About U Message from the administration.
President shares stories of success
Feel the Teal means creating a connection with our “customers,” and sharing the stories of those connections can teach us much about how to Feel the Teal. Over this past summer, I have heard many anecdotes about our employees going out of their way for a student, co-worker or visitor, and one story in particular grabbed my attention and even my heart.
Amber Gall is a member of the Wheelwright Auditorium staff, and one of her main responsibilities is to distribute commencement tickets. During this process for Spring 2014, one student left a lasting impression on her. He was very polite, from Conway and one of eight children! When he learned that each graduate was allotted a maximum of eight tickets to commencement, he was concerned. Amber told him that any tickets remaining after all graduates had picked up their allotments would be distributed as RUSH tickets on the day before commencement. The student came back to Wheelwright on that day, and Amber recognized him immediately, remembered his name and situation, and made sure he received four more tickets.
Fast forward the next day to graduation. Amber was a supervisor at one of the four gates to which other gate attendants could go for assistance if necessary. A commencement attendee gave Amber four tickets that her group did not use and asked Amber to be sure the tickets were given to whomever might need them. Amber graciously thanked the woman and promised her that the tickets would be put to good use.
A few minutes later, one of the gate attendants asked Amber for assistance with a woman accompanied by several children. The gate attendant explained to Amber that two of the tickets the woman had were not the correct commencement tickets. Instead, they were Severe Weather Plan tickets. Upon hearing this, the woman seeking entrance to commencement began to cry. She sent her children inside with the correct tickets and then told Amber how she desperately wanted to see her son graduate.
Amber immediately recalled the name of the young man who had made such an impression on her and asked the woman if he was her son. When the woman replied that he was, Amber related the story of how she had met him and what a remarkable young man he seemed to be. It was Amber’s great pleasure to be able to offer the woman a ticket from the extras she had been given and to escort her into the stadium to join the rest of her family as they celebrated seeing one of their own graduate from Coastal Carolina University.
Those tickets were indeed put to good use!
This story came to light at a recent Feel the Teal training session, during which Amber was asked to share an example of what Feel the Teal really means. She was so emotionally connected to the mother and son whom she had helped and felt so strongly about the experience that she and some of the other training attendees were moved to tears. “I’m going to start to cry now even talking about it,” Amber shared. “It was just one moment after another that added up to a bigger moment. It was meant to be. When you put it all together - the student coming to my window (twice) and then being given those extra tickets - then the mother just happened to be there at my gate! I’m so glad I was where I was at each of those times. This is a Feel the Teal moment because it’s so much more than just one action – it all came together to be something special.”
While one might think that only the mother and the son in this story received any benefit, in reality Amber, too, was fortunate in that she had the opportunity to be of assistance at such a time and in such a way. When asked how she felt after the service interaction, Amber said, “I am proud to do what I do. This experience shows that my job is way more than just handing out tickets. To that woman, the ticket was not just a ticket. It was an experience to see her son graduate from college in the presence of his entire family.” Obviously, Amber, too, realized a benefit from this encounter.
Thanks to Amber and the entire Wheelwright staff for showing us what it means to truly Feel the Teal! I hope this story inspires others to make the most of every opportunity to provide extraordinary customer service to our students, their families, our visitors and to each other. If you witness or are a part of a Feel the Teal experience, please let us know.
Feel the Teal!
David A. DeCenzo, Ph.D.