A Huge Thank You … To You!

So today’s blog might not, on the surface, appear to help you get a job or keep a job. However, if you take a moment to pause and think, the behaviours I’m going to applaud and recognize are of the kind that will help you in your own workplaces.

And so it is today that I want to use my blog to express my sincere gratitude to those who have in the past taken the time necessary to post a comment after reading a blog entry. I have to say, the impact of your thoughtfulness and kindness is significant and extremely appreciated.

You see I know that as I strive for 900 words in each piece, that represents a commitment of time to get through the article. I’m not sure why I initially hit on 900 words as a daily goal; it just seemed in those first early blogs that it took that long to convey the messages intended. 900 words for the reader was enough to get in to a topic without being overly time consuming. So yes, to read my blog takes time, and I am grateful for all my readers; exceptionally so. I’ve found with bytes and brevity abounding around us in these times, not everyone has the attention spans they used to. Maybe for many 900 is actually too long?

Hence it is that after having read a piece of my thoughts, you can see that those who take a few moments and leave a comment leave me a tremendous gift; a gift I recognize as such and truly appreciate. I don’t necessarily envy the celebrities who have thousands of replies and comments whenever they post something, but I have had spikes where my daily readership increases, and where the comments are more plentiful than other days. I will admit while it’s not jealously or envy, I do love those days when there’s more activity than usual. I think this is to be expected.

So this one is for you the readers. Whenever you take the time to read my blog and if you so choose to go further and rate the piece or leave a comment, you also say something about yourself as much as you do the piece. You demonstrate appreciation and with your input you participate. How disheartening it would be to write day after day and have no ratings, no comments, no indication that anyone was listening or had any appreciation for what I was sharing! This is not only true for me of course, but for others you follow or pieces of theirs you read; maybe for yourself if you’re a writer, a blogger, a novelist.

There are those such as James, Gayle and Dave who are in my audience daily. There are those like Rochelle and Rhiannon who don’t comment frequently but when they do it’s significant and from the heart. There are those who are new followers, some who were with me right from the start back in February of 2012, and of course many who are attracted through LinkedIn posts in addition to my personal blog.

I have to stress how grateful I am to all of those – to you as well (yes you reading these words here and now) who make up my readership. One of the nicest things many of you do is gift me your time in reading a piece, leaving a short comment and then there are those who pass on the blog to someone in their audience. When I learn that the thoughts for a day have been shared beyond my own sites, it’s another moment of gratitude at my end. To be deemed worthy enough of sharing with your own readers in your own circles is a very great privilege I recognize.

And so you see it’s important for me to practice my own gratitude; the behaviour which I so often suggest to others is highly desirable. When you and I express our gratitude for the kindness of others, we say a lot about ourselves. Think about your recent past and recall if you can the moments when you personally thanked someone. Now, how did they receive and respond to your thoughtful words of appreciation? It’s my hope they in turn expressed their thanks. Unfortunate indeed if they brushed it off as nothing. They likely didn’t mean it by the way if they did.

Whether a co-worker, someone in management, a customer or client, a resident or patient, a child or a student; whomever you come into contact with, everyone is potentially someone we could thank for something given. Are you grateful for the student who appreciates your guidance, the patient who’s trust you’ve earned in treating them, perhaps the co-worker who backs you up every so often. Maybe you’re grateful for the customers that keep your doors open and spread the news about your services and products.

When you think about it, there’s so many people to not only be grateful for, but who are worthy of actually being told how they’d touched you. I know that it’s a busy world and social media has added one more thing when we have so many things vying for our time and attention. It’s precisely because of these demands on our time – on your time – that it’s important that I express my thanks to let you know how truly I appreciate you my readers.




Thank The Cleaners? Why?

Has it ever dawned on you to thank the person who empties your trash and cleans your office during the night when you are at home with your family? Where I work, I hear people complain from time-to-time that their garbage can or recycling bin wasn’t emptied the night before, but I can honestly say I’ve never heard them talk about what a good job the cleaners did the previous evening.

This past week we were fortunate at my work to have our cleaning staff do one of their extensive cleaning jobs; the kind where we get an email to move everything off the floor so they can easily do more than just vacuum the carpets but really go at them. They also cleaned our chairs and washed our windows the night before the carpets. I for one and thankful for this service.

