I felt some major gratitute for the permits guy at the city who totally saved my ass from impending doom on our event last week. As a thank you for essentially preventing a big, for-profit corporation from locking our small, nonprofit advocacy group out of the site of our own event earlier this month, I took him to lunch today.
And go ahead and laugh, but I had a small epiphany over my falafel plate.
Backtrack to a week and a half ago. He moved heaven and earth to ensure that we could have smooth (enough) sailing after a traffic engineer made a major snafu and ran a half-marathon route right over the access to our event site. Meetings involving two dozen people were had. They ironed out a new traffic route in one day, which is no small feat for city government (or any government), IMHO.
So I did something simple, that I didn't think about: after thanking him profusely for his help, I asked who I could contact to let them know he had really saved my bacon, and how much our organization appreciated it. And then I emailed his boss and his boss's boss.
Back to today. He said, "I really want to thank you for sending that email. We work things out for so many people, but most of the time, all we get are complaints."
That's true of most of us, I think, so why not go out of the way to say thank you to the powers that be when someone does something special? My dad taught me to do that, and I'm glad he did. I never stopped to think that it made an impression on anyone, but clearly, it can.
So, Marvin K. Mooney, will you please go now. That kind person at the coffee shop, the post office, the gift shop, in your company's payroll or human resources department has a boss that would probably love to hear from you.