I had an opportunity to unexpectedly visit someone this past weekend that I'll refer to as Mr. Businessman. He gave me excellent financial advice recently, even though I wasn't his customer. My friend mentioned a dilemma I had to him, and he willingly offered to educate me on options so I could make the best decision. Thanks to his advice, the Harris clan saved a bunch of money and he's gained a future customer. Of course, I was very grateful and sent a card telling him so. When I visited with him, he thanked me for the card I sent. My friend chimed in he could put it in his new office next to all the others he's received over the years. His reply really shocked me. “Well that will be pretty easy because I've only ever received two cards in all the years I've been doing this and they are from the two of you.” Turns out, Mr. Businessman has diligently served thousands of folks over the past 10 years or so, but only has two thank you cards to show for it. Clearly he's in demand, proving people appreciate his sound advice and hard work on their behalf, but apparently no one has bothered to send a thank you card. I was sort of shocked. In my prior career, and current one as well, thank you cards are often received, ensuring those who serve are appreciated for their efforts. Knowing how delightful it is to receive a paper treasure, I try to send similar appreciative words out on a regular basis. When I started asking around, it seems sending and receiving the honored card may be a thing of the past.
Mr. Harris stated he has received just one card in his 25 year fire service career. “It was from the survivors of a vehicle accident years ago. They were thanking me for rescuing them. Of course we'd always get the colored pictures or cards from the school groups and daycares who visited.” I say kudos to teachers and aides ensuring kids send proper thank you's. Even though I'm not a real sentimental saver, I kept the colored pages sent to Ranger Dorothy following nature walks and tram tours over the years. It's still a blast to look through them. Others point out a lot of times people just drop in to say thanks. This brought up a great point. Everyone shows their appreciation in their own way. Some send cards, others bake pies or send flowers. A letter to someone's boss lauding their skill, efforts or great service is always delightful. Regardless of how you prefer to show your gratitude, I'd like to propose a challenge. Every one of us can probably think of someone or some business we really appreciate or that has been extremely helpful. I challenge you to take a few moments this week and consider sending a card, baking some cookies or simply dropping by to show them how much you value the person, employees or business. Too often we are so busy that good intentions slip by and before you know it, it feels too late to bother saying thank you. I propose that regardless of how long it's been, you take a few moments and let them know how much you did appreciate them. Buzz around town and spread some cheer this week. Go ahead and make someone feel like Queen Bee and you'll find that it makes your day too.