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By: Saige Anderson

“I am a bigger guy who always wears a smile. Without it, I can be pretty intimidating!” – Dean Parker

Honest with Expectations

For about eight months, Dean Parker has served our dedicated account with GE appliances in Commerce, GA. He is a Platinum driver pursuing Certified Red and organically recruits drivers through the enjoyment of his job.

He shared that the strangest thing about the recruiting process at Nussbaum was receiving complete, honest expectations. Dean admits that his immediate reaction was to be a bit off-put by the crystal-clear openness. However, the transparent expectations and foresight of what he may have to deal with allowed him to build trust for what soon would be required of him.

In everyday life, we can’t always predict what we will be faced with. Dean married his childhood love Irene and has two children, Ella and Camron. His dedicated position allows him to be close to them, and sometimes he brings one of the kids along for the short-haul trips.

Yet, in 2008 his family hit an unexpected turn.

Irene was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), which made the prospect of having more children impossible without risking her own life. Her ability to walk deteriorated over time.

A cheerleader in her youth, being physically strained was a jarring curveball for Irene and Dean to face.

Acceptance Will Lead to Joy

The most profound statement from Dean during our conversation was, “Irene’s acceptance of the diagnosis led to so much joy.”

But acceptance didn’t happen immediately.

Over time, battling pain and grief, she came to her position today – a joy-filled place. Today, Irene has a pink wheelchair she uses to get around and engage with Ella and Camron. I could see how Irene and her joy-filled stance impacted Dean through her diagnosis and journey.

During our conversation, he also lived out her joy and truth.

Being a driver sometimes comes with dangerous roads, stormy weather, difficult phone calls, tight situations, missing home, and so much more.

Dean shared a few of his difficult situations, like trying to back a 53-foot-long trailer into a new apartment complex that was not designed for a truck. Or how sometimes he barely fits into a space (which is a vacant lot in the morning) but then he is stuck in the afternoon (as other vehicles arrive).

We all have obstacles. But it’s clear that when we accept them, then we can learn how to operate in the midst of them.

GOAL: Get Out and Look

Dean has taught me to realize that we will always have blind spots. But we can choose to search for them. Get Out And Look for them.

This act could save us much damage to ourselves and others. Sometimes we may not find them, and they show up unexpectedly. Hopefully, we can learn to accept obstacles and, eventually, that acceptance will turn to joy.