FedEx Blog

FedEx Blog

Memories, Joy, Surprise: It’s What We Really Deliver!

December 13, 2013

With millions of packages shuttling around the world throughout the holiday season, it’s by far the busiest time of year for FedEx team members. But we’re not simply delivering packages—our team members connect people and possibilities around the world. This year we asked them to share with us special holiday memories—something that goes beyond the package and highlights what else we deliver. 

In the comments section, we hope you’ll share your memorable FedEx holiday delivery!

“When we finally met in person, the woman gave me a big hug…”—Anna Toth, Customer Relations Representative, Budapest, Hungary

I was nearing the end of my shift when I got a call from a customer—an American lost in Budapest!  She had just moved to Hungary with her boyfriend, a professional hockey player, but had trouble getting around. 

In fact, she was having trouble finding our FedEx Express office to check on the status of an important package from her sister.  When she reached me, the customer was so excited that I spoke English, and was able to help her find our location.  I kept in contact with her every day on the status of her package, and when we finally met in person, she gave me a big hug and expressed her gratitude.  

The customer later sent a personal note saying in her own words, ‘I just feel Anna should be commended for her service… It’s very hard living in a foreign country with a language barrier, but Anna made my experience with FedEx one that I will never forget.’  As a customer service agent, I always intend to deliver the Purple Promise—to make every FedEx experience outstanding– and to make sure that every customer who calls is in safe hands.

“It means everything to me. He really emotionally connects to Argus, and Argus isn’t one of those dogs that buys into insincerity…” – Tom Clifton, owner of Clifton Art Gallery, Memphis, TN, speaking about Robert Jackson

Ever see two men caroling to a St. Bernard? You can here. It encapsulates the holiday spirit of Robert Jackson.  When he steps into a local Memphis business to pick up or deliver FedEx Ground packages, even the animals get excited! Clifton Art Gallery is no exception. Argus, the gallery’s mammoth St. Bernard, likes to “hug” Robert, his immense paws draped over the driver’s shoulders, tail wagging eagerly. Tom Clifton, the gallery’s owner, is one of many Memphis business owners who appreciate Robert’s attitude and dedication to outstanding service. When “Robert comes in,” Tom says, “he’s always in a good mood. Whether I am or not, he puts me in a good mood.”

“It was the light I needed to finish my route with a smile…”—Nina Sams, Dispatcher, Albuquerque, NM

nina samsOn a cold December afternoon, I stood at a customer’s front door in Hugoton, Kansas.  I was wet and tired, and this delivery marked the last of many stops that day.  When the woman answered her door, I could see she had trouble standing.  I learned quickly the elderly woman had bad arthritis and needed my help. 

I realized I needed to go beyond just making a delivery.  With her permission, I helped her open her FedEx box, as well as the Christmas presents from her family that were inside.  Watching her was a gift for me as well–it was the light I needed to finish my route with a smile.  She was so glad to have my help, and I was so happy to take a minute and enjoy this moment with her.

“The little things we run across really do make a difference…”—Gayle Gammel, owner GroundForce, Inc, FedEx Ground Independent Service Provider

When I was out delivering, I made my three delivery attempts to a gentleman who was not home. Generally we don’t make fourth attempts because it’s not cost-effective for us, but it was Christmas Eve so I made the fourth attempt.  On the porch was a plate of cookies, and a beautiful little note explaining he was out of town because his mother was ill, but he really needed this package. 

It was just so touching.  I took the cookies, and he said if you don’t like cookies please pass them on… and I wrote him a note back. I thanked him for his generosity—that’s what Christmas is, and I’m glad I could do it. It’s just little things like that we run across that really do make a difference.  

“I was happy to serve and got an unexpected reward…”—Elias Mendola, Customer Relations Representative, The Netherlands

elias mendolaIn mid-November, my station received an urgent call from a popular music group that was hoping critical packages made it through customs clearance. 

The packages contained drum sticks for the drummer of the band who was playing at a concert venue later that same evening!  The FedEx team—operations, customer service and global trade services—quickly jumped into action, assisting with necessary paperwork to ensure that the drum sticks were properly cleared through customs. 

I let the customer know, and then personally delivered the much needed drum sticks—much to his excitement.  I was happy to serve, and got an unexpected reward—a backstage pass to the concert that evening!

 “She took it upon herself to jump into action…”—Stephen Gall, on behalf of Lisa Morales, Office Administrator, Dover, NJ

lisa moralesJust before Christmas in 2009, a package containing a stuffed teddy bear arrived wet at our FedEx terminal.  Not only was the stuffed bear soaked, so was the letter attached to it from “Nanny” to her grandson, whom “Nanny” had never met. 

My coworker, Lisa, went to the mall where she found an identical bear. She then hung the wet bear’s “clothing” until it could dry, and retyped the Christmas letter from “Nanny” to her grandson.  Lisa contacted “Nanny” who was thrilled with the lengths taken to ensure that the little boy would have his Christmas present.  As her manager, it meant so much to me.  I was not even aware of the situation until Lisa came to me with a solution.  She took it upon herself to jump into action and do whatever she could to help deliver Christmas.

