Respect….. If you are yet to visit Norway, you are missing out. The people there are understated, energetic and youthful, yet highly educated, and for me, extremely attractive, due to their way of being…

The Deepest Respects

….. It Is 2013

I was visiting friends in Oslo, it had been a wonderful stay as always, interests as always were peaked and Planning for another visit had already began.

There was a knock at the door and only I was in ear shot

I answered the door to find a tall, very well dressed man in a tailored dark blue suit with polished brass buttons, a well pressed white shirt and wool tie, a tall, round peaked hat to match the suit and shoes like black glass on his feet.

The man spoke in Norwegian but I was unable to catch his words.

‘One Moment’ …. I closed the door and double checked what we’d been up to the night before.

I found my friend and told her about the policeman outside, I could see her running the same checks that I had only moments ago. She straightened herself in the mirror and answered the door.

Respect Respect Respect
Like this butter smarter….

“Komme’ (Norwegian for ‘Come In’)

She gave me a look and told me to relax…

The man walked in with what I can best describe as an old fashioned doctors bag but twice the size you’d expect. He stoped at the coatrack, placed the bag on the floor and opened it.


Out came a wooden coat hanger, on which he placed his jacket, then he removed his tie and then hat. He then rolled up his sleeves and loosened the top button of his shirt. I still had no idea what was happening as my friend had disappeared again.

I tried not to stare, but this demonstration just seemed bizarre, and without explanation.

The man again reached into the bag on the ground and pulled out a leather apron and tied it around his waste……. Still have no idea!

The man then closes the bag and walks down to the basement.

This man as it turns out is a chimney sweep….. A bloody chimney sweep!!

When he had finished sweeping the chimney, the man brings everything back up the stairs, collects his suit from the rack and heads back outside.

Ten minutes later he returns and again knocks at the door.

The man, who only ten minutes ago was sweeping the chimney, is back at the door looking as if he were here collect his date for a policemen’s ball. He had changed his shirt and was now wearing white gloves to finish off the look. Instead of the bag he now carried a clipboard with the invoice, which was paid immediately, and with a slight head bow, hand shake and click of his heels, he was gone.

That man made an enormous impact upon me. Everything that he did was out of respect. Respect for his customers, for the work, for his profession and for himself. Even though his job demanded that he got dirty, he made sure that he was immaculate when he presented himself before and afterwards.

He took what most of us might think of as a trade that most wouldn’t want to be in or possibly see as one of the lowest on the ladder and elevated it, for me, I would class this man as THE best example of what a business should be. Whether you are a supplier of goods or services, this man, for me is the benchmark of perfection.

Respect The Perfection

He wore the mask of excellence, no matter what might have been going on his life, when he stepped into his role, he was perfection….. I mean, even the guys posture and the way he moved were that of a ballet dancer.\

Throughout my time since, I have carried his example with me In everything I do, not just with work but in life also. I firmly believe that, If you aren’t doing everything you do to the best of your ability, you are wasting the opportunity and your ability.

What we do is what we leave behind for others to discover, what we are remembered for and an opportunity for our story to be told.

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