awardI have won an award! Amazing. The company I milk for has a posh conference and dinner every year to celebrate the season and to acknowledge those in the industry who have been outstanding in some way. There are eight Dairy Honours Awards … and this year one of them was for me!

It was the award for the milk supplier the company most appreciated for the season because of the way they worked to make things as easy and as pleasant as possible for the company team. It was the ‘niceness’ award and I felt rather humbled as it was the award you get for just being you.

It was the little things that were noticed. I always leave a treat for the tanker drivers in the vat box (some of them have driven a long way and, sometimes, in the dead of night). I like going out and saying hullo when they arrive - it’s a chance to catch up with another human being and some gossip. I give the transport office a call if the weather is causing problems in the area (trees down, ice or snow, etc). I have no issue leaving what I need to do to help a driver out (for example, when part of a tanker had fallen off and was creating a drag hazard, my workshop became the driver’s workshop and we fixed the problem with a little bit of kiwi ingenuity). When my manager (or any of the other milk supply team) comes to visit for a meeting, or for compliance catchup, I make sure it’s at morning or afternoon tea time as a batch of scones and jam with fresh whipped Jersey cream always goes down a treat (especially as they probably started early and probably won’t get home until late).

It’s all about being grateful to those who are part of what you are trying to do with your life. Without the other human beings around you (particularly when most of what you are doing is on your own) life would be tremendously difficult and a small chocolate bar and a friendly greeting is not a tremendously difficult thing to do on a regular basis. It’s a way to remind yourself of other people’s importance and to remind them of how you appreciate them being there.

Even though I am a very small nut in a very big machine the realisation that the little things (and the little people) are noticed and recognised by the company organisation humbled me as I primarily consider myself just another mere mortal. My aim is always to provide the best quality supplier service I can and the award made me feel really cared about. And, when times are tough, being cared about is one of the most significant things that can help you to keep going.

So … take a look around you and show those who are close by why you are pleased they are there.