In January 1998 I was working as a Customer Service Manager for a little company called WorldCom. WorldCom was the 4th largest telecommunications company in the United States. I was living in Odessa with my folks, working at the district office in Midland and traveling all over Texas to see customers. I had about 15 commercial accounts from Austin to El Paso to Abilene to Amarillo and all points in between. My largest account was Anderson Merchandisers here in Amarillo....their monthly telephone invoice was around $150,000 a month. This account was so high maintenance that I would make weekly "day" trips from Odessa to Amarillo. I would leave the house by 5am to make it to Amarillo by 9am, be in a meeting all day and then drive back to Odessa...I would usually get home around 10pm - once a week...every week.
I loved my career and the customers loved me. Until one of my co-workers asked me to stop by a current customer in Amarillo by the name of Nunn Electric.
My co-worker (Mark) was transferring to a different position and he was going to transition the Nunn Electric account to me...so I needed to introduce myself to Randy Hare. HOLY CRAP! Not Randy Hare...I had heard stories & legends about this client and now I was going to be handling this account?
As I popped into Mr. Hare's office, ever so chipper and looking so cute I might add...I handed him my business card and told him that I was going to be handling his account from this point forward.
He took one look at me....then one look at the card and tossed the card back at me and said no thanks...he had Mark and he would be staying with Mark.
I left that office in tears....everybody loves Tina...what was he thinking?? I went straight to the Amarillo office and called Mark immediately to tell him...that I would never step foot back in that office and I would never deal with that Randy Hare as long as I live!
I could go on and on about this dysfunctional "working" relationship that me & Mr. Hare had the next six months but you would be bored and there is not enough space in blogger land to explain how bad it really was.
( Side Note....I quickly learned that Nunn Electric had over 15 years of unresponsive customer service with WorldCom and Mark was the first contact that actually fixed the issues. Why didn't Nunn Electric change long distance companies if things were that bad?? Easier said then done...a company the size of Nunn Electric would have taken months to change to a new carrier and then a year to get the service & invoicing correct. Seriously...it would have been a nightmare.)
In June 1998 Mr. Hare was going to be in Odessa for business and Mark wanted me to join them for dinner. Mark was convinced if I really got to know Mr. Hare our working relationship would be better. I told Mark that I would go only if he would pay for dinner and pay me $100. to sit through this nightmare of a dinner I was about to experience.
That night I seen a completely different side to Mr. Hare. He was actually fun! And he was cute! And how did he know all the words to this ZZ Top song?? He was really funny too. Who was this man? I was smitten.
That night he became Randy.
Two nights later I met Randy in Lubbock for drinks and dinner - it was really amazing. He was so much fun to be around...and the life of the party.
From that point on I would make my weekly Amarillo trips overnight trips so I could have dinner with Randy. He was such a gentleman and made no moves on me...he was just a fun date!
In late July I made a special weekend trip to Amarillo to see Randy and brought my friend Christin with me - I wanted her to meet him. At this point - I knew he was the one...even though our relationship was not romantic I knew this was the man I was going to marry. That night after we all went out I waited in the car with Randy and gave him my home phone number...then I told him "you are going to marry me someday". He laughed and said "yeah - sure I am".
I will never forget leaving Amarillo the next day. I cried all the way back to Odessa because I didn't want to leave Amarillo. Randy called me that very night at home and we really started getting to know each other. Nobody knew of our little connection except Christin. My Mom had a small suspicion but didn't know for sure and no one at WorldCom knew anything about this little brewing romance.
On the next visit...a week later...I decided I was going to move to Amarillo. The Amarillo office had been begging me to move to Amarillo and the biggest account in our district was here...plus my future husband lived here! I got my work transfer and started working on moving to Amarillo. Mom and Dad supported me 100%, helped me organize my move and then helped moved me to Amarillo.
It was 12 years ago today on September 25, 1998 I became a resident of Amarillo, Texas - I love it here. As I look back I can see God's fingerprints all over this.
I don't know if you have your volume on but the song playing is my song. I no longer care for the Dixie Chicks but this song came out about the time I moved to Amarillo and the song writer is Susan Gibson. Susan is from Amarillo and happen to be living here at the time. I met her one evening and hugged her neck then thanked her for writing my song....she cried. It was really cool!
As her folks drive away, her dad yells, "Check the oil!"
Mom stares out the window and says, "I'm leaving my girl"
She said, "It didn't seem like that long ago"
When she stood there and let her own folks know
She needs wide open spaces
Room to make her big mistakes
She needs new faces
She knows the high stakes