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sewer grate

The Key to Great Service: Going the Extra Mile (Or the Extra Eight Feet!)

Posted On11/18/2016

ContributorTracy Fischer

A family-owned company, Nelson cares about the people in our communities. Our clients and candidates are our neighbors and friends; that’s why we take pride in going the extra mile for all our partners. With each interaction, we strive to make the day of the people around us better.

Several Nelson employees in our San Mateo office exemplified this outstanding focus on service last week when they stepped in to help someone in need. They observed a man in their office’s parking lot drop his keys down a sewer grate. It was clear the man needed help after AAA came but didn’t have the right tool to remove the grate cover.

Nelson teammates Ryan Korn and Justin Dugish went out to see how they could assist. After surveying the situation, they retrieved a tire iron and pried the manhole cover off. Not hesitating for a moment, Justin removed his shirt and shoes and jumped into the eight-foot-deep hole, using his feet and hands to prop himself up and shimmy down to the bottom, where about three feet of water awaited him. He quickly recovered the keys and with the help of others, climbed out of the hole. Luckily, the electronic key fob still worked perfectly.

With the temperature climbing, it was lucky they were there to help; the man’s dog was locked in the car!

The man whose keys were recovered was so blown away by the exemplary actions of the Nelson team that he followed up with an email to Ryan to thank them. Is his own words:


“Earnestly, I’m at a lack for words at your automatic instinct to help, throwing yourselves into doggedly prying open that grate – using tools, and grit, and sheer strength.

That is before Justin ripped off shirt and shoes, and like “Swamp Thing,” lowered himself into the Stranger Things portal, committed to finishing the job. During a work day. Regardless of all consequence.

This obviously makes me want to commit to being a better person. I carry this forward into my interactions great and small, trying to bring this goodness into evaluating how I can be of service to the other humans who need my help in every interaction.
I am so appreciative, and we’ll have to figure out a way to be sure your grand kids know that this is the type of guy their grandfather is.”


Justin and Ryan – your colleagues at Nelson are proud of your actions and impressed by your resourcefulness and tenacity, and inclination to drop your daily priorities to help a complete stranger. You’ve truly embodied the Nelson way in this interaction and inspired another person to pay it forward. We’re so grateful to have you as a part of the Nelson team!

In our work matching talented job seekers with companies who need them, we often witness stories of Nelson team members and others going above and beyond to help our friends and colleagues. As a team, we’ll continue to look to examples like the one set by Justin and Ryan here to help brighten the days of those around us.