It’s December 8, 2017, 10:15 a.m … It’s frosty and clear here in Nikiski, AK… The roads are slick with black ice…
Robert S., age 70, suffers from a nervous condition and cannot handle sensory overload well. He does fine when he controls the situation, but today he lost control and slid off the icy roadway and into a ditch. He walked the 1/4-mile back to his house and called me, wanting me to give him the phone number of the local towing company. (I’m Bob’s special helper and friend and have been for more than 20 years).
I said, “Bob, call your State Farm agent first…” Good advice, but in his panicky state of mind he became very confused; and, because of his health, he needed to settle down. I said, “Bob, listen to me…you’re okay and warm… I’ll take care of it. Don’t use the phone because a State Farm Agent will call you right away.
A few minutes later I called the Kenai State Farm Office. Shelby Sprenkel answered. When she asked how she could help, I unloaded the whole story with heavy emphasis on Bob’s emotional well-being and his need to be assured that someone is coming to his rescue. Because of my concern for Bob, I spoke with urgency. Shelby listened to everything and understood immediately. She said, “Hmmm, let me think about some options,” I shouted at her, saying, “There are no options, Bob needs help now.”
Usually, I get someone on the phone who passes me along, puts me on hold, forces me to listen to music or advertising or a robot, and seldom knows what heck their talking about, BUT Shelby said something that I won’t soon forget when she said, “State Farm will help! I’m just considering the best way.” That kind of customer support is important.
Because of her calm demeanor and voice, I thought that Shelby was the perfect person to talk to Bob and asked her to call him right away.
The end of the story is sweet and timely for the Season: Shelby talked to Bob with calm assurance, a tow truck was dispatched, and Bob relaxed with a smile on his face… and State Farm, the Towing Company, and I all got to help someone this Christmas. All this within an hour!
Merry Christmas to All at State Farm. Now that’s a Christmas story!
Grateful for community support
On behalf of all of us at the Kenai Watershed Forum I wanted to say thanks to everyone who came to our holiday open house this past week.
We are so fortunate to live in a strong, supportive community and are grateful for the generosity and friendship of all our neighbors throughout the Kenai Peninsula. If you missed our open house we would still love to have you stop by for a refreshment and get reacquainted with our staff. Wishing everyone good health and happiness in the coming year.
Executive Director, Kenai Watershed Forum