me what I was going to order. I told him and he asked me to wait a moment. He came back with my complete order (and more to heat up at home) handed it to me and said “no charge … just let people know how you like it.” Needless to say, my family fell in love with the best barbecue in town that night … PHIL’S!”
• From Jamie MacNeill Jackson: “I want to send a huge shout-out to Murphy’s Automotive. They take care of our construction fleet and do a great job but what puts them over the top is how they treat people. They have gone above and beyond to help my mom when she’s had tire problems. They developed an internship program for my son who wanted to learn how to work on cars. They care about our community and genuinely want to see people safe and secure. Way to go Rob and Andria Murphy!”
Other comments included praises for Fusion, Santa Fe, the Gazebo Party Shop and the Bagel Exchange among others.
The next time you experience great service, you don’t have to let your local newspaper know, (although, the folks at the Times News suggest it). Maybe the most good could come from simply telling that waitress, hairdresser, or mechanic you appreciate their hard work. After all, what good is a compliment if it’s not shared? Don’t let that kind thought die with the conversation. Tell them they’re doing a good job. It might just make their day a little brighter.
Have a note you want to send me? Email me at [email protected].
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