A “belated thank-you.” Vanessa, a student in one of my UCLA Extension courses, hadn’t made a favorable impression. She had missed three out of ten classes and never apologized or explained why she had missed class. Ironically, this was a course on interpersonal communication.
However, a week after the course ended, she emailed me to say that she had enjoyed and benefited from the class. Of sixteen participants, she was the only one who had written a note of thanks!
A “missed thank-you.” Alex had another UCLA course with me. He was from Germany and there had been a snag with registration so I let him join class in the third week. I made allowances for his catching-up on assignments and I often talked with him after class, answering his questions. (When I had lived overseas I was grateful for the kindnesses that had been offered me).
At the end of last class, as he was readying to walk out, Alex simply waved “bye” from the door. I quickly walked over and wished him well as I shook his hand. He seemed surprised. Yet, how much time had I spent talking about what goes into relationship building and networking? I was disappointed that he seemed to have forgotten it all.
A “surprise thank you.” Last month, I visited my friend Clarice up in Oakland. She took me to her fave shoe store where I readily spotted a pair I liked. Unfortunately, they didn’t have my size. Maxwell, the clerk, told me that he was holding a pair in my size for a customer who said he’d be back before closing. He assured me that if the guy didn’t show, he’d call me. As a born New Yorker, I was too skeptical to believe him; but, he did call and the shoes were mine.
When I stopped by to pick them up, Maxwell had them packed and ready. Later, when I opened the shoe box, I found this handwritten note:
J.P. Thanks for shopping with us today. I’m glad you were able to get these special shoes and I appreciate your patience. Come say ‘hi’ next time you’re in town! Thanks, Maxwell
With that kind of service, of course I will!
So, here’s the thing – Thanksgiving is a time for feasting with friends and family and in their company giving thanks for the gifts of this past year. Thanksgiving, though, shouldn’t be a one-day “thing” – it should be the culmination of a year chock-full of giving-thanks moments. Ordinary opportunities to say “thanks” daily swirl about us.
Let us paraphrase Scrooge and join him saying, “I will honor Thanksgiving in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” Cheers!
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