How Waqar’s support reunited two old friends
After the exceptional handling of a unique situation with Michael*, Waqar earned an outstanding employee of the month nomination.
He reflected on how he had supported Michael in finding a solution to his problem. Little did he know, this act of kindness would also lead to a heart-warming reunion with Michael’s old friend, Kevin.
Michael, who lives with an acquired brain injury, was upset as he could not use welding equipment in his garage. The space was not suitable for the kind of tools and machinery he wanted to use.
One option was for Michael to get in touch with his friend, Kevin, whose shed was filled with welding equipment. The only problem with was Michael and Kevin had not spoken with each other for a few years. On top of this, other support workers had tried to contact Kevin, but with no luck. Calls went to voicemail, and text messages never saw a response.
After speaking with Michael and his fellow team members, Waqar realised there was only one thing left to do.
“Do you know where your friend lives?” Waqar asked.
“Yeah, Newcomb,” Michael replied.
“Can we go to his house? Can we ask your friend if we can use his welding equipment?”
“Okay,” Waqar said, grabbing his car keys. “Let’s drive over there.”
On the drive over, Waqar noticed that Michael was agitated. Understanding that he was probably feeling nervous to meet his friend after so many years, Waqar calmed Michael down by talking with him. With only the street name and no house number to go on, Waqar drove steadily down through Newcomb. Michael scanned the rows of houses, until…
“That one,” Michael said, pointing. “That’s Kevin’s house.”
Waqar pulled up, and the two men knocked on the front door. When Kevin opened the door, shock and surprise registered on his face. He welcomed them both into his house, with Waqar taking Kevin aside for a brief chat.
Waqar explained that Michael was upset about not being able to use his welding equipment at home. He asked if it would be okay for Michael to use the tools and gear in Kevin’s workshop. Not wanting to be intrusive, Waqar told Kevin it was entirely his choice, and that they could leave if he was not comfortable. Kevin understood Michael’s problem entirely and said he would be happy to let his friend use the equipment.
Grateful, Waqar waited in the car while Kevin and Michael caught up. After an hour, Michael came out to show Waqar something. Leading him to the workshop, Michael pointed to a trailer he had made years ago.
“Wow,” Waqar said. “Michael, that’s really impressive.” Waqar could see that Michael was overcome with joy.
Later, as the pair drove away from Kevin’s house, Waqar felt good that he had supported Michael to find a way to use the equipment that he loved. Plus, Michael had shown him something that clearly meant a lot to him.
“That was really amazing, Michael,” he said. “Thank you for showing me that.”
Reflecting on the experience with Michael and his employee of the month nomination, Waqar said he was very pleased with how things went.
“I just wanted to smooth things over, and help Michael with his problem,” he said. “I’m really happy that he’s feeling better now and will definitely be catching up with Kevin again in future.”
“I was so happy. I didn’t expect the employee of the month nomination at all. I was very shocked, but in a good way. When you do the work that we do, that kind of recognition means so much. I never got that with other jobs.”
* (Note: In this story, the name “Michael” has been used as an alias to protect the individual’s privacy and identity.)