“The Quicken Loans Family.” As a team member, this phrase is constantly being said, but as a new intern, it never really had true meaning for me. Flashing back to orientation, I remember seeing how everyone seemed like best friends and as I sat there I wondered if that was going to be me with fellow team members. Ironically, I ended up sitting with my future Quicken Loans best friend at orientation, but that is beside the point. I knew what work family felt like; I have worked at a banquet hall for the past four years and I consider my boss my second father and the workers my siblings, but Quicken Loans was different.
Being an intern means that you are the new guy; the freshman who needs to find their way and navigate through, all the while feeling like you are drowning because the new environment is, let’s face it, scary as heck. However, there was a different feeling during the first week; although I felt like I was drowning, my team members were standing right there with the life raft making sure that I did not go under. Ok, so my team members are the theoretical lifeguards in the sea that is the business world, but does that make them family? Not quite yet, but I can tell that they care about me, so we are getting there.
As the weeks went on and I spent more time with my team members, they certainly felt like family. On my team, I had big brother Neil who was my cube mate, Papa Mark who had taken me under his wing, big brother Andy who was also guiding me, Mama Bear Heather, and big sister Ryan to name a few. Although my team was finally feeling like family, the big picture of Quicken Loans certainly was taking a while. I am very shy, and outside of my team, I only had my Quicken Loans best friend whom I met at orientation. ISMs day came around and I met two interns who work on the Core Team which is near my area. Jasen and Mike quickly became friends of mine because they pass by me multiple times a day. Ok, two more siblings in the Quicken Loans family; progress is being made.
Enter in June 28, a typical, soon not-to-be-forgotten, Thursday morning. The day began as usual, until I pulled into the parking structure at Joe Louis Arena (JLA). As I entered, I noticed the parking attendants were not having us park in the lines, but a little over, and as I am pulling into my spot and trying to adjust my car, I slammed on the gas instead of the brake and drove my car into the wall. This was my second car accident since starting work in Detroit and this one took a lot out of me. As I got out of my car to see the damage done, another girl a few cars down had done the exact same thing. Although I did not get the girl’s name, she was kind enough to stand there with me and tell me it was going to be ok. I boarded the shuttle to come to Compuware, eyes red from crying, shaken up, but assuring myself that everything was going to be ok.
As soon I came into my area, I ran to Ryan crying and she once again assured me that everything was going to be ok. Unfortunately my desk faces the main walkway, so for each person that walked by, I had to hear “You look sad. Are you ok?” Although I was not ok, I realized something that day; the Quicken Loans family is that exact thing. Family knows when you are sad and does whatever they can to make the pain go away. This family had been there ever since I started, but I had never noticed it.
I sent an email out to my team telling everyone I would be leaving early because of the accident and everyone stopped by my desk to assure that I was ok. Not knowing if my car was drivable, Papa Mark was kind enough to walk to JLA with me in nearly 100-degree heat to make sure that the car would be ok to drive home. It turned out that I did enough damage on my car that it would be in the shop for three weeks! Not knowing how I was going to get to work or come home, I called Ryan and asked her to send out an email to the team asking if anyone lived Downriver and could help me out, and the next day when I walked in, Jen volunteered. Although Jen was on my team, I never really talked to her, and knowing that she would be willing to help me out meant the world to me. During the car rides we had a chance to bond and she became my friend.
Jen was not the only QL team member who came to my rescue, but Mike who I just met on ISMs day a few weeks prior, and Victoria who I see in church every weekend and lives within walking distance of my house also came in and stepped up to the plate. These three QL team members gave me a chance to reflect on what I would do if someone was in my position and needed help. I finally understood the meaning of “The Quicken Loans Family” that was shared during orientation; the QL family lives and breathes the ISMs like “Do the right thing” and “It’s not about WHO is right, it’s about WHAT is right,” helps fellow team members in need, and ultimately cares about the welfare of team members and will do anything to make sure they are ok. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and that even in times of despair good things can come out of it. At first I did not understand why I was in another car accident, but soon realized that it happened so that I could learn a thing or two about helping others and going out of your way to do so. Because of this, Quicken Loans will always hold a special place in my heart and will serve as an example for the rest of my life of what family means.
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