Friday, February 9, 2007

Thanks for Being Nice

It's still hard for me to grasp, but some consider me a local celebrity. I don't understand it as I only see myself doing a job and making a living just like everyone else. However, I've come to realize reacting to people with kindness will make you many friends. When I worked for another television station in Jackson, I witnessed a co-worker treating his adoring public with disdain. I made a vow then that if I ever "made it" in this profession to never treat people with an attitude that would make them feel any less important.

Last week, I told you about the death of KK, my husband's grandmother. We were in Kosciusko for a few days attending the visitation and funeral. One night after visitation was over, we stopped at the local Wendy's and sat down to eat before we headed back to Madison for the night. I could hear the buzz behind the counter as we walked in. The workers were whispering to each other "That looks like Barbie Bassett on Channel 3!" We purchased our food and began eating. Within minutes, a few of the employees came over to our table asking for autographs on napkins. After they went behind the counter and back to work, a couple more came out with their cellphones wanting to take pictures with me.

After they left, my husband complimented me on how I reacted to those teens. "I don't see how you do it," he said. "Even when you don't feel good or if we're trying to have a quiet dinner together, you always have time to talk to fans." I explained to him how just taking a few minutes and acknowledging someone else will make those kids' day.

Today, I received an email about our Wendy's encounter.
Hi Barbie
My name is Howard Sharkey. I'm The WasteWater superintendent in Kosciusko. Last week, you and your husband were at Wendy's in Kosciusko. My dauther works at Wendys. Well, that girl came home that night and I thought she had meet the Queen of England she was so excited. We kept asking her who she had meet? She told us that she meet Barbie from WLBT news. We were as excited as she was. Jasmine is a good girl and we are really proud of her and to have a role model like you is great. And thanks for taking time with my little girl. Jasmine is in the 11 grade and I think meeting you did alot for her.
Dear God, help me remember that how I treat others will turn them ON or OFF to you.


Pat said...

This example and the reaction you had to your dented car reveal your true strength of character. You are truly a generous, gracious and humble person. We all need to remember that we represent Christ whether we have a public forum or just daily contact with folks. Your humility is why your husband admires you and your children will absolutely notice as they mature. Your response meant a lot to me when I informed you of my pancreatic cancer and my not being able to donate my hair. Keep being yourself! We love you for it!
Pat from Meadville.

Marshall Ramsey said...

I will say this, I have known Barbie for many years now. She is as real as what you see on TV -- and maybe even a little bit nicer. She believes in giving back to Mississippi and is grateful for all the blessings that her career has given her.

It's refreshing in this business to meet real people. Barbie is one of them.

seholmes said...

I actually teach Jasmine, the girl whose father emailed you. She came running into my classroom the next day with her autograph and picture in hand. She was very excited about meeting "Mrs. Barbie" and had nothing but nice things to say about you. Thanks for being so kind to her and the other employees at Wendy's that night. It made her day!