Thank you note
Gratitude

Thank You Very, Very Much

Since this virus crisis has emerged due to incompetency, I have become aware of people who still maintain their work for the betterment of we, the  people.

We live in a nation of complainers and (law) suers (or perhaps sewers would be a better term).

There is a woman in the local Quest lab work company whose name is Sylvia. She is extraordinary. I have never felt a needle ever with her in charge. When the email came asking me for my opinion about my visit with Quest, I always responded very positively about Sylvia. This went on for some time as I frequently have to have blood work. After a few months, I asked her if she ever heard about her excellent work. She told me no, never.

This went on for quite a while and finally I wrote to the head honcho at Quest requesting that positive responses be sent to the people who did so well. Nothing, nada. So, one day having asked her again and her response being no, I wrote and told him that were I to complain about Sylvia, she would have heard about that in a heartbeat. So true. The next time, she heard from them, but received no raise. They added more assistants, which meant less hours for her. 

So that is Sylvia’s story. There are other very good people out there.

I recall reading a book some years ago by Dr. Leo Busgaglia called LOVE. Beautiful writing. He believes that taking a positive stand in a negative situation brings results. I agree.

The story I like the most is when he was in New York City trying to get a taxi. Finally one drew up with a very grumpy driver. Leo got in the cab and when he reached his destination, he gave the driver a healthy tip and said, “Thank you so much for getting to my office safely.  I am grateful”.

Of course, the driver looked at him as though he had two heads.

I am sure when he had his next passenger, he was far more pleasant, and I know when he got back to his taxi mates, he told them the story of this weird man. After a while, the book was so successful that Leo taught a course at a California University, simply called LOVE.

I find it is so simple to combat negativity with people who seem so unhappy, cross and at times sad. I’m thinking now of those who must deal with the public like sales assistants, servers, cashiers and so on. It takes nothing, no time at all, to support those who have to put up with us.

We can empathise or be funny. It always works for me.  I’ll give you some examples.

I went to a restaurant a few months ago. The young man was obviously nervous as it was his first time learning the job and it was a busy evening. He handed us menus and then said, “We have to ask if you have any allergies or have special dietary requirements”.

I replied to him, “Allergies – hmmmm,  yes, to people.”  He just about collapsed. So simple.

Another time a woman was waiting on us and she was so irritated about something, so she grunted at us. When we gave our order I said, “Your back and feet must be killing you – and how on earth do you carry those loaded trays?”  And then she had a big smile and took a quick few minutes  to tell me how it is. It was worth it.

People think too much. It has to be spontaneous, as if one has only just realised the situation. It always works for me but then I talk funny so that’s part of the charm.

Another response when one is seated and the server says, “How are you today?” Always ask how they are today. These very simple things work, and I certainly feel better when it happens. 

In conversations with those who have to endure the rudeness, complaining public I learned that most of them have three jobs, family, children or are students repaying outrageous loans. Recognizing them really helps them deal with whatever is happening and it costs you nothing.

I’ve noticed when servers come and ask if all is well and is the food good, some people either ignore them or heavily sigh that they are being interrupted from their oh so very important conversation. Simple courtesy could change the world, I’m convinced.  

Then there are children. Some are very well behaved. Some are not. Not only the children, but also the parents who let them run riot around the restaurant getting in the way of servers carrying trays. Ignorant doesn’t describe this behaviour and good luck when they are teenagers!! Why is it that some parents cannot guide their children into respectful attitudes? Laziness? Probably.

Then we have people who, as soon as they enter the building, you know what’s coming.

Years ago, John and I were in a restaurant in Willow Grove when a woman came in with who I believe was her husband (poor man). Before her arse hit the chair, she started with, “I don’t like this table and the tablecloth isn’t right”.

Then the server came, and she got an earful about the state of the tablecloth and that the tables were too close together for comfort. What did she expect of this young woman?

There was nothing wrong with the friggin’ tablecloth. She came in fully prepared to be disagreeable. Next, the water wasn’t cold enough. I thought, wait for the damn ice cubes to take over. After a while, they ordered and the meal took too long. When it arrived, it wasn’t what she wanted. It was cold, she said.  I could see the steam. Silly woman.

This continued through the entire meal and her long suffering husband just sat there. He probably knew it was pointless to argue with her or even to calm her down. If you think I was eavesdropping we were at the adjoining table and yes they were very close. We finished our meal and when the check came, we got up and John cringed. He knew what was coming. So, as I passed the table, I said to her, “I do hope you feel better soon. Aren’t you glad you aren’t in Afghanistan?”

Her face went beet red and I didn’t care.  I just couldn’t help it. Did I say I was a lovely gentle woman?  You must have misheard me. Was I being judgmental? You betcha and loving every minute of it. I have to have fun sometimes.

I’ve given a lot of thought to this aspect of my personality and I really believe that my work has a lot to do with it. I hear terrible stories and people somehow get out of bed in the morning and do what needs to be done. Am I unfair at times? Absolutely.

I have worked with people in intense pain for years and years. It does affect me. Some people say it shouldn’t, that I should remove myself in such circumstances. Of course, I disregard what they say, as they use “should” and “shouldn’t”, in the same sentence and those are curse words. Like “stupid” which is the worst one.

If I think I am going to embarrass my companion I can restrain myself. John was used to it and found it quite amusing if he felt it was justified. I know a lot of you – or the four people who read this  – might disagree with me. It doesn’t happen often so you are allowed. Tee hee!!!!!

