Nextdoor isn’t typically where you go to find good news. But back in November, my client, Elaine Pavich, sent me screenshots from her local nextdoor thread in Oakland’s Piedmont Pines neighborhood about her Oakland UPS driver Marlon Criss.
“Marlon is one of a kind. I mean, he’s just kind, thoughtful, helpful. He’s like the Mr. Rogers of our neighborhood,” said Elaine.
Thread About Oakland UPS Driver Grew Quickly
After reading all 65 comments raving about Marlon, I knew I had to meet him. So I contacted the UPS public relations team, sent them screenshots of the nextdoor thread and requested an interview. While he declined to be interviewed, UPS said they would recognize Marlon internally. Fast forward three months and UPS contacted me to say they are going to honor Marlon in a special recognition celebration.
Another Nextdoor Thread About UPS Celebration
The UPS Lake Merritt business manager Luke Adams says Marlon is amazing to be around. “He is the embodiment of what all of our UPS drivers strive to achieve.”
Word spread quickly on next door. A new thread popped up about UPS honoring Marlon, which received over 434 likes and 130 comments at the time I wrote this and continues to grow. Neighbors rallied and surprised Marlon at the ceremony.
Piedmont Pines Neighbors Show Up for their Oakland UPS Driver: Marlon Criss
Brigit Garabedian of Piedmont Pines said, “He takes care of our packages. He takes care of our dogs. He takes care of our houses. Just in this day and age he is just a gem.”
Neighbor Pete Hayes agreed “He shows a real interest in all the people in the neighborhood.”
Kimberly Meier says Marlon knows her entire family. “My husband works from home and he’ll come running out to say hi to Marlon. He’s a fixture
District 4 Councilmember Janani Ramachandran even saw this thread, showed up and presented Marlon with a special commendation. Between Marlon, his family, and what he calls his Piedmont Pines family, there wasn’t a dry eye in attendance.
“I’m just doing my job just being myself,” said Marlon. “I make sure I remember everybody’s name. That was my goal from the start. I want everybody to know who I am.”
Marlon’s Family Couldn’t be Prouder
“I’m used to him working hard, my parents working hard. It’s just kind of what he does,” said Marlon’s son, Raekwon Criss.
His daughter Dasani Criss agreed. “He deserves it. He’s been working really hard, coming home sometimes at 10:00 at night, working over 12 hour shifts. It’s just insane to me. So I’m just really happy to see him happy. For something to bring him to tears, I haven’t seen him cry in like ten years.”
UPS printed the next door threads and decorated the tables with them and acknowledged this is how it all started.
Marlon’s wife Dawn says she’s honored and proud to call him her husband. They’ve been together since she was in the ninth grade and she was blown away by all the next door comments. She even thanked the Piedmont Pines neighbors for taking care of her husband. “I couldn’t ask for a better UPS family, the Piedmont Pines family, for getting all of this started,” shared Dawn.
Marlon says he has a lot of gratitude for UPS. “My son had a kidney biopsy years ago. UPS came in and took care of my family, and I can only show that love back to them.”
And he will continue to do the job he loves.
“Even if I don’t know them, I still blow the horn and wave at them.” So the next time you’re in the Piedmont Pines area and you see a UPS driver with a huge smile, honk and wave at you, you’ll know who it is.
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