Dedicated Ferrellgas driver leans on unbreakable bond with coworkers, customers
Jeff has built up quite a reputation as a Transport Driver with Ferrellgas.
Not only has Jeff – or better known as “Smitty” – been with the company since he finished his schooling approximately 23 years ago, he’s developed an unbreakable bond with his customers and coworkers. And he built that bond well before he received some discouraging news in late 2015.
Smitty was told that he had lymphoma cancer.
Unsure what the future may hold, Smitty quickly became encouraged by the outpouring of support he received from the people that mattered the most to him – family, friends, coworkers, and customers.
He specifically recalled his coworkers’ actions that made a lasting impact.
“They checked on me and they sent me cards,” Smitty said. “It means a lot, it really does. I mean, you don’t really know how that feels until you receive a card. Everybody in the office has signed it, whether you’ve met that person or not, it’s been signed. My wife and I really appreciated it.”
At first, he felt bad for taking time off to recover from treatments. It was time away from his work family and customers. But he was told to rest and take all the time off necessary to make a full recovery. That, Smitty said, meant everything.
“Take the time off you need,” he recalled his superiors telling him. “The No. 1 is you Smitty, to get back to work. That means a lot, a whole lot.”
And his customers? His friends that he began building bonds with more than two decades ago were likely thinking of him during his cancer battle, too. Smitty said he has that kind of relationship with his customers in the good times, too. Checking in with each other is a regular occurrence between the two parties.
“I have a really good relationship with the customers that I take care of. We know each other on a first name business,” Smitty said. “They’ll call sometimes when the weather is bad, and they’ll just check on me. ‘Hell, I know the weather’s bad and I’m just checking.’”
Even though Smitty didn’t quite know what to expect when informing his coworkers of his scary health news, he was far from shocked by the amount of support he ended up receiving during his bout with lymphoma.
“It’s a great company and I love my job. I love the people I work with and the people I work under,” Smitty said. “We’re all friends, we’re all family. I’ve got good managers. If I have an issue, I always get a response back. That means a lot. You’re not just hanging.
“It’s a great company and I love my job. I love the people I work with and the people I work under.”
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