[Originally published July 1, 2015]
We use the Davis' downtown United States Post Office a lot. And Estela Gatto, the woman behind the front desk...the woman who keeps everything moving along harmoniously... the woman who gives each person her full attention and care...always makes our day.
It doesn't matter who needs what, Estela is unwaveringly patient and kind. Students come in with flumpily wrapped packages to mail overseas (with all the labels in the wrong places) and Estela helps them sort it all out.
Today, an "experienced person," who has probably circled the Sun at the astounding speed of 67,000 miles per hour eighty-plus times now, didn't understand how to swipe her credit card and Estela very quietly and patiently explained. One of the people in line stepped to the front to help the woman, too. The potentially drab post office was shining with positive vibes.
Estela sets the tone of kindness. Sometimes the line gets long, but she never acts pressured or irritated. She jokes with everyone and makes sure that the people waiting all are reaping the benefits of the air conditioning.
"Don't stand out there to wait. It's too hot," Estela says, "Come in here and just remember your place in line."
I went to the Post Office today for the express purpose of seeing Estela about this blog post. I waited in line and looked around me. There were four or five in line behind me, but no one looked grumpy. When it was my turn, I told Estela why I had come.
"Estela, Repower decided to highlight people who are making a difference in our community, and you're our very first person to be featured in our Extraordinary Ordinary Wednesday post! You always make our day and I know that you brighten many others' days, too."
"It comes naturally to me because I just treat others the way that I would like to be treated," she said.
Then something else extraordinary happened. Everyone in the line chimed in and shared their appreciation of Estela. They were excited about the idea of our Extraordinary Ordinary Wednesday post and asked where they could read about their beloved Estela. Yes, we had a bit of a celebration in the middle of the tiny Downtown Davis Post Office!
When I shot Estela's photo, she joked, "I hope I didn't break your camera." Not a chance. Estela Gatto, you are beautiful...a ray of sunshine who brightens all our lives. Thank you for being so extraordinary.
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