Volleyball Family, A Broken Bus, and Albert the Amazing.


The above panoramic pic was pretty much my view for the entirety of last weekend. Kentucky Expo Center. 100+ courts all filled with matches the whole two days!

Working with the groovy group of Community Managers here at BOF, I get the privilege of watching them rise to handle the occasional tough online (and offline) situation with professionalism, grace, care and concern. As a result, I think I see everyday situations in my non-BOF life through a different set of eyes. I appreciate the chance to watch how people deal with certain issues that present themselves, and I make mental notes of how to translate those experiences into sharable, teachable moments. Last weekend I was gifted with just such a chance.

Over the weekend, my family and I (and about 30 other families from teams within my daughter’s volleyball club) traveled by chartered bus to Kentucky to play in a huge volleyball tournament. The 8-hour ride up to Louisville was fun–lots of laughing, eating, sharing of stories–with a little bit of open-mouthed shut-eye mixed in (trust me, I wished I’d have thought to take a few blackmail pics of some of my fellow trippers!). One thing that made our trip up extra special, however, was our bus driver, Albert.

Albert could have strictly seen his role as a professional bus driver getting a group of volleyball families to pre-determined locations. Instead, he chose to treat us all like REAL family. His sense of humor was totally on point the whole weekend, and he went out of his way to make our travel experience a memorable one. He took care of us.

That caring became even more evident when, on our trip back to Greenville, our bus started to smoke and leak fluid from the right rear tires (did I mention it was around 11 PM and we were just inside the NC border?). We thankfully made it to the next rest stop before we had to bid adieu to the bus we were riding on and wait for a new one to come pick us up.

Albert was clearly upset and emotional. He announced to our group, fighting back tears, that he takes his job very seriously, that he was embarrassed about the technical difficulties, and that he would do everything he could to make sure we all got home safely. He answered our questions and tried his best to calm our concerns about the arrival of the replacement bus. An hour-and-a-half later (after some more laughing and story sharing), we were back on the road and headed home in a new bus with Albert at the wheel.

Albert did MORE than make sure we got home safe and sound. Me made our entire volleyball club family his own for a few days. Personally, he blessed me with another opportunity to see someone handle a tough, public situation with grace and honest concern. You might even say he did some amazing offline community management!

So, I ask…do YOU ever see your non-work world differently because of the roles and responsibilities of your work world? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Shannon Kohn Shannon Kohn is the Velvet Hammer at Brains on Fire. Meet her here.

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