In many ways, we live in luxurious times. General access to items of comfort and health as well as advancements in technology have never been greater at any other point in human history. Sure, not every issue our societies currently deal with are ideal but with all the advantages many of us enjoy, it’s often easy to forget that not everyone’s lives are so convenient.
Like all gamers, New Jersey based PlayStation 4 owner Peter Byrne enjoys both the challenge and thrill of gaming, but unfortunately that’s where the similarities end. Byrne’s gaming challenges are amplified as a result of suffering from cerebral palsy, a congenital disorder that causes a variety of muscular impairments.
Recently, Byrne’s problems with his PS4 controller became too much to handle. The fingers of his left hand were constantly bumping the controller’s sensitive touchpad and pausing the games he was playing. When he got in touch with PlayStation support, he was given an email address to contact and told to await a response. The response came from Alex Nawabi, a PlayStation employee who actually took it upon himself to modify a one of a kind controller just for Byrne. Nawabi sent the controller in a special care package that included the letter below.
Nawabi’s efforts involved disabling the touchpad and rerouting it to the back, right hand side of the controller. This endeavor involved utilizing three different controllers as well as over ten hours of labor and concept design. In other words, it was not a quick and simple alteration and it's not even part of his job. He works in Retail Market Operations and this is the first time Nawabi has "done something like this." The end results however, appear to have pleased Peter Byrne a great deal. On a message he posted to his Facebook account regarding the Nawabi’s work, he stated:
"I honestly got choked up reading the letter as I did not expect anything like this to happen. Mr. Nawabi really cared about my situation and did this on his own time to make my experience better. I honestly can't thank him enough for everything he did for me. Thank you Mr. Nawabi it really means a lot too me!"
Finding someone who will go above and beyond in this manner is truly something to commend. It’s also important to note that it was Alex Nawabi’s sole initiative that made this controller a reality, though when faced with praise, he selflessly shifted the spotlight as to not undermine the team in PlayStation's Research and Development branch, saying:
"What I did only works for a single individual and it should not undermine their work in any way. I cannot stress this enough. Without them, we wouldn’t even be close to what we are today.”
Given the wide variety of electronics brands currently in use by people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, many of us have at one time or another encountered less than stellar customer service of some sort. The fact that people like Alex Nawabi are out there is an encouraging one, reminding us all that behind the scenes there are those who work very hard to make a difference.