Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Importance of Appreciating The Service of Others

Hey look!  To the right!  I'm on Facebook now!  Aren't you just so excited you could just scream?  I know.  Me, too.  ;)  When 25 people "Like" it, Facebook will let me have my very own web address for it.  Go ahead... "like" me.  You know you wanna...  ;)   In return, I promise to love you forever, and raise a margarita glass in your honor.  (I also promise not to spam your news feed endlessly, 'cause I hate it when other people do it, and I don't want to be That Chick.  ;) )

Okay, shameless plug out of the way.  On to business!

Yesterday two friends of mine told me two stories that struck me as being about the same thing from opposite sides of the coin.

The first was from a friend who had taken her 3 year old daughter out for a treat at McDonald's.  When they had finished their meal, her daughter insisted that she be allowed to thank the cooks for making her dinner and  tell them that it was super-tasty.  I'm pretty sure this probably turned them into little melted piles of squishy goo and likely made their weeks'.  Fast-food prep is probably one of the more thankless jobs in existence.  Not only do people complain at you all the time, I'm willing to bet pretty much NO ONE ever thanks them for it.  So to have a little, tiny ball of absolutely adorable child insisting she say thank you?  *thud*  *dies of cute*

The second was from another friend who deals with a special form of customer support, in that she does what is effectively designs and manages legalized spam for her customers.  (Not the "Want to make your penis larger" crap, but the stuff where you sign up for a mailing list and you get the requested emails.  There are companies that actually set these things up.)  She'd just been informed that a client who had insulted her the day before, now refuses to work with her.  This same person has also done this with so many other people in the department, that there are only 2 people left they have not worked over yet.  Her boss's boss actually had to tell the client "not to burn their bridges".  My friend?  Understandably upset.  She's one of the most upbeat, cheerful (okay, terminally perky is probably more apt), and genuinely nice and helpful people I know.  This person?  Clearly in violation of Wheaton's Law, and displaying a shocking lack of thankfulness that they are able to have someone else do something for them, so that they do not have to do it themselves.

Both of this events, in my opinion, have the same core.  They are both examples of the importance of awareness and thankfulness.  By being aware of the service of others, and being thankful that they are willing to do these things for you, no matter how menial or trivial they are in the grand scheme of things, we can have profound effects on others.  It doesn't exactly take a Herculean amount of effort to say "Thanks for helping me" or "I appreciate that you are doing this for me, so that I don't have to", yet the sheer magnitude of the impact it has on others can be astronomical.

I don't know about you, but I know which scenario I prefer.

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