Today was a good day.
Scratch that, today was a wonderful day. A day filled with hard work, frustrations, and finally, some sweet tears, and a precious moment that I will hold dear in my heart, forever.
Today started like most others. I arrived at work and hit the ground running. Emails, projects, meetings, repeat. I don't talk about work much on the blog, but I work in commercial real estate and I am the manager of several assets that are worth millions of dollars each.
I am fortunate to have a great team that works hard, plays hard, and are some of the best in the business. They work their backsides off, and I am so grateful for them.
A few weeks ago, I was able to approve and send out bonuses to the professionals on my team. While everyone was excited and grateful, there were a few grumbles, but for most everyone, they expected their bonus.
Today, however, I was able to give out a bonus to the housekeeping folks who take care of the buildings. They are on their feet all day, doing the work that no one wants to do. They take out trash, clean the bathrooms, and do a lot of the dirty work. Around 4:30, I walked into the lobby of one of my properties, and met one of my housekeepers. He is the newest member of the team, and has only been working with me for about 6 months. This afternoon, I was able to hand him his bonus, and when he looked up, there were tears in his eyes.
He is an immigrant from Mexico. He works 2 jobs, and comes in everyday with a smile on his face. I told him how thankful I was to have him on my team, and how impressed I have been with his work. Still with tears in his eyes, he said thank you. He explained how much the money meant to him because he has been wanting to buy a Christmas present for his little boy, but he didn't have the money. He also said he has been wanting a Christmas tree, and he was so excited because he could take his family to buy one.
As I watched this grown man cry over his bonus, tears filled my eyes. His bonus was $250.00. For many of us, that is a lot of money, but it is not life changing. Many of us drop that much over the course of a weekend on clothes, dinners, and events with friends.
With tears in my eyes, I told him how thankful I am to have him on my team, and how much I appreciate him. Before I left, I leaned in to give him a hug, and he kissed my cheek and squeezed me tight, and again, in his accented English, whispered "thank you so much, you have such a big heart" in my ear.
That moment, that hug, that interaction is my Christmas present. That moment is all I need this year. Not because he paid me a compliment, but because I was able to do something for someone else who really did need it. He made my day, he made my week, and he made my Christmas.