Monday, January 6, 2014

The Story of the Intern

Today's blog isn't about golf, but more about life and our roles.  When I first arrived at SMU, I had a small office that was in the shape of an L in Moody Coliseum, which meant nothing really fit in it or flowed.  It had bright, red carpet and lots of little creepy, crawly friends.  I embraced it as well as I could, going so far as putting water in a dish for the gecko living with me.  I covered the walls with pictures and put a lot of plants along the window and it felt homey and personal.  The problem with this strategy was my travel schedule.  My plants suffered from these absences.

We had a great Facility Director in Moody named Paul Frushour.  Paul had an intern named Jason Nelson.  Both guys did all they could with what they had on a daily basis, including finding me office furniture and sprucing up my area.  Prior to one of my recruiting trips, I asked Jason if he would be so kind as to water my plants when I was gone.  He told me he would do it happily.  From that day on, whenever I traveled on a long trip, Jason took it upon himself to come to my office and water my plants.  I rarely ever asked him to do it, but I noticed it was still happening.  I praised him often, but certainly not every time.  No matter, Jason took care of me.

Eventually, Jason's internship ended and off he went to North Dakota, which is his home.  A year later, Paul got a great job in Athletics at Boise State and off he went, too.  Within the past year, Moody Coliseum has gotten a complete facelift and we are about to be moved into beautiful, state-of-the-art offices.  It was time for SMU to replace Paul and get a new Facility Director for Moody.  Who do you think I suggested?  Yes, Jason!  And I wasn't the only one.  Coach Seifert, the volleyball coach at SMU felt as strongly as I did about hiring Jason.  Kris Harris, who was in charge of hiring for the position, probably tired of our inquiries and insistence of getting Jason an interview, but he also saw the strength of our conviction.  Jason received an interview and won himself the job!

There are a lot of lessons I learned from this story.  Jason gained favor not by doing big things, but by doing small things happily.  His attitude doing small things was not just a happy one, it was one of care and consistency.  His attention to detail extended well past his duties and moved into looking out for others around him.  It is a great reminder for me to think of others, pay attention to detail, do small tasks happily and take initiative and anticipate the needs of others. 

On Wednesday, we get the keys to our new offices in Moody and I'm excited about every aspect of the move.  Most of all, I look forward to seeing more of my co-workers each and every day, especially Jason!

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