Putting The Customer First

Dear Pamela,

I wanted to share a very touching and special moment that occurred at Home Depot Iwilei. A couple weeks before my dad’s eye surgery, I was hoping to fabricate a special mirror that would allow my dad to watch TV with his head always down (doctor’s orders). I looked online, but it was too pricey, so I decided to go to Home Depot. Michael Faria approached me for help. After explaining what I needed, he said, “We can do it for you.”

A couple days later he called back and said his friend Buddy had completed the mirror. When I got there, Buddy shook my hand and explained how the mirror angles worked and how to position it correctly. I was amazed by both Michael and Buddy’s help – they really went that extra 10 miles for me. Buddy was just so informative and helpful. Their sincerity and team-work just touched me, because they were also concerned about my dad.

After my dad’s operation, Michael called to ask how he was doing. I’m never going to forget their genuine service from the heart. God bless them both.

Rey Bauer

Dear Rey,

Home Depot Iwilei department supervisor Leonard “Buddy” Aiu says the challenge is always rewarding.

“That’s part of what we like to do,” he says. “Gotta put the customer first. If they ask us to build it, we build it. We’ve done several projects where we’ve had to modify products, like wheelchairs, to adapt to the customer’s need.”

Dear Pamela:

Going to the emergency room is seldom a great experience – especially on a Saturday night. But the doctors, nurses and professional staff at Kaiser Permanente’s Moanalua Medical Center went beyond our expectations to make us feel as comfortable as possible when our 2-year-old daughter swallowed a coin that got lodged in her throat. We were received promptly and placed in a room, where not one but three docs and a pair of nurses helped us understand what needed to happen and what they were going to do. Bedside manner from each person was warm, helpful and happy. We didn’t have any question that went unanswered, and they were able to anticipate some questions that we didn’t ask, as well. When it was obvious that a specialist would need to be called in to extract the coin, the staff did everything to keep us informed of the timing and procedure.

Dr. Russell Woo, the surgeon who was called in, took the time to clearly explain what he would do and did an amazing job of managing our expectations as worried parents. Then, following a successful procedure, he even gave us his cell phone number and asked that we call him any time if our daughter had any issues during recovery or during the next week.

And to top it off, the recovery nurse, Ravada Benjamin, kept our spirits high until we were cleared to go home in the early morning hours.

We’re grateful for the expert care given to our daughter. And we’re also grateful for all those who helped turn an ER visit into what felt like a night out with friends. Mahalo!

Mike and Katrina Johanson

Dear Mike and Katrina,

“Thank you for taking the time to acknowledge the wonderful staff in our emergency department,” says Dr. Greg Strongosky, chief, Kaiser Moanalua Department of Emergency Medicine. “I’m proud to work with such a great team of professionals, who work hard every day to make every patient visit as easy and comfortable as possible.”

If you know someone who deserves some Applause, send your letters to Pamela Young, MidWeek Applause, KITV, 801 S. King St., Honolulu, HI, 96813, or email pyoung@kitv.com. Include your name, phone number and, if possible, the phone number of your “applaudee” so we can contact him or her.