She was a voice on the telephone, a pleasant, friendly voice: “How can I help you?”
I had heard this question in the past five weeks more time than I care to remember. As soon as I explained what my quest was the questioner would switch me to another voice on the telephone, then onto another, and another, without any results. This went on daily ever since we moved to a new apartment and wished to have our landline telephone number reinstated, instead of the temporary one arbitrarily assigned by the company.
The third switch, to the technical department, had yielded gruff and curt replies, ending with unintelligible assertions and my deepening despair.
Anticipating a repeat performance, I described my problem with a sigh and the young voice, remaining friendly, promised to investigate. She continued delving into the intricacies of the matter, and, at the end of twenty minutes, the problem was solved — the elusive phone number was reinstated!
I was delighted and incredulous. “How did you do it? How did you achieve in twenty minutes what numerous others, men and women, did not for the past five weeks?” I asked. In response to my expression of joy and amazement the young woman revealed that her assignment was to connect me to another employee better suited for the task but, hearing despair in my voice, she decided to “l’hagdil et roshi” (to enlarge my head) and carry the task to its conclusion, even though it was beyond her assignment.
In Israel the expression, having a “rosh katan” (having a small head) depicts people who do as they are told without thinking. On the other hand, having a “rosh gadol” (having a big head), portrays those who in order to achieve a goal are willing to make independent decisions beyond the limits of their job or their authority.
Aviv Tsalik, the young girl in question, being moved by despair in my voice, took it upon herself to help me, despite the rules of her position. I believe this quality renders a person above the norm. I believe, Aviv Tsalik has the makings of a future leader.
She was born in Kiryat Motzkin, a small town in Israel, twenty-two years ago to parents Yael and Israel Tsalik, employees of Bezeq, Israel’s central telephone company. Aviv studied drawing and graphic design at the ORT Motzkin School, which enabled her to serve in the army as a “systems assimilator, training soldiers and officers in computer applications and military software programs.”
Aviv Tsalik, who now works for the Netvision Company, helping customers with computer problems, reveals that in the future she would like to study social work because, in her words, social work “is a unique profession rich with meaning, action and the power to make a difference.” As a social worker Aviv hopes to “help clients deal not only with how they feel about a situation, but also with what they can do, with what they can achieve.”
I listen to these words with the joy of having discovered a secret treasure. These words divulge the true nature of the young person I encountered at the other end of the telephone, one who wishes to exercise an impact, to champion a cause or a person – a future leader..