Birthday Wishes—Mounds of Almond Joy

Posted November 9 2016 in #PeopleFirst

Frontline Specialist Jamie Zihlke, has always loved birthdays. She sees it as that one day of the year where you get to feel extra special.

“It’s your day,” she says.

That’s why every month, she takes a look at the upcoming birthdays for her customers at Choice Financial in Comfrey. Recently, two birthdays caught Jamie’s eye that resulted in a particularly sweet surprise.

Helen and Carol turned 76 and 77 this year, respectively. Both come in to Choice’s Comfrey office and have a character that lights up the room.

“They have a good sense of humor,” Jamie says. “They’ve always got a story to tell.”

Jamie, along with Frontline Specialist Jennifer Evers and Location Manager Julie Fredin, wanted to give these women a special birthday treat. Jamie took to Pinterest to browse for ideas, and stumbled upon a particularly clever project: The Candy Card. They decided it would be a perfect treat.

Creating these cards was no simple task. They needed huge poster board for the card, and specific types of candy bars to assemble the birthday message. On her own time, Jamie traveled to four different stores in the quest for the right candy bars. The 100 Grand bar and the Now N Laters were particularly elusive.

“It took some time to make it right,” Jamie said.

But the result was a success. The message incorporated the candy bars to read:

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“Happy Birthday! We were going to give you a WHOPPING 100 GRAND for your Birthday, but the money slipped through our BUTTERFINGERS & we didn’t have an extra WHATCHAMCALLIT to sell. We didn’t think a pet KITKAT, a trip to New YORK or an ORBIT around the MILKY WAY would be appropriate. We do want to wish you MOUNDS of ALMOND JOY. Both NOW & LATER as you eat this card. We hope it doesn’t make you ROLOver and get sick. If it does we promise not to SNICKERS! Happy Birthday from your favorite peeps at Choice.”

And they signed their names with Air Heads.

The card was a huge hit when the women received it. Helen immediately walked across the street to show it off to her friends at Bingo — not allowing them to touch the candy bars, of course. Later, she told Jamie that after eating the candy, she carefully replaced each wrapper and had the card framed for her home.

Carol shared her thanks publicly as well. Not long after they gave her the card, Jamie and her coworkers saw a message in the paper that read: “Happiness is an edible birthday card. Thanks for making my day, J, J & J.”

For Jamie and her team, this is all part of following Choice’s core values to “better the place we live,” and “Respect ourselves, and others.”
“You just don’t come in here and do your banking,” Jamie said. “You can come in here and you’re a friend to us as well.”

Julie and Jennifer sing Jamie’s praises when it comes to going above and beyond for their clients. Whether it’s arranging presents like candy cards, ordering hand cut flowers for a couple’s anniversary, or hand drawing birthday cards for others, she is consistently “going out of her way to make people feel special,” Julie said.

As for birthdays to come?

My wheels are always turning upstairs,” Jamie says. “We’ll have to wait and see what happens!”

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