What I find interesting though is the complaining from some in having to move all their stuff off the floor and then have to do it a second night in a row. Wow. Two nights in a row that happens maybe twice a year when the cleaners do a thorough cleaning job and that’s inconvenient? I don’t understand that. Seems to me it is far better to show gratitude for this service both to the cleaner and to Management for paying for this additional service.

Every so often I leave a note for the cleaner on my desk thanking the cleaner and expressing my gratitude. I’ve never met this person, don’t know if they are male or female, tall or short, black or white, happy or frustrated, single or married, but I do know they are human. Humans I have found like to be acknowledged and thanked every so often for what it is they do, especially when what they do is seldom acknowledged because then it means more.

So why thank the cleaner? Selfishly I could tell you that it might mean they do a better job in my office than in other ones. Maybe that’s true I can’t really say. But I do know that it takes about ten seconds to take a blank piece of paper and with a pen print, “Thank you for cleaning my office. Much appreciated!” Those 8 words found every so often by a cleaner going about their business after hours when the place is deserted might come as a welcomed item, letting them know what they do is actually appreciated by the person who occupies that space. And maybe it even puts a smile on their face. 10 seconds = a smile; I like that equation.

Unfortunately, I imagine in many workplaces the only time the cleaner gets talked about, (or talked to) is when they have someone not performed up to expectations. “Ah the cleaner didn’t do a very good job last night! What do they actually do? Anything?” Yes that might be the more popular refrain. And when they do their job to their best ability it largely goes unnoticed and taken for granted. So some will see an empty waste bin with a new bag in it, a clean carpet, shrug and go about their day.

Don’t we however like our colleagues and those we serve to every now and then say something nice about the service we’ve provided? Sure we do. When a client says, “Thanks Kelly, I really appreciate what you’ve done for me”, I know that makes me feel good about what I’ve done. Why then not extend the same kindness on to the invisible cleaner who likewise does their job which I in turn appreciate?

This also extends to the landlord of your building. The person who replaces your light bulbs when they go out, the maintenance staff who check the duct work when your too cold or too hot. And have you ever put a ticket into your IT department that just logs your appreciation for the work they do or do you just reserve your tickets for, “here’s another mess for you guys to solve.”

What am I talking about really? Relationship building. Go home and tell your spouse you’re having a relationship with your cleaner and the IT department. On second thought, don’t. They won’t understand. Have one anyway. Not only do I leave a note every so often for the cleaner, I’ve also been known to leave a candy on that note. Something unexpected but hopefully welcomed that doesn’t slow them down but might be accepted as a, “Hey I’m acknowledging that you exist and I appreciate what it is you do that lets me go about my job daily in a good environment.”

There are other people you could similarly thank including the bus driver who gets you to and from work. Maybe even a police officer you pass on the street. “Thanks for doing what you do” is all it takes. What about the minimum wage earning employee who makes your lunch? The person who picks up your dirty mats at work and lays down clean ones? The person who fixes the photocopiers or tests your fire extinguishers? There are all kinds of people going about their jobs who make your day better (or not) in how they go about their own job. Why not say thank you?

Keep your eyes open today for opportunities to acknowledge others for what it is they do. Even the person picking up cigarette butts in your parking lot could use a, “Thank you”.

Thanks To…

Some people say thanks because it makes them appear to be appreciative. Others give thanks because they genuinely mean it. While there are many people who get thanked often, I thought I’d pass on my thanks to a few who you might have missed. Why not take a second and find a way to express your appreciation for some of the folks on this list.

1. The Night Cleaner

After you’ve gone home for the day and meet up with your family or friends, the Night Cleaner is just arriving at your workplace. When you return to work the following day, your trash basket is empty, your carpet clean, your desk disinfected, your floor swept, and not only does your area feel clean, their actions help keep down any potential bug problem. Instead of complaining about the few things a Cleaner might not have dusted, look at how much they have done for you. Leave a handwritten note saying you appreciate their cleaning. Do it twice a year.

2. The Receptionist

Here you’ll find someone with people skills, who if you treat them with respect, will chat up your clients when you’re running behind, apologize on your behalf even when they aren’t to blame, and who will often take a tongue-lashing for things they don’t deserve. Your Receptionist is the face of the organization to people for their first visit. They also deal with whoever walks in and with whatever chip they may or may not have on their shoulder. They also have work of their own to do.  Good Receptionists are hard to find. Be sure to thank yours often.

