Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Orvis Post

First round
Okay, I know I was supposed to finish Tin-a-palooza today with my field test of the various and sundry split shot but that will have to wait for tomorrow.* I got something cool in the mail that warrants comment.

This evening I had a few errands to run between the end of a day filled with conference calls and a late call with Malaysia. While I drove about I listened to Tom's latest podcast on casting to difficult trout. A real gem of a podcast. I get something from most of his work but this one had a bit more than normal. I've fished for those impossible to catch trout before and while I probably won't fish for them again soon, at least I can dream about throwing a upstream pile cast to a finicky fish. Well worth the listen though most of you probably already listen in.
Quote of the Podcast: "I should be thrashed with a Tenkara Rod." Any volunteers?

The best tip I got from this one: If you need to shorten your leaders a bit, cut back the butt section instead of the tippet.
So I didn't write this post to sing the praises of Tom's podcast but I'm rarely disappointed.

On to the main show.

With Orvis on the brain as I walked into the house, I found a box waiting for me in my office. Last week I received several small packages with Steelhead teasing materials and hooks but I thought I had already received everything I ordered so I wasn't expecting anything. And besides, nothing that I had ordered would come in such a large box.

The label said Millbrook, NY and there's only one thing in Millbrook, NY that rings a bell: Sandanona.

Each year in mid-September we go to the Orvis Cup. My buddy Ross started the tradition and the only year we missed it was when he was in Iraq and Afghanistan. We don't shoot the main event (cause we're not that good) but we shoot the course the day before and have a blast ogling fine weapons, watching hunting dog demos, and generally basking in the "Orvis lifestyle".**

My son Chris shot the course for the first time this year and did very well. He shot 47 which isn't too far from my normal score. Ross and Heather also posted solid scores and so we expected to take home our scorecards and put them on the fridge.

As we left the course the range officer asked for our scorecards. We demurred. She insisted. And in an uncommon fit of accommodation we handed in our cards. Much disappointed we headed home.

That evening, I shot them an email explaining we were disappointed about having to leave the scorecards behind. I'm not sure what I expected but the response was nothing short of amazing.

On Monday I received an email acknowledging receipt of my email and a promise to follow-up. Later in the day I got an voicemail from Peggy Long, the General Manager of Sandanona. She and I later spoke. She apologized for the "score sheet police", noted that she had found our scorecards and if I provided a mail address she would send them to us.

They arrived today. Professionally framed. Way beyond expectations.

The truest measure of people (and companies) is rarely assessed when everything is going right. It's what they bring to the game when things go wrong that you see their real quality.

One friend gives me good natured ribbing that I'm a walking wading commercial for Orvis. There's a reason they get my business. Now they'll get my son's too.

* I can hear Jonny weeping softly lamenting the delay in my total transformation to Culvert.
** Is that the sound of Jonny wretching?