Saying "thank you"

posts from 13 October 2004 to 14 March 2011
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Mats
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Saying "thank you"

Post by Mats »

In my career as a municipal planner I once found a note on my desk from my immediate boss, the Commissioner of Planning, which said "Good job Mats". That note was to be the one and only "thanks" which I received in the 18 years that I worked in that career. That's why this short (3 minutes) presentation particularly resonates with me http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/laur ... k_you.html
Personally, I never neglect to thank all who help me in any way from my wife to the bus driver who stops where I've requested. It is important.
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more
David
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Post by David »

The first part of Laura Trice's idea is easy. I readily say "Thank you" to bus drivers just for doing their job when they stop at the bus stop. I also thank pupils who turn up at my lessons when they are supposed to. The second suggestion is more difficult. I've never told someone that I want them to thank me. I doubt I'll ever do that. I'll tell myself it's because I'm not that needy but really I'm way too insecure.
Barbara
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Post by Barbara »

David wrote:... I've never told someone that I want them to thank me. I doubt I'll ever do that. I'll tell myself it's because I'm not that needy but really I'm way too insecure.
Same here. I can't imagine ever asking someone to thank me. Brrr.

I know it's partly because I'm too insecure. But I think it's mainly because it would feel like I was criticising the other person for not having thought of thanking me themselves. And also that any thanks that I got that way wouldn't mean much to me anyway.
Mats
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Mea Culpa

Post by Mats »

OK, I freely admit this woman really overstated the case. Like "Please thank me as I need it" - that's a pretty creepy thing to say to someone! I'll listen a bit more carefully next time!
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more
MrsBrown
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Post by MrsBrown »

I thank people all the time for small things. Last year, near my work place, we had a lot of contruction going on and there were crossing guards. I always said, "thank you" to the crossing guards. They always smiled and said, "you're welcome". I did this while crossing with a colleague one day and she scoffed at me. I was so surprised at her scoffing and I continued to thank the crossing guard every time, even in her presence. I also noticed that the crossing guards stopped traffic for me more than once when I was in my car. Coincidence? I think not! :yippee:
ejm
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Post by ejm »

David wrote:I've never told someone that I want them to thank me. I doubt I'll ever do that.
I too thank bus drivers, bank tellers, etc. etc. but the idea of telling someone that I expect thanks is horrifying. I would never do that because I would be embarrassed for the person not knowing that it was something that was expected and/or required. And like BLM, I can't think that the thanks gleaned from this request would be worth anything at all.

On the other hand, if I thought that a person should be thanking someone else, I might approach the first person and tell them privately that it might be a good idea to say thanks.
MrsBrown wrote:I [...] said, "thank you" to the crossing guards [...] while crossing with a colleague one day and she scoffed at me. I was so surprised at her scoffing and I continued to thank the crossing guard every time, even in her presence.
I find this rather disturbing that the colleague scoffed. It's no skin off our noses to take a moment to thank people - even if they are just doing their jobs.

Recently, I was jumping up and down on the side of a busy street, trying to find a chink in the southbound traffic to cross over to my bus stop and watching as the northbound bus I wanted to catch was approaching the stop. I waved frantically at the driver and was AMAZED when a south bound driver of an SUV stopped (safely) to allow me to cross the street. I smiled and waved thanks and continued to wave frantically at the northbound bus, which had almost started to pull away from the stop but reluctantly stopped to let me on. I smiled and thanked him profusely for stopping for me (no sarcasm at all) and was really surprised at his sour response.

However, this will not stop me from thanking people for going a little out of their way. I'm sure the SUV driver was pleased to be thanked - especially considering the number of people who curse him daily for simply driving an SUV. And maybe, just maybe, if more people are cheery and thank that particular bus driver, he'll start to be a little cheerier too.

It reminds me of this "random acts of kindness" movement or the "pay it forward" idea to reverse the tendency for us to increasingly treating each other like machines rather than people. It seems only wise to reverse that policy.

On the other hand, I really dislike the thoughtless and monotone "thank you"s from cashiers. I'd rather hear nothing at all in those cases. The thanks really has to appear to be sincere.
So... have YOU backed up your files lately? And defragged too!?
Lawless in Lotusland
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Re: Saying "thank you"

Post by Lawless in Lotusland »

MEF wrote:Personally, I never neglect to thank all who help me in any way from my wife to the bus driver who stops where I've requested. It is important.
I travel more than I'd like to. When I see a person cleaning a washroom that seems obviously well taken care of in an airport or other public place, I try to make a point of saying thank you. Most washroom cleaners make no eye contact with those using the toilets or sinks. Once I said thank you to a cleaner and added "you keep this place so clean that I bet many people must say thank you to you." I expected her to say no. But she smiled and made eye contact with me in a way that seemed somewhere between confidence, modesty and pride and said something to the effect of -- "well, yes, people often do say thank you." It pleased me that this woman was recognized by a number of people for her careful work constantly wiping the same toilets, sinks and floors -- with obvious pride in how she was making things so much easier for the thousands and thousands of tired women travellors going through the washroom. This was in London Heathrow in one of dirtiest terminals I've ever had the misfortune to sit in for hours on end. Except for this spotless washroom haven.
“Laughter springs from the lawless part of our nature” -- Agnes Repplier
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