The power of thank you

I know a man that entered a doctor’s office. After a few minutes he looked around and noticed many annoyed faces, people that were waiting for over an hour past their appointment time. He asked the receptionist what was taking so long as it was already ten minutes past his appointment time. She quickly responded “the doctor is running late.” “Well how late?” he asked. “About another hour” she responded with a quick shrug as she quickly returned to her busy work.

“My appointment was for 2:00 and it is now 2:15 and I am expected to wait another hour? That is plain wrong!” “Sir this is normal. Everyone has to wait.” She replied. Indignant the man asked boldly into the waiting room, “How many of you have been waiting beyond your appointment time? Please show me your hand.”  More than half the crowd lifted their hands.  “Do you think it is right that they are making you wait?” “No!” exclaimed several annoyed people.  “Do you think that the doctor’s time is more valuable than yours? That he is more important than you because he is a doctor?” More patients shouted, “NO!”  “Is our time any less valuable than his?” he continued.  Now agitated, the upset crowed shouted, “No!”  The man continued, “As long as we passively allow the doctor to abuse us this way without doing something about it, they will keep on doing it!”

At that moment, he was immediately ushered into a room to be seen by the doctor.  He was attended to right away as the doctor was given an earful of the same questions.  From that point on, whenever the man entered the office, he would be quickly taken in exactly at his appointment time whether or not others came in before him.

Most of us will put up with unjust behavior up to a point.  Then we jump into battle mode.  We will argue, defend and fight for our rights.  Perhaps not as quickly or as passionately as the man described above.  At times it is altogether appropriate to fight for one’s rights.

The problem is that we live in a society where fighting is altogether common and often unnecessary.  It seems as though many have forgotten to recognize good activity.  Many of us have forgotten how to say thank you.

The occasional recognition of good deeds or service along with a thank you can go a long way to fostering good relationships.  I once wrote a letter to an organization that I associate with simply thanking them for the excellent service they provide.  Later, when I did have a problem, the issue was handled quickly.  They knew that I am not typically a complainer; in fact my history with them was that of an advocate.  Therefore the problem was addressed quickly and it was not necessary for me to put on full battle gear.

Many of us tend to notice errors, we catch when a mistake is made, but when something good is done, it is just expected. A family member might slave in the kitchen to make us a delicious meal. Do we take time out to show appreciation and thank them? Or do we comment on how the veggies seemed a little overcooked?

The same goes for business.  The next time we work with someone, at the end of the service, why not try simply saying “thank you”?

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