Please and Thank You

This post is inspired by friend Amy who complained on Facebook that the habit of sending a formal thank-you note is growing extinct. Here’s her take on the likelihood of getting one: from the Greatest Generation, absolutely; Boomers, probably; Gen X, might hit it lucky; Gen Y, don’t hold your breath.

Never mind getting a note. I’d like to hear the words thank you more often. While we are at it, please, too.

I recall my parents, who are from the Greatest Generation, insisting we say say please and thank you. We grew up in a household so modest, it was not a given we would get anything extra. When we did, we made sure to thank our parents or whoever was being generous.

Frankly, I like the reaction when I tell a stranger, say a store clerk or someone who holds the door, thank you. I always give a thankful wave when a driver lets me in line on a busy road. I thank Hank when he cooks dinner.

Please? It’s a word that sweetens any request.

We made a strong effort to teach our children to have good manners. Once when the two youngest were older teenagers we stopped for ice cream. They said thank you after I handed them their cones. The woman behind the counter, from the Greatest Generation, praised my kids for their good manners. She said she never hears thank-yous very often.

My former newspaper once sent me to a management workshop. The most valuable lesson I learned was that of all things employees want to feel appreciated. I try to remember that with my staff at the newsroom by saying thank you for the work they do. I mean it, too. 

So in keeping with this practice, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say thank you for reading my blog. And thank you, Amy, for the inspiration.


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