“When I delivered the package, the man held my hands and thanked me…” –Ben Tsai, Senior Service Agent, Taiwan

ben tsaiA few years ago on Chinese New Year’s Eve, a customer called right as we were closing, inquiring about the status of his shipment. 

His package was scheduled to be delivered after the long Chinese New Year holiday, but the customer let me know it was an important Chinese New Year gift for his daughter. 

My own family had dinner waiting, but I knew it was critical to get this delivery to the customer ahead of the holiday.  When I delivered the package early, the man held my hands and thanked me.  The man’s happiness made my day, leaving me warm and fulfilled on a cold winter day.

“Some of the greatest gifts we deliver are the unexpected ones…”—Brigham Judd, Courier, Waco, TX

brigham juddI was delivering holiday packages to an assisted living facility when I noticed an elderly woman sitting in the road and bleeding. I parked my truck to block her from traffic, asked a fellow passerby to call 911, and used my lifeguard training to help assess her situation and prevent further injury until help could come.  She had a deep gash on her face, but was conscious and answering my questions. 

A nurse arrived on the scene, and at that point, I moved my truck before it could cause any problems for the ambulance. 

Some of the greatest gifts we deliver are the unexpected ones, like caring for a stranger or being extra nice to someone.  We can do that all year long.

“The customer described his ‘euphoric’ feeling about being treated in such a caring way…” Aleksandra Benaissa, Customer Relations Representative, Warsaw, Poland

I got word from a customer who was desperate to find a family photo album that was moving through customs.  I was able to calm him down, assist in getting his package through the customs clearance process and make sure he received it on time.  The customer described feeling “euphoric,” about his FedEx experience and the way he was treated. 

In fact, he wrote a personal letter to both my manager and myself thanking us for going above and beyond to make sure his treasured family photos got to him on time and safely

“Seeing kids’ faces light up inspires us every day…”—Danny Murdock, Senior Manager, Bakersfield, CA

danny murdockWe were right in the middle of our peak season when our station received a call for help from an agency organizing a local toy drive for children who are victims of domestic violence.  My staff and I took on the added challenge! 

We collected toys for two weeks, and, as a team, made these “special deliveries” to the agency.   It’s hard to put into words how wonderful we felt that day.  This is who we are at FedEx. 

Seeing the kids’ faces light up and sharing that with my staff was an experience that inspires us every day to seek these opportunities

“Under the glow of the streetlamps, everybody carried on…”—Alex Rong, Senior Manager, Suzhou, China

alex rongAutumn is the perfect season for eating hairy crabs—delicacies that come from China’s Yangsheng Lake.  Ahead of two big holiday festivals, the market demand for hairy crabs skyrocketed, and a last minute hairy crab “challenge” began!  Knowing that we would need extra staff to ensure that the crabs would be delivered fresh to the holiday festivals, I contacted FedEx stations across Suzhou to mobilize, and team members quickly jumped into action.  Everybody was busy weighing, creating airway bills, scanning and loading. 

Well into the night, and under the glow of the streetlamps, everybody carried on.  

That night, we filled an eight-ton truck and a five-ton truck.  The team effort could have very easily been described as “Mission Impossible,” but we managed to pick up more than 2,000 cartons of hairy crabs in one day, and deliver them fresh to happy holiday festival-goers!

“I deliver joy over the holidays …” –James DallVechia, instructor, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Not many get the chance to deliver hundreds of presents for children in need each holiday season, and James DallVechia does repeatedly. Using the FedEx Special Delivery Van as his sleigh, this Santa delivers gifts donated by FedEx Ground employees in Pittsburgh, Pa., as well as those collected through the Pittsburgh Steelers Toy Drive for the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.  James, an instructor with FedEx University, teaches leadership classes to hundreds of managers throughout the organization. Learn more about what he really delivers in the video below.

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    LeAnne Theilman says:

    I don’t have a specific story, but I do have something to say. I work at a ramp where we sort packages and don’t have much interaction with the public. This time of year is stressful with weather and higher volume, but it always makes me happy to know that I get to “play Santa” by helping gifts get to customers on time. Once in a while a wrapped gift will go down the conveyor belt, and it just warms my heart that I am part of someone else’s happiness!

    Chip Williamson says:

    Thanks for sharing the wonderful memories. FedEx people are the best!!

    Linda Eckel says:

    All of these stories are the type of things that happen that make me proud of working for FedEx.

    Anna Schroeder says:

    Anna Toth in Budapest, Hungary: I had two Anna Toths in my mother’s family. Bless you.

    FedEx workers are so kind and caring.

    Claudette Ray says:

    I am thankful for the experience that I had by working at the Memphis Hub located in the city where I reside. There is so much to do to get the packages delivered. This year peak season has been a bomber the hour were longer but that’s a better reward for everyone.

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