Thursday, April 7, 2016

"Please. Thank you. Learn it. Love it. Or be disappointed." - CM Punk

"Feeling gratitude, and not expressing it, is like wrapping a present and not giving it." -William Arthur Ward
"Be thankful for what you have and you'll end up having more." -Oprah Winfrey
"Silent gratitude isn't much to anyone." -Gertrude Stein
"No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks." -James Allen.
I've pretty much worked Customer Service all my life regardless what my job title was - stock associate, lead bookseller, cashier, office manager, credit analyst... and even now - customer service specialist.

I work for a food delivery service, and every day I call restaurants and customers to confirm orders.

And lately it seems that I seem to be speaking a different language.

The basic phone call goes well - yes we have the order... yes that's the correct delivery address... - but the end of the call comes around, and I ask their name (which a portion of the time they say "uhhh..." like I've just asked them the hardest question in the world) and then thank them for helping me. Yet for the past few weeks when I say "thank you" they sound confused or irritated or something other non-happy emotion/feeling.

Example (don't mind the "" or the generic names):

Restaurant Take-Out Person: Thank you for calling "Food Place." This is "RTOP." How may I help you?
Me: Hi, I'm calling from "Food Delivery Service." We were just calling to confirm you received the order for "John Doe" for today, pickup for 11:15am.
RTOP: Yes, we have that order.
Me: Cool. And your name?

Me: Thanks very much, RTOP.
RTOP: (confused/irritated) What did you say?
Me: (confused) I said 'thank you'.
RTOP: Oh. Thanks.

If I had a nickel for every time I said "thank you" and had a bad reaction, I wouldn't be Oprah-rich, but I might be able to take some friends out for a nice dinner.

I've never catered to the "because I said so" mentality or "I'm the boss so you do as I say" kind of approach. Yes, there are things we have to do, but I remember once in a one-on-one meeting with my manager - who always asked for one good thing that happened in the past month, one bad thing, and one thing she can either improve on or help with - I'd said a couple occasions how it's nice to be appreciated, to be thanked for a job well done, and (even though we have to do since it's our job) to be asked to do something as opposed to being told. I mean, after I had been hired, it wasn't until my very first review 6 months later that he thanked me for all my hard work. Where I appreciated the comment, I was a little irritated that a man I work for and see practically every day took 6 months to say thanks.

My department manager remembered what I said and took it to heart, and I feel it's helped our work relationship greatly.

And I think I've mentioned my candy bucket at my desk.

I feel like people have taken advantage of the fact that there was candy there to take at their leisure. Most of the people would ask before taking a piece or two and then say "thank you" before walking away, but there are some that just take and go - and then when there's no candy, they ask me "where's the candy?" And after I changed from the hanging box to a clear container with a lid? There have been comments about how they liked it better when it was hanging on my wall. Yeah - where people would take off with it or sort through it, picking out what they want or grabbing WAY more than a couple pieces. Sorry I'm inconveniencing you with free candy that's coming out of my own pocket without so much as a thanks from you.

What the frak happened to common decency? What happened to seeing the big picture? I understand the right to be a little selfish in the world, but damn... what happened to putting others first?
the one on the left is from my manager Kassie R & the one on the right is from my co-worker Angel B
During a department meeting a few weeks back, my manager brought up that she's been so focused on us pleasing the customers and restaurants and different departments that she hasn't been very appreciative of us, so she handed out thank you cards to each of us that she hand wrote herself as a way of saying thanks. Then as an exercise, she brought out blank thank you cards and asked us to write a thank you to someone at the office whether in our department or not, and we didn't have to give it to that person. It was just an exercise in saying thanks. I wrote one to my friend Missy L who's a driver during the first half of the day and helps out in dispatch for a few hours at night. She was due to come in about an hour after our meeting let out, so I went back to my desk to find a card with my name on it waiting there. I was surprised to find that Angel B (one of the newer people in my department) wrote me a thank you. I was really touched and almost got teary. Later when Missy came in, I found her outside on a break. I explained what we did in our meeting, and how we had the option of giving it to the person or not, and then handed her the card. She thought it was sweet and really appreciated the gesture and hugged me for it.

Thank You Missy! You're so sweet! ^_^
Previous to this, I was at Dollar Tree picking up some little odds and ends, and I saw some Easter candy. The store had the fruity Tootsie Rolls that Missy liked a lot (she's the only one in the office that doesn't care for chocolate so she always gets those when I have them). So I bought her a few bags and gave them to her the next day at work.

A few days ago when talking about my candy bucket drama, she asked me what candy I liked. Whenever anyone asks me this, I assume it's a contribution to the bucket, but before I could answer, she said, "No, not for the bucket. For you." I was surprised. She said, "You got me candy I like. I want to get you something you like." So the first things that came to mind were Twix and Pretzel M&M's... though I haven't seen the latter in a while.

The very next day when I walked into work, she passed me and said, "I left you a present on your desk." While my computer was booting up, I went back to dispatch and found her and gave her a big hug. (Yeah, I'm a hugger.)

See? It's things like that. Getting a thank you or some little gesture to know you're appreciated, that what you've done matters.

What happened to that?

I'm not saying I'm perfect, but I believe in being a good person, and for the most part I feel I've been that and done that. There are lots of people in my life that have helped me out in some fashion or another, and there has either been no request for reciprocation (and at times, there has been no way I could every do so in kind), but the desire to do so is there, and the appreciation I feel and professed has been ever so great.

I just feel like common decency, courtesy, sense, being kind, being polite... that's all something that I don't make an effort to do - I just do.

Never once when walking through a door and seeing someone behind me walking into the building have I thought "Oh, I better hold the door open." I just do.

When I hear someone sneeze, no matter where they are, if I hear the sneeze, I say "Bless you."

When I walk around, I keep my head up and make eye contact with people I pass and smile and nod hello.

When I see someone has dropped something, I bend down to pick it up and hand it back to them.

By no way am I bragging. I'm pretty sure I have missed a couple moments here and there, but overall, it's just something that happens. And I've seen in it in others, but for the most part these days, kindness seems to be running extinct.

I don't get why people feel the need to be rude and mean and purposely abrasive. It takes nothing to be nice. Just a simple hello. A smile. A gesture of kindness is lovely, but the people that go out of their way to be cruel and shittyto the world... I just don't get it.

So I leave you with this quote from one my favorite lovely people.

"What have I always believed?

That on the whole, and by and large, if a man lived properly, not according to what any priests said, but according to what seemed decent and honest inside, then it would, at the end, more or less, turn out all right."

-Terry Pratchett, Small Gods

Later my lovelies.

Have Goodness!

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