I know that we’ve never paid much attention to the Valentine’s Day thing – it’s not like it’s a legal holiday and all – but I couldn’t let it pass without saying how much better things are between us. What a difference a year makes!
Last winter, I thought we were on the rocks, heading towards being done. You weren't yourself and it seemed like you were just going through the motions.
You had been caring, upbeat, positive, full of ideas. We were a hot item. Everyone talked about us. You were proud. You loved every aspect of running your business.
I know that the never-ending "recession" wore you down. I could see it in the little things, those small gestures that showed that you cared: studying the day’s orders to get a feel for what who was buying what: you could spot changes before they became a trend; “buddying” up with a new employee to get them up to speed, then staying late to catch up on your own work; going to Chamber events and coming back with orders, not just a few business cards that you threw into a pile. I was worried, and I know you were too, though you didn't speak about it.
It’s like what they say about broken windows, that neglecting the little things leads to big things going wrong. Take your fling with Tom. I understood you wanted something new and different; thought he could kick-start your desire with his promises of new customers. I could tell it was a bad deal from day one, that it was all "wham-bam." But you were desparate for a quick fix. You know what they say about the cost of a bad hire: he nearly cost you me!
But hey, let's not dwell on the past...let's accentuate the positive. Funny what a difference a year can make. We are on a roll again.
I can tell you care again. You're more thoughtful and considerate and much more confident. You are looking ahead: thinking about the future and not so caught up in the day-to-day. You are being careful about finding the best people with the right attitudes, not so focused on paying as little as possible. You are thinking about our customers and how to meet their needs, not about saving a penny here or there to boost profits.
And to think it all started with a Valentine's Day date. I knew we could make it back, John. Once again, you turn me on, you lucky man!