It is a joy to serve you. Our employees and directors will continue to put LREC in a position that allows us to continue to serve all of you with joy, respect, and great appreciation.
When we remember the storm that rumbled through our service territory last month on May 12th, there is no question that many of us will reflect on the high winds that caused outages and damaged our region. In this column, I want to reflect on the actions of the people in response to the storm—specifically LREC’s members and employees.
LREC employees monitored the weather closely beginning early in the day on May 12th. While leaving the office that day, many of them already knew they would likely be back to the office shortly if the storm system came through our service territory. When visiting with our employees, it’s not about how a storm system will disrupt their lives, but rather, it’s about the privilege and joy they experience by serving LREC’s members and doing whatever needs to be done. This column is not intended to be focused on the storm; this column is focused on people and the joy of service.
This column is about our members who:
- Without blinking an eye, provide homemade jerky to our employees when they are out in rough conditions working long hours
- Apologize (but, of course, shouldn't) to our crews because they don't have more food options because of a power outage
- Exhibit patience, kindness, and consideration for our employees during stressful outages and stormy conditions
- Allow LREC employees the joy and privilege of serving them
This column is about our LREC employees who:
- Anticipate and diligently prepare for a May 12th–type storm so that when it happens, crews are ready to go and serve
- Postpone that dinner or gathering with friends and family because they know they might be needed to serve LREC members throughout the night
- Never compromise the safety of LREC members, others, or themselves
- Have a smile on their face and a positive attitude after a stressful night in the field or in the dispatch center
- Joyfully serve others
- When thanked for putting in long, difficult hours, respond with “that’s what we do—we’re here to serve the members”
In addition to our members and employees, this column is about those who:
- Strategically coordinate efforts to provide us their personnel and equipment necessary to timely and safely address unforeseen concerns and outages, knowing that we will be there for them when needed (such as recently when LREC sent five employees and equipment to a sister cooperative for additional outage restoration support)
- Allow our employees the joy and privilege of educating others about safety around electricity and other energy related matters (such as the school district that allowed a group of fourth graders to visit us in May to learn about electricity and safety; and the University of Minnesota associate professor and graduate students who stopped at LREC recently for a presentation on energy)
- Go out of their way to support and recognize the efforts made by LREC, like Minnesota Rural Electric Association (MREA) did recently when it nominated LREC for the NRECA Electric Cooperative Service Award
- Opened the doors to their store after hours and provided chicken at no charge for our employees who had been out in the field in response to the storm we experienced on May 12th
Thank you for allowing us to serve you. It is an absolute privilege that we do not take for granted.