August 2009 – Chris Rockwood

August 1, 2009 | 826 Blog Post

Chris Rockwood

Chris Rockwood!

Early on, when we were first putting together the at-the-time-still-unnamed robot store, we thought about a lot of things. We thought about how it would look, and what we would sell, and how much we would sell it for. We talked a lot about the TYPE of people we wanted to staff it, their senses of humor, their personalities. And when we were having those first gestational conversations about the EXACT type of person we wanted working in the Liberty Street Supply & Repair, we did not at that time realize that we were basically describing Chris Rockwood.

Chris is the quintessential Robotier (for those of you who don’t know, that’s the special name we have for the fine men and women and cyborgs who volunteer in our store; it’s pronounced row-bot-tee-ay) in a way that is hard to describe, but we’ll give it a shot anyway. She’s had the Saturday 4-6pm shift for as long as we can remember. Let’s start here:

The first Saturday shift that Chris worked, C Jason (the co-creator of the store) and I were working in the back room. There were *no fewer than ten times* that we looked at each other delightedly while inadvertantly eavesdropping on her two-hour shift.

Chris has a WAY with people. A way, in fact, that might best be described in a bullet list:

  • She’s genuinely just a really nice person
  • She’s quirky, and in a natural, not-put-on way
  • She has the kind of enthusiasm that’s infectious
  • She’s a total people person

Her personality is what one might call a “winning” one. And one of the best parts about having her in the store is that she really LOVES 826michigan, and she LOVES the store, and she truly BELIEVES IN what we’re trying to do, and the joy that she gets in telling people about it is obvious. She thinks we’re cool, and we think she’s cool too! If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard her laugh WITH a customer about the Robot Toupee/Party Hat and how clever it is, well, I’d probably have a solid dollar. (Admit it, that’s a lot of nickels!)

In addition to the bulleted list above, Chris is also always happy and willing to step forward and pick up a shift, or stay late, or do whatever it is that would help out a fellow Robotier. She has come to several of our events. She convinced her wonderful husband Steve to grow a mustache for us in our Mustache-a-Thon last year.

More importantly: Chris Rockwood SPREADS JOY. She always shows up with a smile on her face. You cannot see her without feeling happy and glad that this is the person in front of you.

Recently, Chris has had to give up her shift in the robot store due to a health issue. This is a very sad thing indeed, but we want to take this opportunity to encourage everyone reading this to send a little Positive Robot Mojo in Chris’s general direction right now.

Chris: We love you, we thank you for everything you’ve done for us, and we are sending a gigantic laser beam of Positive Robot Mojo your way, twenty-four hours a day, until you are back with us again!

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