About a month ago my aunty passed away. Taken far to early by a pancreatic cancer, a particularly vicious form of the disease.
Prior to her diagnosis she had been working part time for John Lewis. She loved meeting new people and so the opportunity to make new friends and engage with members of the public suited her particularly well.
As her funeral approached my uncle was contacted by the store to tell him that, if it was okay with him, they would provide transportation for some staff who wished to attend the funeral. He of course accepted and thanked them for the gesture.
When we arrived in the funeral cars what we weren’t expecting was to see a coach parked outside the chapel and somewhere in the region of 40 staff waiting outside. They’d all be given the time off, their shifts covered. The increased numbers meant not everyone could get a seat in the chapel, but they were all happy to stand.
When compassion comes from somewhere unexpected it can leave a particularly deep imprint on you. A friend you’ve not seen in a while, someone passing on the street. But to see it from company is not as common place as it should be. There was no PR to be had, no marketing angle to exploit, just a member of their team who had died tragically and a desire to help the others grieve.
John Lewis was already established as one of the world’s great companies in my mind - this cemented it further still.