FLAGS FOR FALLEN FEDS
OPM issues final regulations for Flag Recognition Benefit for Fallen Federal Civilian Employees
Jose De La Cruz, DHS TSA
2014 Rocky Mountain Eagle Award Recipient for Improved Federal Image
5 MINUTE RULE: A True Story by Jose De La Cruz
In May of 1996, a call came into the Narcotics office asking for Agent De La Cruz. Agent Williams had answered the phone and the caller would not provide her their name. As this is typical of confidential informants I answered the phone call and the first thing the female caller said was “I’m not going to tell you who I am or what you said that day but, a long time ago when you were a Patrol Officer you saw me sitting by the side of the road in a bad neighborhood and you took 5 minutes of your time to talk to me and listen to my problems as I was about to do something bad. What you said that day change my life, I graduated High School, the University of Alabama and today I just graduated from Law School and I wanted you to be the first person I said thanks to for what you did for me. You probably don’t know who I am or remember me and what you said and that’s what makes it special, Thanks again, you changed my life”. The caller then hung up the phone and I just sat there in shock and not trying to figure out who this person was as I took it as a good deed on my part.
I told Agent Williams what the caller said and she told me she had never heard something like that and if I was going to chase this person down. I told her no, the call was enough.
About two weeks later and thinking about the call every day, I went to the District Attorney’s office to discuss an upcoming case when a person unknown to me saw me and came straight to me. “Hi, my name is XXX and I’m the new Assistant District Attorney and you must be Jose De La Cruz. I’ve heard a lot of good things about you so it will be a pleasure working with you”. As she was talking her eyes were gleaming and her expression had a glowing air. She also would not let go of my hand. I knew then that she was the one that had called and not wanting to spoil her moment I didn’t say anything then or at any other time.
So there came the “5 Minute Rule”. If it took 5 minutes of listening to a person to save her soul, imagine what can be done in one day. Many times we get wrapped up in our own little world thinking that we have it the worst and fend people off that are just trying to help or just need 5 minutes of our time. In the end, a mere “thanks” to someone who helped you on something makes a world of difference at the end of the day or even change your life. It did for me.
People who look down upon other people don’t end up being looked up to. – Robert Half
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