July 15, 2016, Israel
I have known Fabrice for a long time but I have never met him. In the Talmud we are told to "acquire a friend" but there is not much explanation as to how. Over the years, for me, this has come to mean thinking of a person as a person, an individual, someone that matters.
Fabrice is my agent at El Al but over the years, only over the phone, he has truly become a friend. We remember each others birthdays, we take an interest in personal matters.
Personally I feel he has done much more for me than I have done for him. He has rescued me many times, in Ukraine, Holland, Belgium, from all sorts of problems. While other passengers were stranded and felt hopeless and abandoned I felt calm and secure because I knew that Fabrice and El Al would get me home safe and soon as possible.
Recently I ran into some trouble with the administration of El Al. El Al is my airline so I will not utter a negative word here but we had some misunderstandings. Fabrice got caught in the middle. I never had any doubt that he would do the best he could for me but he did more.
I felt personally hurt, deeply hurt, by the "administration", those distant nameless powers that we cannot touch. Although El Al did contact me and did make an effort I still felt let down. But then Fabrice called me. He found a compromise that worked well for me. He already knew before hand what I wanted to do and what choices I would make. That is because he is more than a work associate, he is a true friend.
He truly went to bat for me, as we say in America. He did all he could. He thought of arguments in my favor that I myself had not thought of. He was my advocate in court. There are some things he did which he told me are off the record, so they shall stay as such. Respect.
The call with Fabrice undid all the hurt, all the pain. That is a friend. As I hung up the phone and we wished each other a Shabbat Shalom I felt proud. I felt proud to have acquired such a friend, As my dear Aunt Esther and Aunt Sylvia used to say, "to have a good friend you must be a good friend." I have no idea what I did but I have certainly acquired a true friend.
Despite my having dropped a rank in my customer standing my friend assured me that I would continue to receive the same service from him. He does not own the company and does not make policy but he can "do what he can do".
I am inspired. I am inspired by his example and motivated to offer better service to our members. I never feel rushed with him although I am sure he has much work to do. I always know that he will respond to my e mails as soon as possible, I never need to write him twice. I have confidence that he will always go to bat for me and do whatever is necessary and whatever is possible. And this is what I want to do for our Krav Maga students and instructors.
Let us all learn from this positive example; let us improve our customer service and do all we can, no! let us do more than we can.
Fabrice, I thank you my friend. I am honored to have such a friend.
"Israel, A Nation of Warriors" 312 pages,
The Israeli warrior spirit.
Analysis of the Reserve system, history of a warrior nation, development of Krav Maga fighting system.
The unique morality and ethics of the Israeli army and its nation of warriors.
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This is required reading for all IKI instructors!