Joe, born in 1948, has operated the shoeshine stand at Flint Bishop Airport since 1980. What a breath of fresh air he is! He provides an outstanding shoeshine — one of the best I have ever had. He wears a collared shirt and a tie, is very polite, smiles a lot, and works hard. Joe, originally a migrant worker from Texas, has only a third-grade education, but you’d never guess that. Rather than dwelling on the burdens he’s carried in what certainly can’t have been an easy life, he beams with pride when he shares stories about his six children, 13 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. All six children are college-educated and have good jobs. One is a college professor, two are architects, two are self-employed in business, and one is a nurse. As I was leaving his stand recently, I asked him how much longer he was planning to work. He said, “As long as I can!” How refreshing it is to meet someone who is so enthusiastic, positive, and happy to be working. I hope his story is as encouraging and uplifting to you as it is to me.
p.s. I gave him a very large tip, and I am sure I am not the only one to do so. This is yet another example of how giving your clients great service pays off.