Abundant Optimism

Helping people regain and keep an optimistic outlook in challenging circumstances and improve their creativity, mind, and skills.

Did You Say Thank You?

by Tamara Martfeld

A while back ago I wrote about identifying your customers and serving them to the best of your ability. Just as you have many customers, you are also a customer of several people. Also, just as you should thank your customers for being your customers, you should be thanking those who serve you as their customer.

“Administrative Professionals Day” was this week in the United States. It used to be called “Secretary’s Day”, but there was recognition that not all people who perform those duties were officially secretaries. Other names include “Office Assistant”, “Office Technician”, and other similar names. They are the people who do the “dirty work” in most offices. If you have such a person working for you, directly or indirectly, did you thank them? You do not have to wait for an official day to do the thanking. Ideally, you should thank them every time they do something for you.

There are likely others in your life, both at home and at work, who do things for you on a regular basis. When was the last time you thanked them? At home, did someone wash your clothes, clean your house, wash the dishes, mow the lawn, fix the car, or pick up something at the store for you? If so, thank them. At work did someone proof read a report for you, take on some of your work so you could concentrate on another task, order your supplies, screen your calls or visitors, or move a deadline for you? Again, if so, thank them.

Saying the simple words, “Thank you”, takes very little time and means a great deal. In one job I had I worked for 10 years without ever hearing those words and I felt truly unappreciated. Where I work now I hear those magic words from most people with whom I work any time I do something for them, and it feels great. You can brighten a person’s whole day simply by saying “Thank you”. Mark Twain stated “I could live for two months on a good compliment.” A “Thank you” is a form of compliment.

Another thing I have noticed is that when I thank people for the things they do for me I tend to get better service from them. I do not thank them to get the service, but it does occur. They know I appreciate what they do for me and so seem more willing to help me as needed.

It is also good to recognize is that there are many thankless jobs out there. Have you thanked the janitor for keeping your work location clean or the custodians for keeping a park clean? Have you even seen the type of junk they have to deal with daily? What about anyone who has the job of opening doors for you, getting you to work timely and safely (cab driver, bus driver, car pool driver, etc.), bagging or ringing-up your groceries, or serving your food? Each of these people is serving you in some way. Get into the habit of thanking everyone who serves you in any way.

On a business level this habit will help business relationships in general and enable you to get better co-operation from your staff, your bosses, and your co-workers. If you never thank anyone and have difficulty in your business relationships, perhaps the lack of thanks has something to do with the situation. One of the biggest complaints I have heard about “bad bosses” is that they never appreciate what is done by their staff. Sometimes this is the complaint which makes them a “bad boss”. If you appreciate what one does for you, let them know – don’t expect them to know it by telepathy.

If you get into the habit of thanking people who serve you, you will likely notice a positive change in other people attitude as well as how other people treat you. You will probably notice a lot of smiles around you as well, and knowing that you put those smiles on the faces will probably make you feel good.

Have a wonderful, productive, and positive month!