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Employee inspires school administrator to "pay it forward"

The following article appeared in the Tyler (Texas) Morning Telegraph on June 8, 2008.

Tyler, Texas - June 8, 2008 - "My last two evenings were spent in a driving course offered at a Tyler restaurant. I sat at a table with Scot Powell, an amazing CenterPoint Energy employee.

"Over the course of the two-evening seminar, we talked about our jobs, asking him how CenterPoint and its employees had fared after taking the brunt of so many irritated customers. He told me, 'You just have to be a good listener, and listen to each customer, not take things too personally.'

"He said, 'people generally just don't understand that we (CenterPoint Energy) are not the ones responsible for the high energy bills, and you just have to treat them with kindness while answering their questions and concerns.'

"The last evening we were in line paying our food bills and when it got to me, I found someone had paid for mine, and I suspected it was Scot. It was.

"Being a humble person, he did not want thanks, but I hurried after them to thank him. He said, 'Please just do that for someone else some time.' CenterPoint certainly has a good man working for them and he has made a difference in my life. I will be looking for someone so I can 'pay it forward' this week, and it may just be you!

"Maybe Tyler should consider having a 'Pay it Forward' week where everyone can find one person to show an anonymous act of kindness."

Laurie S. Turman
Director of Student Services
Bishop T. K. Gorman
Catholic School
Tyler