complaint department

        I called our local newspaper recently and got their voicemail.  “Press 1 to report a damaged, incomplete or missing paper. . . .  Press 5 for the Complaints Department.”  Truth be told, most of us will take the time to fire off a complaint, but we often miss the chance to say a simple thank-you.

        That’s why simple thank-yous are scarce as hens’ teeth.  They shock people.  Stop them in their tracks.  Last week, after an upbeat, can-do young lady helped me with a Verizon Wireless question, I asked for her supervisor.  Dead silence.  “Did I do something wrong?”  It never occurred to her that I wanted to report her for doing something right.  The next day, a man came to our house on a service call.  He left his snowy boots in the mudroom and padded around in his socks, and he did his job well.  I called his company to tell them how grateful I was.  Silence again.  And then she thanked me profusely.  And each of my thank-you calls took me about two minutes.

        I wonder.  What if I were intentional every day about saying thank-you?  I mean, what if I hunted for things to be grateful for the way I hunt for a good business deal or a good sale?  Would the folks around me have just a little bit more wind in their sails?  And would my own steps be lighter?  And, if enough people joined me, would my local newspaper have to open a Positive Feedback Department?