Down the Backroads: A "Thank You" Goes a Long Way

Posted on Oct 18, 2019

Call me old fashioned but one thing taught to me at an early age was to say “thank you” when a situation called for it and sometimes, even when it didn’t.

And it shouldn’t come as something too difficult to do. It should not hurt you physically to offer those two kind words to show your appreciation to another person.

Yet, more and more I am failing to hear it at the grocery store or a restaurant, or on a telephone call or in an email.

Of course, a “thank you” to one was most often replied to by the same or at least “you’re welcome.” 

For instance, I was in a restaurant the other day and when presented my food, I said my customary “thanks” to which the person replied, “no problem.”

Now to some, that would be completely acceptable, and it did not, in anyway, anger me. But it did make me think about when “no problem” became a standard reply.

I hope it’s no problem for me to walk into an establishment to spend my hard-earned money on goods or services.

“You bet” is another one I hear a lot more these days. One of my first public jobs was in a small-town food mart and believe me, if I had replied to a customer, “you bet,” my boss would have shown me the door. “Thank you and you are welcome” was the standard and nothing else was acceptable or expected.

Now, I know your first thought might be, it must be youngsters who are making these courtesy mistakes, but that isn’t necessarily the case. I have often found the younger folks to be on top of their game in the courtesy department.

Case in point; just recently, on a business trip, I stopped into a rural marketplace and upon getting checked out, I offered my usual “thank you,” but the cashier didn’t reply at all. In fact, she looked out the window. And she was more in my age-range; far from being a youngster.

I have discovered, as I have gotten older, my kindness filter has developed some holes in it.

As I walked away, I couldn’t help but say, “No, thank you,” as if to answer for this somewhat rude person.

I’m not sure she heard me and if she did, my guess is she would think I was the rude one.

Folks, simple acts of offering thanks can go a long way to the person in which you are offering it to.

And it shouldn’t just apply to those people in the retail world. We should be thanking the many teachers, first responders, military men and women, and farmers every day for all they do for us.

A “thank you for what you do” goes a long way to those who do so much for us and usually don’t get the recognition they deserve.

Having been behind the counter, dealing with an ever-stressful public can be trying at times. So often they don’t get that thanks and therefore learn not to give it themselves. But a simple “thank you” may calm a difficult customer or it could even make their day.

I’m not asking for much, just a simple acknowledgement of gratitude when I have offered the same.

By the way, thank you for taking time to read this, as I travel down the backroads.