Gratitude Check: Strangers

November reminds us to give thanks.  I have a lot to be thankful for; all of us do if we just look for it.  One of the things that is easy to overlook is the kindness of strangers, or sometimes just the hard work of others.

I have a lot of great stranger stories where someone has helped me for no reason except because they were nice and stopped.  But my gratitude check today focuses on strangers who do their job well.  I hold myself and others to a very high standard of customer service, to which I am disappointed or annoyed (usually) temporarily when someone lacks any sort of effort into resolving an issue that is simple.

Well, a couple weeks back, when I went to pick up some photos that ended up never being printed by the time I received my confirmation of printing.  I had, of course, waited until the last minute to print them for a gift, so when I went to pick them up, and they weren’t there and the initial store clerk I spoke with didn’t seem to see a problem with that or the fact that the photo machines weren’t even currently working, I tried to remain patient instead of immediately feeling annoyed.  Fortunately, another clerk came over to assist.  After she came to the same realization: the photo machines weren’t even turned on and working and none of my photos were printed, with just some slight prompting to call about the machines and some time, she got everything to work out.  Not only that, but the clerk went ahead and gave me a discount for the trouble without me even asking.  That’s good customer service, but somewhere along the way, we sometimes forget to thank people for doing just that.  So I thought about it for a while.  I wasn’t going to stop back in and say thank you to the employee (I did that day), so instead I wrote her manager a short note about her good customer service.  I hope that maybe that will have positive impact for her – maybe just some acknowledgement, maybe some kind of bonus, or maybe some kudos that will help her move up in the company.  I don’t know how that will make a difference for that employee, and I’m not going to try to find out.  I can only show some gratitude and hope it helps.

So as you go about your week, stop to recognize someone else.  They may not otherwise hear a thank you or some appreciation for all they do.


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