22 December: Return to Crete

A heart-warming story from our retail colleague Debra Wakeford in the UK:

“Our loyal customer John we hadn’t seen for a while so we took the opportunity to call him to see how he was. He gave us the sad news that his wife had passed and he didn’t think he would be in to see us again. John is a very hard working 75 year old. Working and mixing with people keeps him sane he says, he enjoys his job and could never see himself retire.

He used to regularly go to Crete to see Greek friends who run a very small hotel in the South of Crete. He used to travel there for 45 years with his wife. So many wonderful memories they had there from Greek weddings, Christenings and parties.

We asked him what is stopping him going? Covid was his first blocker and travelling alone. We were able to overcome all these hurdles and gently offered him the help to get him back travelling again. Now this isn’t a booking that would make a lot of money it was more about John and letting him know it was OK and he would be fine. So he plucked up the courage came in to our store, put the kettle on and got down to business. Chatting away we got his flights booked, sent an email to the family hotel to book John in, got him insured, booked car parking and fast pass. He was very nervous but we re-assured him all the way. All my team know John and he is treated like royalty when he comes into the store.

Nearer to the departure date we emailed the hotel and arranged for Vasilis to collect him in person from Heralkion airport. Meanwhile, John was getting emails from the hotel and his Greek friends about a wedding and Christening he was invited to.

You could just see his motivation and enthusiasm rise, he was so excited to travel again.

This all came about in May 2022 since then he has made 2 trips with us to Crete and spent a total of 8 weeks of blissful happiness back in Crete. Of course it was emotional for him and us.  But it is true to say we totally helped creating the moments that made Johns summer richer.

We are honored to be of service to our customer, especially in moments like this. To show his gratitude he bought us 3 bottles of wine and a lovely heart felt worded card to say THANK YOU.

It was our pleasure and we will see him in March to get 2023 sorted.”