It's an American cliche by now.Sitting around the dinner table on Thanksgiving day and asking everyone seated to state what they are thankful for. I'm sure many families don't do this just as I'm sure many experience a bit of apprehension when it becomes their turn to speak up at those homes where Dad or Mom or Grandma or Grandpa insist that all participate.
So I was thinking about what I'm thankful for when it comes to our business as jewelers.
Especially as I approach retirement having just passed the anniversary of our 32nd year in business.
And as I write this ,it becomes cliche as well,with an one unusual twist at the end.
I know that I am most thankful for the people I've come to work with and serve at Abby's.
My staff that includes a daughter ,a sister and in the past a son,another sister,and nieces have always allowed me to spend time with them that if I'd followed another path in life I would have missed out on many good times and only a few bad ones.
Without a supportive partner like my wife, Diane, this business simply would not exist.It's not a measurable thing...the freedom to follow a dream that often required great risk and time away from her.
I've also been fortunate enough to have loyal long-term employees who have helped to build and grow this business from the ground up. And today I'm so pleased to have met a couple of young people who add so much to the contemporary Abby's that now exists.
Without a doubt small businesses need to connect with the customers it serves and through these years we have met many people that we have befriended,satisfied and frankly,made happy with what we sell, what we repair and how we treat them in an age when customer service is mostly hollow lip service.
In our work lives we know that being productive, achieving goals,feeling good about what we do with most of our waking hours colors much of our lives,day to day. I am thankful for the people who come through our door and give us the opportunity to perform,to serve and to make a living doing something we love most days.It is very gratifying to be trusted with family jewels,the choice of an engagement ring, a special design or gift that signifies something important in a person's life.
Pretty corny stuff,eh? That's the thing about cliche and being corny. It's mostly how things really are, without cynicism,with honesty.And it is truly what I'm thankful for.
And now the twist. On a Friday night in 1995 we were robbed at gunpoint at which time a deeply misguided young man put a gun to my head. With all that has happened since that night,good and bad, I am so thankful that that young man didn't pull the trigger,intentionally or not.I think about that night fairly often. And I'm thankful every time I do.