For those of you who don’t know, I’m the son of Galen Lehman (president of Lehman’s) and grandson of Jay Lehman (founder), which means that as I grew up, Lehman’s has always been a large part of my life. As a young child, it seemed natural to me to stop in at the hardware to see my dad and my grandpa, or ‘Poppy’ as I still call him, and to walk with my dad through what was then the stove room, or to watch the model trains from the balcony of the toy room with my grandpa. Some of the employees still remember this, and turn on the trains whenever they see me in there.
The funny thing is, though, I have never had a really good idea of how exactly the store runs and operates. So this summer, upon completing my first year at Hesston College in Central Kansas, I returned home to begin an internship with the hardware. Soon, I found myself up to my ears in information about Lehman’s that I never knew.
While most of what I have been learning is really technical, what struck me the most was the dedication to serving the customer. Whether it was watching the shipping department in the warehouse carefully load a stove hearth onto the back of a customer’s truck, or listening as customer service representatives courteously and calmly worked with customers to resolve even the most difficult issues, I had no idea of the effort that each employee put forth to meet the needs of every individual that came through the store. Just as watching the trains run is forever ingrained in my memory, the courtesy of the people I worked with will stick with me for a long time.