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Why Am I Saying “Thank You?”

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Let me explain my title.

I am totally cool with thanking people for gifts, for those who hold the door for me, for all sorts of situations.

I am not cool with thanking a store for MY purchase.

But I find it happening every day, several times a day. Because that is how I was trained.

See, my first real job was at a local convenience store gas station. And while that may sound pretty unimportant, back in 1997 they had a woman who spent three days giving me orientation, customer service training, and chain smoking. And I was taught to thank every customer as they left the store, whether they purchased something or just used the bathroom.

Use it properly & use it often. You could just make someone's day.

Use it properly & use it often. You could just make someone’s day.

I so wish more businesses trained their employees like that today.

Every time I am at a retail store and I complete my payment, the cashier just says nothing to me. There needs to be some closer to the transaction. Handing me my receipt and saying, “Here you go,” is not an appropriate send off.

This is where I usually reflexively say, “Thank you.” I actually had an employee respond with “you’re welcome.” While I give her props for manners, I am the one patronizing their establishment. That should be my line.

My name is actually in the credits of Clerks 2-true story. (Thanks MySpace!)

My name is actually in the credits of Clerks 2-true story. (Thanks MySpace!)

This is one of my biggest pet peeves. I realize cashiers get paid peanuts, have to use broken-down equipment, and are asked to up-sell customers who couldn’t care less. They either are in the position of quantity with slow customers or quality with customers who are in a hurry. Trust me, I’ve been there. But as a customer, my first priority is an accurate transaction. And the second most important thing to me is that I am thanked for my patronage.

I wish businesses would realize that is more desirable and meaningful than another reward card clogging up my wallet. If the employees were trained to do that, I believe they would. When I sell a book, I might even thank someone twice. If they manage to thank me first, I will correct them and say, “No, thank you.” Sometimes it is even in my inscription.

People think if they say the words, it is the same as still having manners in this day and age.

No. The correct person needs to say “please” and then “thank you”. Don’t even get me started on “excuse me”. When you say it with an attitude and are already pushing past me, you have missed the whole point of the phrase. You might as well say “Move, bitch” because that is how you mean it and how I am going to take it. For more on this, click here.

Just me venting. But I feel like other people out there must feel the same way. Is it so bad that for my money I want my goods and a thank you? I don’t think so. I’m not asking for a free cheeseburger or something. Thank yous are free.

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
Be Careful What You Wish ForAVAILABLE NOW!
The Wind Could Blow a BugWHERE IT ALL BEGAN!

The Church of Common Decency

The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

What if there was a church where you didn’t have to believe in God? What if all you had to believe in was the goodness of each other? Believe in being nice to each other?

I want to promote people being good for the sake of being good. Not because they need to get into Heaven or stay out of Hell or stay on a deity’s good side. Everyone would just be nice to each other because it feels good, and for the potential universal karmic payback. If you are nice to someone today when they need it, maybe someone else will help you when you need it.

That is my new dream.

I must admit that this idea came out of experiencing the driving habits of inconsiderate drivers over and over again. My main example is when I was in the Meijer parking lot and had my back door open on my car. I was buckling my infant son into his carseat. A woman came out of the store, got into the van next to me, and proceeded to back out. She did this as I still stood there with my car door open and my easily squishable body behind it. I got so angry. How could someone take the chance of injuring two people and going to jail, rather than sit in her van for two minutes? Asked like that, doesn’t it seem obvious what the correct choice would be?

I had a very similar situation a few months earlier. My senior citizen mother was getting out of my car at the bank. She was getting her purse and her cane, the front door open behind her. A woman came out of the bank, got into her car directly beside us, and proceeded to back out. When she had parked, her front tires were turned. This caused her car to head right for my car door and my mom. It being summer, the woman had her window open and heard my exclamation, something like “Hey” (short for “Hey, what the hell are you doing?). Of course, she had been only looking behind her, with no regard for who she was about to squish. I think she gave a half-hearted apology, straightened her wheel, and back out the rest of the way.

More than just vehicle etiquette, there are tons of other situations in our daily life where we could help a stranger and it would create a big pay off. I guess maybe it could also be the Church of Common Courtesy. The mission statement could be something like:

Church of Common Courtesy
Our mission is to promote the good that is in everyone, encourage helping one another as much as your means and abilities will allow, and discourage evil and rude behavior.

I guess the problem is, people don’t like to be nice and polite. It is not a human’s natural state. That is why we have laws and religion already–to force people to follow the rules and get along when they don’t want to.

Ah, but a girl can dream…

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