So I may be a bitch but I am polite. After all I am Canadian through and through and we are known for being polite. Possibly over polite. I once thanked someone so many times for doing something for me that they became annoyed and yelled at me. Oops Sorry. Apologizing is also something Canadians are famous for. Supposedly we are overly apologetic. At least we are in comedy skits. Not sure how true that is though. I feel as if that could be just a myth.
Once, a long time ago in my post-secondary-institution days, I thanked a Ontario Provincial Police Officer after he gave me a speeding ticket, which resulted in uncontrollable fits of laughter coming from the other passengers in the car, friends and fellow students. I was speeding and he wasn’t a dick about it. He was just doing his job. A little later, on the same trip when my car broke down, it was another Ontario Provincial Police Officer who stopped and helped us out. He called a tow truck and escorted us to what was probably the only repair place open on that holiday Monday. There were no thank-you regrets on my part. After all these guys keep records. Every time they stop you they check your plates. Ask me how many times I said thank you to the second officer.
If you do something for me, I appreciate it. Step one of showing my appreciation is saying thank you. Step two is remembering that you went out of you way to do something for me. Remembering is good to do when that same person has a bad day and perhaps loses it in your presence. I always hope that people remember the good things I have done for them on the days that I lose it. Over the years there have been many such days. Days after which I have to be stereotypically Canadian and say I’m sorry.
The power of thank you is an eye opener. Thank you is the most inspiring and motivating thing you can say to a person. Showing appreciation has its rewards. I know this because I worked with one of the most appreciative people that I have ever met. Mike was the resident Sales Guru at a company where I was employed in the Advertising/Marketing Department in the mid 80’s. He was also the person who introduced me to The Doc. Mike and I had a great working relationship. Partially because we laughed a lot, but mostly because he appreciated everything I did to help him do his job. His way of showing his appreciation was by constantly saying thank you. Most of the time, it was in the form of pit stopping at my office door to say it in person. Other times, I would come to work in the morning to find a note on my desk that read: Thank you Sennifer Jones! signed Mike. These small appreciative gestures motivated me, more than anything else, to work harder on projects that involved Mike. They also inspired me to use the words thank you a lot more than I had already been doing so up until then. I don’t apologize for saying thank you.
I even say thank you to Siri, although my local phone tech guy says it’s not necessary.
Me: Hey Siri, how do you spell stereotypically?
Siri: Stereotypically, S T E R E O T Y P I C A L L Y
Me: Thank you. You’re a friend for life.
Siri: My pleasure.
Me Again: Hey Seri, how many ounces in 500 grams?
Siri: 500 grams is 17.64 ounces.
Me: Thank you. You’re my favourite assistant cook. Not chef, I’m not that good. Plus I need to stay humble. After all, I’m Canadian. And really not that good.
Siri: You don’t say. …Yup she really said this.
Sometime during my early tenure as a tired-cranky mom, I read an article that said saying thank you to your child was the most important thing you could say next to telling them you loved them. I jumped at the chance to say thank you even more in order to teach my son the power of being appreciated, not to mention some manners. Really people, this is not hard to do. Teach your kids the power of using the words thank you by thanking them. Teach them how to receive the words and how and why they should deliver them. Set a good example.
I can certainly vouch for the fact that consistently never receiving a thank you for doing nice things for someone, whether it is sending them a present or cooking them a meal or complimenting an accomplishment, makes it a lot easier not to bother trying to be nice in the future. In my case, this bitch just gets bitchier. I may be polite, but I’m far from perfect and saying thank you is such an easy thing to do.
Thank you for reading.
Photo: Jon Tyson, Unsplash