Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Joe Andruzzi: A Nice Guy Who Does the Little Things in a Nice Way

So I'm at a car dealership in Norwood, picking up my car after it needed its radiator repaired. There are two desks in the pick-up/drop-off/pay area, and the attendants at both desks are speaking with customers. One of the customers is a large man wearing Patriots gear, head-to-toe. I realize it's Joe Andruzzi.

I've seen Joe Andruzzi in person before. And I'm not one to get starstruck by athletes. And I think it's rude to interrupt a perfect stranger while they're busy with something and pester them to make marks on a slip of paper, or take a photo with you, or talk about what they're famous for.

One of the suits in the shop is trying really hard to please Mr. Andruzzi. I didn't pay much attention to the conversation, but the guy's body language was very deferential, very much trying to please. He's in uber-customer-service mode.

I stand a few feet back, waiting for one of the attendants to become free so I can drop $700 to fix my overworked car which deserves to be put out to pasture but I can't afford to replace. One of the attendants notices me, and it turns out he is free, it's just that Joe Andruzzi's stuff is on the desk. Some papers and a water bottle.

The attendant motions me toward the desk, and then Andruzzi, while still engaged in conversation with the guy in the suit, notices me in his peripheral vision, and moves his papers and water off the desk. This gives me and the attendant room to do our business. The attendant hands me a sheet of paper with mechanical terms I don't understand next to large numbers. I hand him a credit card.

It was such a small thing to do, noticing someone else needed the desk and moving your stuff. Basic politeness. And it came from a guy who is something of a folk celebrity in this town. A former NFL player, a 3-time Super Bowl winner, a 2-time All American in college, a guy who has used his post-playing days to do things for the community.

Maybe I'm making too much out of an everyday gesture. After all, this is a guy who did this at the Boston Marathon...

A guy who, with his family, co-founded this organization...

Which gives financial assistance to families affected by cancer and gives money to pediatric brain cancer research.

So maybe he's a nice guy because of stuff like that, not because he moved his stuff. Nevertheless, I think you learn a lot about a person from the little things. So this is further proof that Joe Andruzzi is a stand-up guy.

Joe Andruzzi Foundation website

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