I am also impressed by certain people who went through hell and influenced so many of us. I refer to Dr. Viktor Frankl of course with his book Man’s Search for Meaning.

This week at the supermarket I bought Life Magazine, Anne Frank, Her Life and Her Legacy. I am sickened by people who decry her, that she ever lived or that the Holocaust never happened. I read somewhere that she was the enemy and hid with the pretense that she was in danger. She was treasonous according to this piece of filth.

I am a very new student of Buddhism and am overwhelmed by his story. So yes, I am sensitive to all courageous human beings. It does come into my impatience with people who are devastated by having a broken finger nail. Am I unreasonable – yes, at times.  Yet another character defect to deal with after I thought I have faced them all. The frightening thing about that is I have to admit I am merely mortal. Oh goodness  – there’s a confession right there.

Now I come to today with all its chaos and fears, having to be controlled by an incompetent government with all its lies and excuses. I listened to a man on PBS news this evening ( the only news I watch apart from Rachel Maddow). He was talking about the fear people are experiencing to the point of terror. I read of an older couple crying in their car afraid of going into a supermarket. It’s the old story of what we can and can’t control. Simple hygiene could make a difference. People are so scared they don’t believe it will change anything. We don’t know that, so we have to look at what is positive. Nature, love friends, family –  you know.

I entitled this blog THANK YOU VERY, VERY MUCH. At this point with a lot of stores closing down for a time, cinemas, sports arenas and so on,  I think of those who continue to work in Supermarkets, Pharmacies, Gas Stations , Police, Fire, Ambulance, Hospitals, NURSES, doctors – I could go on and on. Hairstylists, Clothing stores, Teachers (Philadelphia School District hasn’t closed as of writing), trash collectors. 

In fact, for anyone still working during this crisis, I would suggest the next time you use their services, thank them. 

I did that today when the Pharmacy phoned me. She was so surprised as again; they mostly hear complaints. I wrote a letter to the Manager at Wegman’s about the same thing, urging him to pass my gratitude onto his staff and not wait for complaints. In all this upheaval, they go to work every day when others isolate. They are heroes too, especially when their attitude is so pleasant – at least that’s how I am treated. I know it has a lot to do with how I am. I smile when I approach and speak most respectfully. Then when some of them hear my voice they want to know where I came from. When I tell them I am half English, half Irish, they all have relatives! It’s a joy.

What I find most distressing is the absolute fear and terror some people are experiencing. I don’t know if this will help. I hope so.

During the War when I was a child and old enough to  understand, we were told to take precautions for blackouts, shelters and hygiene. We did. We didn’t know when the bombs were coming and stayed living as normally as possible. It is the same today. Precautions and living in the moment. Recognising there is little else one can do as this is beyond our control. So we live each moment.

The message in this blog is keep it simple. It takes no energy nor effort to give a compliment and in these times of fear overwhelming so many  people, it is more important than ever. These people in this current chaos are doing their job and I believe they need to be commended for it. It’s like the last blog I wrote – I’M JUST DOING MY JOB. This is different.

They are exposed to this virus whichever way you want to look at it. They are family people, students, retirees and they are doing a great service. They aren’t JUST supermarket employees. They are people who are facing whatever is there and arriving every day, or night to fulfill their ethic. I admire them and will continue to tell them so. I’ll tell Sylvia too and wait – knowing how I am with names, I’ve possibly called her the wrong one! No, not really. She worked on John too so she is special. Took his blood and talked about gardening and she is a massive dog lover – has five bull bloods, as I call them.

Perhaps the four of you would respond and let me know how you feel about this. One of the ways I have improved is by getting rid of all the toxic people in my life. Have room to love now, for that is what this is.

As I always say – BE WELL AND CONQUER. We can do this. I send loving healing energy to those who have been diagnosed. People do recover and for those of you so afraid  – deep breaths and be at peace with  yourself.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

2 Comments

  • Rev. Dr. Dan Newman

    Hello my dear, I have a short story you may enjoy. Years ago my health care was handled by the state because of my business going under due to the explosion of computers in the work place and major budget cuts leaving no money for conferences. I was standing in line waiting to check in for my appointment and I notice the man in front of me was really going off on the poor woman at the registration desk. She was trying to be as polite as possible but I could tell this jerks comments were taking their toll. Once he was done and smugly walked away happy he had belittled someone I stayed behind the red line and waiting for her to compose herself. She finally looked up at me tired and weary and it was on 9:30 in the morning. She gave me a well trained smile and said “next” but I just stood there not moving and slightly tilting my head back and forth. She looked a little stunned that I hadn’t moved so she repeated her line of “next” and again I didn’t move. I finally stepped forward and said “I’m sorry but I was trying to figure out what was different about you today. It took a moment but I realized you’ve had you hair done and the new hair style looks great on you!” Needless to say I got special treatment from that day on when I checked in and it truly made her day. When I left I could see her patting her new hair style and had a great big old smile on her face. Thus proving a little compliment to those on the front lines can go a long way. Love Rev. Dr. Dan

  • Robyn Pennay

    You’ve beautifully (of course) expanded on the notion of putting kindness into the world and its vital importance. It frustrates me that the simple fact that all living things on this planet are connected and therefore affect each other, seems so difficult for many to grasp. So…those of us who get it will keep doing our part, speaking kindness, putting good into the world and recruiting as best we can. Thank you for your reminders. Love you.

Go ahead and talk to me.

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