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?