this might be a strange question...
The phone rings in the Chamber office ... a lot. I guess that's what happens when you're considered the hub of community information. After just a couple of years here, I've fielded enough calls prefaced by "this might be a strange question" to know there are few callers who can still surprise me.
There was a call once from a gentleman who asked me what Pizza Hut serves on its buffet. Another person wanted to know what time her leaves would be picked up by the city crews. Oh, and one lady needed to know where she could buy buttons. While I often wonder why these people simply don't use Google to find their answers or a more appropriate office to call, these kinds of questions remind me that folks trust the Chamber of Commerce to either know the answers or be able to find out.
Yesterday afternoon, I answered a call from a guy who was headed west on Interstate 80 and ran out of gas about a mile before he got to the Gothenburg exit. He was from Illinois and called the Chamber to find out if there are any service stations in town that would bring him a gallon of fuel. I shared with him the phone numbers for each of the gas stations in town and wished him luck.
A few minutes later, the same stranded motorist called back. He wanted me to know he hadn't found a station to come to his rescue, and then he asked the temperature in case he had to walk. Although it would have required me to locate a gas can and purchase fuel, I offered to make the delivery myself. He was frustrated with the situation, but was quick to decline. He said that went far beyond the expectations of a Chamber of Commerce.
I didn't hear from him again.
First off, does anyone in Gothenburg offer this service as part of their business? If so, I'd like to know in case this type of call ever happens again. Secondly, what would be your expectation of the Chamber of Commerce in this situation? I'm wondering if I should put an empty gas can in my storage room.
Do you hear what I hear?
In a one-person office that receives lots of phone calls and a handful of visitors on a slow day, it can tend to be a challenge to concentrate on any one task. Add big windows overlooking a busy downtown intersection with a discount store next door and distractions are everywhere.
I'm working on a large project that requires a certain amount of focus. What do you do
when you really need to zone in on one task but there are all sorts of sparkly things tugging at your attention?
Bob Seger. That's what I do.
When stress is high, time is low and nerves are thin, Seger comes to my rescue. There's nothing like a little "Hollywood Nights,"
"We've Got Tonight" or "Against the Wind" to put me in a mood to get work done. So this afternoon, I had my own personal concert with Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band. The serenade started with the "Stranger in Town" album, moved on to "Night Moves" and we finished with "Like a Rock."
Three albums later, I had completed two different brochure designs for one of our Chamber partners, wrapped up my part of an RFI for a new business prospect and cleaned off my desk. I also provided a little "Old Time Rock and Roll" for those walking down Lake Avenue on this dreary afternoon.
(Photo Courtesy of Punch Enterprises)
New year, new what?
’re a couple of weeks into the new year. How are those resolutions going? With the turn of the calendar come a multitude of plans for some sort of renaissance: lose weight, save money, volunteer more, learn a new skill. All are admirable goals, no matter how long the individual determination lasts.
The Gothenburg Chamber of Commerce is on the resolution bandwagon here, too. That’s how this “Corner View” blog came to be. It actually checks off two goals in one effort. Personally, I was a writer in my previous life and the left side of my brain has been missing that particular creative outlet a little. Professionally, I wanted to add something to the Chamber’s offerings that our partners, prospective members, residents, anyone could find useful and relatable.
This blog is intended to provide information, share ideas, celebrate large and small victories and hopefully even entertain a little. There really aren’t any set parameters … just a view of life through the windows of my office on the corner of 10th and Lake Avenue. I hope to post weekly, but it might turn into something more.
So come back here or follow the Chamber's Facebook page to keep up. Comment. Share. Send me suggestions. As with everything I do for the Chamber of Commerce, I'm here for you.
is the Executive Director of the Community Development Office, which encompasses the Gothenburg Chamber of Commerce and the Gothenburg Improvement Company.