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Are people being nice? — Part II

July 19, 2010

Several weeks ago, I wrote a post about the kindergartner who posed this question to President Obama.  In that post, I discussed how, by and large, people weren’t being terribly nice. While the original question gave President Obama an opportunity to talk about civility in politics, I believe the issue was — and is — much broader than that.

Today I’m happy to report there is a flip side to a society that seems to be driven by “me, Me, ME” and there are people for whom “nice” is not only a way of doing, it’s a way of being.

Let me introduce you to the great folks at the SummerTide Resort at Hood Canal, Washington.

I’m nearby on vacation and decide that I want to do some crabbing.  Now, the only real part I’ve experienced in crabbing is the fun part — the eating.  So, after my checking various websites for info and rules about season we head down the road, to the SummerTide Resort to gain some more knowledge.  Here is the start of why SummerTide Resort makes it into this post.

First, the owner, Bev, is about THE nicest person you’d ever have the chance to meet.  She didn’t think my questions about crabbing were dumb, but more than that, she was the ultimate in helpful knowledge.  She was quick to mention that a mere two years ago she didn’t know much about any of this either because that was before they took over SummerTide, but it wasn’t just what she said, it was her whole attitude that was welcoming, supportive and considerate.  She never tried to push anything on us, just had this “I’m here to help you” demeanor…it wasn’t long before I was scooting off to the local Chamber of Commerce to get my shellfish license and crab endorsement.

The next day came part II.  You have to understand: the SummerTide is the ONLY place around where you can get anything for 20 miles.  We’re somewhat remote up here on the Canal. If you run out of life’s essentials — like milk, bread…ice cream for the kids (it’s vacation you know…ice cream becomes an essential!), you can’t  just pop down to the local supermarket.  You’re committing to 25 minutes into town, 25 minutes back.  Yet, even though the SummerTide has a virtual captive audience, and could charge just about anything they wanted for their groceries and supplies, their prices are not inflated — they’re fair. (Not to mention they have quite a selection of various things from food to fishing supplies – really amazing for the store part of the resort which isn’t all that big…)

So now, part III.  I did battle with the fierce and wily Dungeness Crab.  We got amazing support again from Bev. Helped us with the trap, helped us secure the boat, showed us where the best place to drop a pot was…even baited the trap with a prime piece of turkey leg.  All worked out and we were looking at crab dinner.  ‘Cept, you notice you have to DO something once these beasties are out of the trap in order to make them ready for table?

Enter Kim — Bev’s daughter.  She clearly gets her spirit of “let me help” from her mom…she immediately offered to show me how to dispatch and clean my prize crabs, even gaining a bloody palm from one of the feister ones who managed a sneak attack before going to HIS (yes, you keep only boys) eternal rest.  So, I’m up-to-the-elbows in crab “uck,” cleaning shells and gills,  thanking Kim for all her assistance and lessons. She responds, “well, my mom always taught me to treat people the way you want to be treated.”

Ha!  There is hope for humanity!  Of course we all know that there are people out there who believe that leading with kindness, consideration and compassion for others is the only and best way to live, it is so incredibly refreshing when you run into someone who “believes” and shows you by everyday, ordinary actions.

And, while I originally had no plans to link this post to the book, Kim and Bev’s treatment of others is a perfect lesson as I describe in “It’s Not Who You Know, It’s How You Treat Them:” because of their excellent customer service and attitude towards us, we’ve gone from being “casual consumers” of their products and services to “customers” who are not only likely to come back the next time we’re here, we’re considering staying at their resort! They’ve managed to forge connections with us, build a relationship…and provide us with lasting memories.  Do you think they would have ended up here in a blog entry if they’d just sold us graham crackers and marshmallows at an exhorbitant price and sent us on our merry way? They could have — they’re the only game in town, remember?

I could go on about other things I learned in a short period of time that makes these folks so decent, welcoming…so “nice.” I will definitely recommend them for anyone heading up this way, or even if you were thinking about heading this way. We’ll be back, I know it, and the kids will remember “Miss Kim’s” four rules that, when followed, are rewarded by a treat. For me, finding SummerTide resort was a treat because not only did we have a good time and learned something new, we found another haven of “nice.”

And, it doesn’t get much better than that, does it?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 19, 2010 8:00 am

    Great post. I will read your posts frequently. Added you to the RSS reader.

  2. July 19, 2010 9:10 am

    Notice the farther away from “civilization” you get, the more “civilized” people are? It is NOT a coincidence. Great story! If you can read this and not get “verklumped” you have no heart.

  3. July 23, 2010 1:50 pm

    Nice story! It’s good to know you can still find well meaning people. ~M

  4. July 9, 2011 1:59 pm

    Corrine, What a wonderful story…Thank you! In fact when things get hard and tired and maybe a little bit stressful, I go back to this article and smile. It reminds me to just “Be Myself” and “Treat Others The Way You Want To Be Treated”. The way my Mom taught me to be… When you were here, we had no idea that you would publish an article about us, but it sure feels good to know that you enjoyed your experience at Summertide and fishing for that succulent creature we know as CRAB!

    It is another crabbing season here at Summertide Resort and the crabs are abundant. We sure hope to see you and your clan this year. Thank you for the opportunity to help you with the preliminary preparation for your crab dinner last year. Tell the kids there are still free Otter Pops if you remember to wear your life jacket, don’t run on the docks, have fun and watch for cars on the road. You are an amazing woman with a wonderful family. A big thank you for this post and letting me come back to read and remember what life is really all about. Warm regards always, Kim 🙂

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