Thank You Cards – It’s Never too Late

by Henry L. on February 13, 2009

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It’s never too late to send a thank you card. I know you may be thinking this is just some sales-y pitch to buy thank you cards. It’s not, period. Here’s my quick feel-good thank you cards are important and make everyone thankful story…

Recently I was travelling. As I passed through Newark Airport’s gate area I came upon the Airport Wireless store and decided to browse. It seems like there is always something that I need. Sure enough I realized I had recently lost my stereo-hands-free cell phone mp3 player earbuds. These are very important to me as I am immensely more productive on the phone with them than without them. I purchased a very nice pair of Shure earbuds and said thank you to the store employee who helped me pick them out. I in turn acknowledged his “Thank You for your business” and I rushed off to catch my flight.

A few hours later when I reached my destination I headed over to the rental car counter. I set my things down, filled out the paperwork and exchanged another set of thank yous with the Avis employee. “Thanks very much,” I said “Yes sir, thank you for renting from Avis today” he said. “Which way to my car?” “Right out those doors and to the right, sir.” “Thank you, have a nice day.” “You’re welcome sir and Thank You again.” The exchange was as business-like and as pleasant as can be. This cordial, professional, friendly and just plain polite business exchange is something refreshing about travelling to the Midwest of the United States.

So, a couple of hours of driving later, thankfully I finally arrive at my hotel. I checked-in with a whole new round of “Thank you,” “Thank you sir,” “Thanks and have a nice day.” Settling into my room something seems to be missing, but I just can’t place what it is. Then I realize. Ugggh! It’s too easy to not miss something that you’ve barely owned. My new expensive earbuds, where are they!? I retrace my steps. When was I last sure that I had them? I quickly realize that they are now a two hour drive behind me last seen on the lower counter portion of the Avis rental car check-in desk. I curse a few times and pretty much write them off mentally. And then I realize…Wait a minute! I am in the land of the nicest “thank you, no, thank YOU” people I have ever come across outside of New York. I figure what the heck and I make a call to Avis and get through to the Avis counter at the airport that I flew through. A very nice fellow in maintenance says he’ll have to go take a look and he’ll call me back. I figure I am never getting a call back…but then as he is hanging up the phone he says “Thank you for renting from Avis!” Maybe there is a prayer. Maybe the “thank you, no, thank YOU” culture of just plain nice people will save me.

Well, you guessed it. Saved I was and very very thankful. And of course, thanked again by the loyal and friendly Avis employee. He UPSd a box to my hotel room. I couldn’t be more thankful. Or could I?

So, here I sit in my home office working remotely today, “cleaning up” things. This great Avis employee who UPSd me my earbuds that I frankly had no right to expect I would ever see again did the right thing by his company. He sent the item UPS collect. I didn’t even know you could do that! Anyhow, I need to pay the bill. $12.34 I couldn’t be more happy and thankful to pay. But, it’s not all about money is it? The bill reminds me that I had to rush through the airport and the car return to catch my flight. I never had the opportunity to track down the employee and thank him and the other employees.

It’s just another one of those stories in our busy lives. Too much to do, too little time –
too often too little time to even say “Thank you.” But alas, that is what greeting cards, note cards and letters have always been for. Greeting cards help us to pause for just a moment, to reflect, and to say something. It takes a little bit of effort and a little bit of thoughtfulness, but the rewards are dividends paid to both parties. The little bit of effort is what conveys the thought. The old expression “It is the thought that counts,” which used to be used for gift giving, really isn’t true any more. It is, in fact, the effort that counts. It is the effort, however small, that expresses the thoughtfulness. It is too easy in today’s society to click a button and send your closest 500 friends an email form letter. The “ease” dilutes and diminishes the thoughtfulness conveyed.

So, with this much longer than I thought blog post now finally coming to a conclusion I shall:

  1. Thankfully pay my UPS collect bill.
  2. Write a thank you card to the Avis employee at the airport.
  3. Write some more thank you cards today for others whom I am probably long overdue to send thank you cards.

P.S. – I suppose I could make an argument that the longer the length of time between the event someone is being thanked for and the arrival of the thank you cards actually is a measure of how truly thankful someone is. i.e. They remember it long after the event.  Hmmm. I have wanted to write my sixth grade teacher a thank you card before she passes to a better place. I better get on that! I can’t imagine how old she is now! I’m no spring chicken myself.

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