Saturday, November 7, 2009

Thank You is a Magic Word, drive-thru person

                                                                          "A Thankful Heart" by Morgan Weistling
I'm surprised I'm saying this, but I think November is my favorite month of the year. I know I've officially "grown up" now that I think Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. For me, it's a very spiritual time of the year--not religious, but spiritual.

Last week, in church, our young priest, Father Nate, made me think, .......again. It was All Saints Day, but he wanted us to remember, we are all called to be saints. Particularly, what stuck with me, was his question: If you aren't out there being the best that you can be, then what ARE you doing? Hmmm.....making me think.....

So I thought about it - am I being the best I can be? Well, maybe not, I've got my flaws, but I'm trying. This month, I've challenged myself to put positive out into the world, and since it's November, my goal is first, to be thankful, but also to share my kind words with others, and to listen with understanding and do what I can to help.

This week I really paid attention to how people are with one another.  Less like a spy, more like an anthropolgist. I was surprised at what I observed.

My first plan was to encourage my Facebook friends to say "Thank You" and to give some compliments. Some nice words shared, but all in all, not the "change the world" movement I was dreaming of. Snarky folks, my friends....a few of them even thanked themselves. Not quite what I was going for. Oh well, plan B.

Plan B was all on me, well, sort of. I decided to thank strangers. I do this all the time, but this week, I made sure people heard my sincerity, rather than a programmed "Thank You" reaction. I thanked the girl who makes my coffee in the morning (and I'm sure my co-workers would thank her as well...I NEED my coffee), the bagger at the grocery store (who, really does a harder job than the checker...thank this kid and you'll get a range of responses from "Uh, yea, thanks, I mean, you're welcome" to "Uh huh" to an unintelligible grunt to a genuine "you're welcome"), and the kid at the drive thru window who takes my money, gives me change and hands me my food without ever acknowledging my presence. This drives me absolutely crazy! I'm not even sure who to blame for this "kid" (kid being used loosely--can be an age, this one)--parents, schools, or the manager, for not correcting these poor manners, this poor service. This person is my real audience, not my witty Facebook friends (unless they work in a drive thru and don't acknowlege customers). I've found myself, on more than one occassion, saying "you're welcome and have a good day too" to this person without their lead-in "Thank You". They look at you like you are nuts then, but I felt just a little bit better after doing it.

So, I'll keep at it. Maybe someone will join me, and if not, that's ok. I'm not deluded to think I can change the way we interact with each other, and maybe, if it wasn't Novemeber, I might not have been so aware of "thank you". Father Nate as if I was being the best I can be. My answer is still, "I'm trying".

Thank you kindly for listening/reading.


  1. I believe that the more people you say thank you to, the more you'll hear it back. But it really is interesting to notice the lack of gratitude expressed. Two so very simple words... Thank You...and so very strange on so many lips. I'm with you, Cindi...let's start a campaign to change that.

  2. I hereby declare the I will join in this crusade with both of you! THANK YOU BOTH for taking the lead! (How's THAT?!) Excellent Post, Cindi. So enjoyed it, and really agree.