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Donna Barker

The value of a good reputation

Sometimes a little bragging is good, especially if it’s on someone else.

The other day I was waiting in line to get a taco salad for lunch at a Princeton business. I was talking with one of the management who wanted to know whom she should contact at the Bureau County Republican to get some advertising done for the business.

Since I don’t work directly in advertising and don’t know who is assigned to which areas, I told the management lady that my go-to person would be Pam. She knew everything there is to be known about advertising and is great to work with on anything, I said.

Just ahead of me in line was a lady who overheard our conversation. She turned around and, joining the conversation, said I was exactly right. Pam was great to work with and could help the business woman with whatever advertising was needed, the lady said.

I couldn’t help but smile. I liked hearing someone brag on one of my co-workers. I was proud of Pam’s good reputation with this lady. I thanked the lady for her comments. After all, she didn’t have to make that effort, but she apparently felt compelled to join the conversation because she believed strongly enough that Pam was doing a good job and could help this business lady with her advertising needs, and smile while doing it.

A few minutes later, I left the store, taco salad in hand and still thinking how nice it is to hear someone say something nice about someone else and for my co-worker to have such a good reputation in the community.

I think sometimes we probably don’t brag on others enough. We take each other for granted, I suppose, until someone else points them out.

Those are special times when someone is acknowledged for their good reputation, whether it’s on the job, in a meeting, or in the home.

As I think of all the people with whom I interact as part of my job, I could go office by office, council by council, community by community with examples of those people who have my respect and admiration for the way they handle not just the responsibilities that come with their position, but also for the way they treat people.

Earning someone’s respect and admiration is a big deal, whether it’s job-related, school-related, home-related, or elsewhere. Confirming that respect and admiration is also a big deal.

Sometimes people are acknowledged and rewarded by dollars and paychecks, but sometimes it’s by hugs and handshakes.

Later that evening, as I was thumbing through a magazine at home, I came upon the following quote about figuring out the big things in life.

“If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can’t buy.”

Being a person with a good reputation has got to be one of those things.

BCR Senior Staff Writer Donna Barker can be reached at dbarker@bcrnews.com.