Tuesday, July 17, 2012

End of the Eastenson Era

I have been trying for the last few weeks to write a blog about my fellow co-worker and estimator, Nancy Eastensons retirement.  For whatever reason every time I sit down to write about it I get writers block.  This is fairly unusual for me so I got to thinking about what the reason might be for this block and sheer unwillingness to write about this topic.

Could it be that I can't find a perfect way to begin Nancy's story at Stripe 'N' Seal.  I can't find the right words to describe how she started out here in 1984, a new mom, bringing her baby boy to work with her most days.  How she quickly won the hearts of everyone. How she started out as our bookkeeper and gradually worked her way into estimating. 

Could it be I can't find the words to describe the way she was always thinking of our customers needs above anything else. The way she would never make a promise she couldn't keep and never, well, say never. If a customer had a need Nancy had a way of figuring out how to help.  Her ideas and suggestions might not have always been the easiest or most conventional but she always found a way to make it work.

Could it be that I can't paint an appropriate picture of how Nancy could always make everyone feel at ease.  Whether dealing with our customers or other members of the Stripe 'N' Seal family, she had a way of making everyone feel special, everyone feel important and everyone feel like part of a team.  The compassion and caring she brought to each person she came in contact with was infectious.  Nancy's usual customers would wait weeks or months if they had to just to get to work with her again.  That says a lot.  She helped to make the face of Stripe 'N' Seal more than just that of another contractor. The way she interacted with people helped to paint the picture of this organization.  She helped make our mark on northern California as being a customer oriented, friendly, trust worthy place to do business with. 

Could it be that I can't effectively explain how above all Nancy was an educator. She was not just out there trying to sell work and close jobs.  It was important to her that her customers know the whys, whens and hows of asphalt maintenance.  As a person who was trained by Nancy I can say that this need to teach was natural to her and something she was darn good at.

Could it be its much more simple that any of these things.  Could it be that by writing about her retirement on June 1st I am finally admitting that she is gone. That she will no longer be just a few offices down to get advice from, and chat with and laugh with. By writing it down I am admitting that a major chapter of this company has come to a close.  After all a chapter that spans from 1984-2012 is not an easy one to close or get over.  Nancy spent a great, long 28 years with this company and we all hope that she spends the next 28+ doing whatever makes her happy and hope for nothing but smooth sailing and calm seas as she embarks on whatever the next chapters have to bring.

- Shaunda

Here's to more days like this one!

Casual, Quiet office "See You Later" Party for Nancy. Panda Express and Bijoux cupcakes - her faves

Red Velvet Cupcakes from Bijoux in Petaluma.  One of Nancys favorites

Nancy back in the day. 

What things were like in 1984, the year Nancy started at Stripe 'N' Seal

Opening her gifts