Thursday, May 30, 2013

Just say thank you

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.

21 comments:

OldLady Of The Hills said...

You are so right about how important it is to let a person know how much he or she helped you and then, to take that further step of letting their bosses know, too! Bless You for being so very thoughtful and Bless him, too for being the really good guy he is! It makes such a big big difference when someone goes out of their way to make something happen that looked impossible!

Elephant's Child said...

This is something I do as well. When the paramedics who took the smaller portion and me to the hospital during a medical emergency were compassionate and professional I was really impressed. When they came to visit the skinny one the next day to see how he was, I was blown away. So I wrote and said thank you - from both of us. And then got a letter from the ambulance service thanking me for thanking them - and saying it very rarely happens. (I did resist the temptation to write and thank them for the thank you letter.)

Lynn said...

You set a great example. You probably gave him the best day he's had in a long time.

I wrote a thank you note to the woman who handled my divorce and she called me to say this had never happened to her in the 30 years she had been an attorney. :)

DWei said...

I want to do this with more companies. Apparently they love the compliments so much often they send you free stuff. :P

Charles Gramlich said...

Once in a while someone helps rather than obstructs. that is definitely noteworthy!

Granny Annie said...

I called the florist the other day and the owner answered. I identified myself and said they had delivered mother's day flowers to me and her tone was very questioning and almost hateful until I said I wanted her to know that their arrangements are always so lovely and long lasting and I appreciate them tremendously. She about fainted because she said people rarely call when they are happy.

Cheryl said...

I totally agree how important it is to acknowledge the good employees. My husband and I try to send emails regularly when we have had good service or someone goes out of their way to help us.

Lee said...

I think it's a wonderful feeling, personally, to thank another...it just is...and I wish more people would realise the feeling of pleasure they would get from uttering those two simple words.

Thank you, RC. :)

Kathleen said...

Um...if I could send you hugs and kisses over the internet without you find it sexually harassing I would...in fact, I send them anyway, harassment be damned! After being in "customer service" for most of my career, I still take every complaint to heart, and am still stunned by how rude, and quite frankly, cruel, some people can be. More than often, it's the complaints we hear about, so the compliments are few and far between...but they do mean so much.

Riot Kitty said...

Thanks for all of those nice thoughts, everyone!
Kathleen, no harassment taken ;)
I am sorry, my own theory is that people take out their unrelated frustrations on people who can't challenge them. Not fair but certainly not your fault.

Riot Kitty said...

And DW, I have yet to get free stuff, but that would be cool ;)

LL Cool Joe said...

We all live for compliments really. I try to dish them out as often as I can, but I can't say I get that many back! :D

goatman said...

It's also nice to bring your car mechanics some brownies all cut up and ready to share.
Car gets fixed better, and faster I find . . .

G. B. Miller said...

I rarely receive compliments at work outside the realm of my unit, because quite frankly, I have set the bar so high that for several years people have gotten used to what I do and take what I do for granted.

But when I do recieve the rare compliment, I almost always tell them to pass it on to my supervisor, since it chips away at the mistaken impressing that I suck at customer service.

Note: customer service in the private sector and customer service in the public sector are two completely different solar systems. One is based in reality, the other is based in sucking up/retaliation.

Introverted Art said...

My prior boss would NEVER say anything positive EVER. My current boss praises me so much, I often think he is just saying that to make me feel better hehehe

Claire T said...

Love this. Always try to, but thanks for the reminder!

A Beer For The Shower said...

I need to do this a lot more. I remember someone did that for me back when I was working - sent this huge thank you letter singing my praises to the president of the company, and not only did it make me look great, but it also felt great.

Riot Kitty said...

Joey: I hope I give you enough, as I think you're talented, smart, and funny! And good looking! There you go ;)
Goatman: Excellent idea!
GB: Hmm. That's a double-edged sword. And that last part, that really sucks.
IA: I'm glad you have someone nice. I work for someone who told me his style is to not give feedback. Really.
Claire: I'm sure you do plenty, you are very thoughtful!
ABFTS: That's totally cool.

Betty Manousos said...

thanks for the great reminder.
everyone likes a compliment no matter how big or small.
receiving a compliment can help a day be better.
always try to..

big hugs~

Dexter Klemperer said...

Very nice. Once when the wife and I were having a fantastic meal at a nice restaurant, I overheard someone complaining loudly to the manager about his poor dinner. So I left a long note praising everyone for what a great experience we had. I figured they probably hear all the complaints and very little praise. It was very much appreciated.

Riot Kitty said...

Betty: True!
Dexter: That's awesome.