3. The Client

The whole reason you continue to be employed is due to this person. Treat them like they are the only client you have, no matter whether you are in the retail, manufacturing, service, health, government or in fact for any sector. If you ever wish your clients would just go away, I remind you to be careful. You just might get your wish. My car dealership has the salesperson send me a card on my birthday wishing me the best. A single sale resulting from the contact that card brings justifies sending out thousands in the mail. Thank your clients for their business and their trust in you.

4. Security Personnel

If you have a Security Guard or detachment at your workplace, they can often have a very lonely job, patrolling the area to keep company stock and staff secure. Don’t take these people for granted. While it may appear they go for long periods doing not much of anything important, that’s just your ignorance speaking up. These folks monitor so much behind the scenes that you aren’t even aware of. The fact you aren’t aware of them should tell you just how good they are doing their job. Shake the hand of a Security Guard and look them in the eye as you say, “Thanks for keeping me safe.”

5. Administrative Support staff

Okay so they have one day a year that celebrates their contribution to your workplace. That’s no reason to look down on them the rest of the year. They file, type reports, prepare your paperwork, organize your day, schedule, re-schedule and appease your clients. They call your customers, order your supplies, sometimes do personal things for you that aren’t in their job descriptions. How much does it cost to say, “Thanks for everything” and mean it?

6. IT Staff

IT staff keep your computer running, ensure the latest virus doesn’t attack you, fix Server problems, and allow you to electronically keep in touch with your customers, clients, distributors, manufacturers, suppliers etc. When something goes wrong, they are the first person you call right? When did you last call them to just say, “Everything is fine, just calling to say thanks for doing what you do.”

7. The Maintenance Team

In the middle of the day when a bulb goes out, the fridge leaks, somebody needs to mop up vomit in the hall, the floors need polishing, the water fountain isn’t working, the sidewalk needs shoveling, who gets called? Yep, the Maintenance Man or Woman. Most staff want a problem fixed with minimal disruption and the want it done immediately so they can continue without interruption. Who got interrupted though to fix your problem? You got it. Would a sincere, “Thanks for coming right away!” be out of line?

8. Cooks, Hostesses, Servers

Oh sure you’re in a hurry and need to get in, fed and out in a timely matter. After all you’ve only got 30 minutes! “Jump people jump! What is taking that girl so long? Are they killing the cow out back?” The world doesn’t revolve around you. It’s a good bet that the people preparing, cooking and serving you the food you eat are not making what you make in salary. There are fewer and fewer career Servers, and many are in the job because they can’t get hired in their field of training. Have a touch of gratitude. A smile and a thank you go a long way.

9. The Office Equipment Guy

You’ve seen him or her. They arrive only when you’ve jammed the photocopier and can’t fix it yourself despite your trying. Some thing-a-ma-jicky seems cracked in an impossibly hard place to reach; why you’ve even tried unsuccessfully to reach it with your scissors. Right beyond the, “Do not attempt to extract items beyond this point” label. Hmmmm….and the Office Equipment Guy isn’t allowed to say what’s really on their mind now are they? Okay so a decent, “Thanks I appreciate the quick service” might go a long way here.

10. Window Cleaners

It doesn’t matter if your office is on the first floor or the Penthouse, you probably appreciate looking out a clean window every so often. Maybe that’s because if you stand at just the right angle, you can see your own reflection when everyone else thinks your enamoured with the view? And you look so much better with a clean reflection too! Yep, thank the window cleaner too. Tape a piece of paper to the window saying, “Thanks for cleaning the window – here’s looking at you!” They’ll get a kick out of it, and it will remind them that the job they do is appreciated.

No matter who you think should be on this list of unappreciated people in your work day, go beyond just reading the blog and chuckling. Get up and thank somebody. Yes I’m referring to you. Oh I know you did it just last week but, well, does it really mean you don’t NEED to do it again? When did saying, “Thanks” become a chore to be done?

If you’re interested in other blogs centered around a job advice theme, check out https://myjobadvice.wordpress.com/

I know, I know, shameless self promotion. But honestly, it’s free, it’s meant to be helpful, and I don’t get any monetary gain from it, just a good feeling from sharing tidbits of experience and knowledge with an aim to help others who are job searching or employed along the way.

All the best!