“LUBBOCK?” You want me to come to LUBBOCK? You’ll have to pay me double.”
Lubbock Texas is the working class, flat, windy, lonesome city where the blues originated. Or at least that’s the myth. Indeed, there is nothing else to do here but sing the blues and pick cotton.
Or so I thought. But after being here for the past 3 days of a 5 day training, I’m learning the surprises of Lubbock. No, the horrid restaurants (horrid – the only restaurant above fast-food quality is Cafe J) is not a surprise, nor the low, flat, forgettable buildings. The surprise is the people. I’ve met so many kind, friendly, authentic people that the town now looks different to me.
My client is Director’s Choice Tour and Travel company, tour directors who create the trips for school orchestras, choirs, and bands. They set up the itinerary, get the transport, insurance and hotels and make sure the students and instruments are safe. They do a very complete, professional, thoughtful job with the kids, the booster parents, the music Directors, and accompany them on many of the trips to ensure everything runs smoothly. I greatly respect what they do, and how they do it..
The surprise for me, and the joy, is how professional, caring, thoughtful, and kind their sales force is. Made up of a group of smart young folks who play and laugh together, they are very eager to learn to be the best for their clients. And not only have I found these folks to be terrific, I’m finding everyone I meet here to be the same. I’m staying at an Embassy Suites that takes such good care of me that I could be at any 5 star hotel in NY.
What I am realizing here is that any particular city – regardless of its politics or geography or demographic, and certainly regardless of my bias – can not be viewed as a separate entity from the people who live in it.
Indeed, Lubbock has taught me to be a kinder, less judgmental person and I’m better for being here. Restaurants aside.