Love's "Friendly Faces" abundant, even in the midst of flooding
Loves.com blogger Chris Corbaz visits Love's 266 in Ardmore, Oklahoma
I set out on Interstate 35 south on June 18 through the plains of Oklahoma to meet a friend in Gainesville, Texas. As usual, the drive was accompanied by a Garth Brooks CD, a pit stop in Turner Falls and a breathtaking sunset.
As I got closer to the Lone Star State, I noticed an increasingly prominent problem: flooding. Water was everywhere: enveloping forests, valleys, roads and homes.
Crossing bridges was frightening as the waters crashed against the interstate barrier, coming up short of the road by only a few inches. Once peaceful streams had transformed into raging rivers.
On my way back to Oklahoma City, I stopped by Love's 266 in Ardmore, Oklahoma, to meet with Operations Manager Gary Perry and see how the store, employees and community were dealing with the floods. He told me the storms have been a challenge to deal with, especially due to low staff volume, as many employees cannot get out of their homes. Shifts have basically gone out the window and it has become an "if you can get to work, we need you" system. Many employees have damaged property; one even lost her house and car.
However, Perry said employees are making their best effort to work and keep the store running. Many have picked up extra shifts, and the store even received help from a Gemini driver who went around town to pick up employees and transport them to the store.
The longer I stayed in the store, the more I began to notice another trend similar to the one I noticed earlier, a flood. But this was a different type of flood. This was a flood of happiness, hope and kindness demonstrated by the employees at Love's 266. As soon as I walked in the door, the employees greeted me with a "Hi, welcome to Love's," and a warm smile, as if the rains had never swept through. Their friendliness masked the fatigue of working long days and even longer nights. It was amazing to see the employees at Love's 266 demonstrate the company's Core Values and serve the customer despite unimaginable circumstances.
Thank you Love's 266 in Ardmore for all you do. You are a great example of hard work, perseverance and your commitment to our customers.