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Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Please and Thank You

By Herchel Newman aka Herm

Dear Mr. Newman,

Today, I received your letter of "Thanks" for services rendered to you by agents Richard and Jacklyn Woods. It is our policy and goal to serve our clients with the highest level of efficiency and professionalism. Try as we might, it isn't always possible to please everyone with their particular need, in their time frame. Some express themselves quite pointedly.

Your letter, to say thank you, has been refreshing and inspirational to our entire staff. We in turn thank you for this courtesy. Agents Richard and Jacklyn Woods, will be appreciated [by me] in a manner more appropriate to their service to you and this company.

George Edwards
President of Ace Realty

The words of appreciation came as a surprise to me. One receives - and says thank you. It doesn't matter if you are paying for a service, being repaid a debt or receiving out of someone's generosity. Saying thank you facilitates continued harmony. I received a thank-you card for sending a thank-you letter. How nice.

The couple that bought our house said leaving the washer and dryer would seal the deal. The couple we purchased our new home from were not so generous. We received a cell call while we were picking out a new pair. It was Richard and Jacklyn. Richard said, "Don't leave until we get there."

We were signing the purchase order when they arrived. They explained how much my letter had impressed their boss man. "To let you know how much, here is a check to cover the cost of your new appliances."

“Wow! Thank you," we sang.

In harmony they said, "No, thank you."

"Hello, Mr. Newman?" The voice was laced with excitement.


"This is George West. I'm calling to say how much I appreciate the letter you wrote thanking me for the carpentry work I did at your house. No one has ever done that before. Carpentry isn't just my job or occupation, it's my craft, my art and my love. I was wondering if you would allow me to add your letter to my website?"

“Sure, George. I've been telling people about you anyway. You did a great job."

“Thanks! Oh, and one other thing. I noticed your wife could use some shelving in the laundry room and you in the storage area. I'll be finishing a job next week. I'll come over then and build those for you."

"Well, now George..."

"Don't worry about cost. There'll be no charge, Mr. Newman."

"George, I'll let it be a surprise for the wife. She'll probably bake you one of those cakes you said you liked so much."

"In that case I'll come ASAP. Good bye!"

It seems I did make a good buy.

In the summer of 2007, the house air conditioning unit needed service. Serviced in 2005, the technician did an interim fix. "This should last you a while, but the service you need will be from $500 to $700 to correct the problem."

Good neighbor, Chuck Collier, delivered the news that he and his darlun’ wife would be moving soon. Chuck was more than a neighbor; he was a buddy. I didn't want to see him go, but wished them well.

As the time drew near we didn't want our macho masks to crack, so we made small talk at the curb. Chuck made his living as a heating and cooling technician. I figured he could use some moving money, so offered him the job.

"Sure, I'll come over one day this week and take a look at your system." he said.

I gave it no more thought. I came home one afternoon and my wife said Chuck had been over and repaired the air conditioning. I asked, "Did he leave a bill?"

She said, "No, and as a matter of fact, he left without saying anything to me."

A week passed and nothing came in the mail. Like bad renters who move during the night, the Colliers had moved without a formal goodbye. Soon we received a card in the mail with their new address and phone number. I called and during the conversation brought up billing for the repairs.

Chuck said, "Until you moved in, I didn't have a good neighbor and friend. Consider the service my thank you for all your kindness. Our new neighbor is no Chuck, but we're slowly becoming friends.

I asked my wife, "Is it an unusual thing for people to say, thank you?"

"I think it is - especially if you're talking about taking time to write it." she said. The question sparked a conversation that took us all the way back to when our mothers would prompt us to say, thank you after someone had given us something or done something for us. Harmoniously they'd ask, "Now, what do you say?"

Not that it happened often, but I can remember the trouble it would cause if I came home with an unsatisfactory mark on the behavioral side of my report card. My mother seemed to be most concerned with my grades. My father seemed most concerned with my manners and behavior. He said that says who you are. Basic to a proper education was readin', ritin', rithmatic, kindness, courtesy, please and thank you.

"Son, when you're a gentleman it reflects well on you. When you're no, it reflects badly on me."

Thank you used to be like the smooth spread on a properly made bed, the focal point of the master suite. How many make their beds and smooth out the wrinkles these days? Humph!

Thank you is likened to lace on a linen napkin of a formally set dining table. It's not necessary, but it sure helps make the table and the host look good.

Thank you is like a fine cologne. It makes people take notice [with pleasure] when the wearer walks by.

The courtesy of please and thank you can even be spent as legal tender in a marketplace where merchants recognize its value.

Like water in short supply, every drop is valuable and appreciated. Instead of a few hauling buckets from the well, perhaps we can yet find a way to divert a river and have it flow through our society as in times past. Until then, let's just splash as many folk as we can.

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 02:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Thank you for writing this. I'll take the time to look at my "thank you's" in a new light.

This story brought tears to my eyes. I just loved hearing about people being appreciative of each other. I agree that the words "thank you" (and "please") are helpful. I think, however, that is the true caring behind them that touches us most deeply. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences and reminding me of the importance of taking time to show appreciation.


Embarking upon a new year, I was looking back and counting my blessin gs. In good ground, seeds do grow. Ladies, your comments have sown lace to the linen of this offering. I'm appreciative.

I know how right you are. As a florist, I take great pride in my work and I have an appreciation for written notes I receive after providing flowers for a wedding or party. Classy people always write their thank yous and we always reciprocate with a discount for the next time.

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