“Our standard is giving more than what’s expected.”


January 31, 2002, is the day that I moved into my present home. I have lived there for over 21 years, and so much has changed since then. When I moved in, I was already married to my wife, Christina, but had no children yet. I was working at Ford Motor Company but not at TLC just yet. The USA has had four presidents since then. Some of my neighbors have moved away, and new ones have moved in. The world itself has changed a ton as well. Many, many, many things have changed, but a few have not…

The whole time I have lived here, I have had the same mailman. His name is Rick. This might not seem like a big deal to you, but that is because you don’t know Rick! Since day one, Rick has gone above and beyond, and we appreciate him. The first day he delivered mail to my house, he actually made it a point to come knock on my door and introduce himself.

We shook hands, and he wanted to welcome me to the neighborhood. But get this: He didn’t live in the neighborhood or even in my city, but since he was assigned to my neighborhood, he treated it like his own. He wanted to let me know that he loved his job and asked me to let him know if I ever needed anything.

I remember thinking how nice he seemed, and I also remember telling others about the first encounter I had with him. But still, I didn’t know how special of a mail carrier we had until the years went on. Here are just a few of the things Rick has done for us that we did not expect.

When anything arrived that seemed important, Rick would get out of the truck and knock on the door. This included tax return checks from the IRS, small parcels, and just about anything that seemed like it might be legal or important. He was pretty much always right when he guessed it was important and always made it a point to hand it to us no matter the weather or the circumstance.

If we did not answer, he would leave a note and let us know that he felt uncomfortable leaving it and would try again tomorrow. When my kids were born, he was very aware and because of this, he would NOT ring the doorbell and would knock ever so lightly, just in case they were napping.

When we sent outgoing mail, and he felt like there was not enough postage, he would hold it and let us know instead of allowing it to get stuck in the system for a few days. If a car was parked in front of our mailbox, he had every right to skip us that day and not deliver it to us, but he never did that.

One day, the garbage man left my trash can tipped over in the street, and, you guessed it, I caught Rick getting out of his truck and standing it back up on the end of my driveway.

When holidays came, he hand-wrote cards to us instead of expecting them from us. He knew all our names and even knew that our relatives lived in the same neighborhood. I could go on and on about stories and examples of what Rick is like, but I think you get the point. His job was to deliver the mail, and that’s all we expected from him, but he consistently delivered more than that.

My favorite story of Rick happened just a few days ago and inspired this message. Last Saturday, my nephew Dylan was cutting my grass, and Rick pulled up to my mailbox during that same time. While he was getting our mail ready to put into our box, he noticed something. It was a diploma from Grand Valley State University. He knew that our daughter Bianca had just graduated from there, and he did not want to risk bending it or leaving it on our porch, so here is what Rick did.

He got out of his mail truck and walked up to my nephew, who was cutting the grass. He asked him if he could call Bianca’s cell phone, and he did. The phone started to ring, and, eventually, Bianca answered it. Rick was not aware at that moment, but Bianca was traveling in Europe.

As soon as she answered, Rick said, “Bianca this is not your cousin Dylan; this is your mailman, Rick.” (I can’t even imagine what she was thinking at this moment.) He went on to say, “I have your diploma here, and I wanted to ask if I can leave it under your doormat since nobody is home or if you would prefer that I give it to your cousin Dylan to take home and keep safe.”

Bianca let him know that her parents would be home soon and that it was okay to leave the diploma under the mat, which he carefully did. We later retrieved it, and I am proud to report that it is safe and without wrinkles in my home today, all because Rick decided 21 years later that he was going to continue to give more than what is expected.

We are blessed to have Rick as our mailman, and we were saddened to recently hear that Rick plans on retiring next year. We will miss him dearly but will always remember everything he has done for us, and that’s because he always did more than anyone expected.

I am also happy that my 17-year-old nephew and my 21-year-old daughter were able to witness someone like Rick do what he did. I think it’s great for all of us to be reminded that there are some great people on this earth. You will most likely not hear about a story like this on CNN, Fox News, or even social media, but you heard it here today, and hopefully it made you smile.

Rick’s standard is giving more than what is expected. He doesn’t get paid more for it, and most likely some in my neighborhood don’t even realize how awesome of a mailman he is, but we do, and we are grateful for him. Long after he stops delivering our mail, we will remember him and talk about him, I am sure.

What about you? What are you doing to go above and beyond the call of duty? I hope this message helped you realize that even doing a little bit more is way more than most expect and can make a big difference in someone else’s life! Thank you for reading and have a great week! God bless you!


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