Saturday, September 10, 2005

Some Good Guys

By the way, I have a very warm spot in my heart for The Sharper Image just now. One of my dearest friends in New Orleans was Jon Jackson and his partner Frankie Holladay. Jon has been working for several years as a sales rep at the Sharper Image store in the Riverwalk mall, just outside the French Quarter, and from the moment he started there, everything just clicked. He loved the store, the company, working with customers, getting to play with the gadgets, everything. My understanding is that he was such a good employee that he was on the fast track to a management spot.

Unlike us, Jon & Frankie did not leave as Katrina was approaching. (You’ll be able to read about it on Jon’s blog, Shattered Impact.) Being on fairly high ground, the Irish Channel area, they made it through without any significant damage and with no flooding, but were increasingly alarmed by the deteriorating situation. Eventually, though I don’t have the whole story (Jon, you will tell us the whole story, won’t you? Thank you.), they saw a chance to leave and took it. After several exhausting days of driving by indirect routes, as all the direct routes were smashed, they made it to the home of a friend in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where they are now. There they are trying to start over, as they have to assume that everything they left behind has been stolen.

The point of this ramble is that after arriving in Florida Jon immediately got in touch with Sharper Image’s local office. Almost immediately they found him a position at the Fort Lauderdale store. He starts on Monday. I think this is wonderful, and a laudable case of a company knowing what the Right Thing To Do is in an emergency. It was not only good business sense, showing a loyal employee in desperate straits corporate loyalty in return. It was also, in purely human terms, the only good and decent thing to do. I liked Sharper Image already, but I like them more now.

So then: Three Cheers For Sharper Image!!!

4 comments:

Blogdevil9 said...

Jean, your ongoing support and warm friendship have been an extreme blessing to me ever since that wonderful day we first met.

Your recognition of my most excellent empoloyer's compassion and generosity is heart-warming and comforting in this time of unexpected change. I am an extremely fortunate individual to have an employer as fabuluous as The Sharper Image and a friend as loving as you. What more can I say? Thank You.

Blogdevil9 said...

Jean, your ongoing support and warm friendship have been an extreme blessing to me ever since that wonderful day we first met.

Your recognition of my most excellent empoloyer's compassion and generosity is heart-warming and comforting in this time of unexpected change. I am an extremely fortunate individual to have an employer as fabulous as The Sharper Image and a friend as loving as you. What more can I say? Thank You.

Allen said...

I use to work at that sharper image with jon for a short amount of time. to be honest with you the sharper image is a horriable company that is run by penny pinching hate mongers.. I really liked the managment there and i enjoyed the people at the river walk sharper image however i just wanted to you be aware that the guy that runs the sharper image is a Nazi who will not alow the color red in his corpaorate office. how weird is that. I was glad to see jon is well

Jean Lafitte said...

Oh well. Since I've never asked Jon his opinion of upper management I'll defer to your knowledge, and just quote Heinlein's Lazarus Long: "Never appeal to a man's better nature; he may not have one. Invoke self-interest instead; it gives you more leverage."

So even if SI did The Right Thing for selfish reasons -- so as not to look heartless and callous towards an employee in a crisis -- they still did The Right Thing.