Asimple thank you goes a long, long way. Saying thanks not only makes you feel better, but the recipient as well. But more importantly, the gesture can be a show of respect between complete strangers—something fewer and fewer people seem capable of doing these days. It’s just two words—thank you—but those two words can make the difference between a good and a bad day.
Nowhere is this more evident—the lack of showing respect, that is—than in our daily travels, specifically our methods of communicating with others, be it with friends, coworkers, or strangers crossing paths. I can be a real jerk, but put me behind the wheel, and it’s like the saying goes when adding alcohol—it just gets intensified. I have absolutely no patience, especially with other drivers. There are times when I wonder if they coined the term “road rage” after me. But where that got me—nowhere fast, the latter of which (in a hurry) was often the cause of rage in the first place—took its toll. Not only did the “aggro-tude” rarely increase travel times, it rarely resulted in anything positive. Instead of the usual gesture ending in “you” (I’ll let you fill in the blank), while I’ve found it difficult at times to say under duress, a thank you changes the whole picture—so too does the waving of the hand with all fingers raised.
Same goes for air travel, even despite the increasingly difficult situations in which we’re forced to deal with these days. With a short temper such as mine, flight delays/cancellations, rude employee attitudes, and general traveler ignorance goes a long way toward contributing to “air rage”. But just as it is with the above, that simple thank you can turn a bad trip into a, well, not-so-bad one. Getting upset with people who have absolutely nothing to do with you missing a connection or your luggage ending up in Sheboygan rather than Shreveport doesn’t makes things better; often, just the opposite. Ultimately, repressing my anger toward others was done purely to keep myself in check, capping stress levels, and basically making myself feel better. But it’s also having similar effects on those I deal with in my travels—not everyone, mind you, but a good portion, and that to me is still worth the price of a smile and the effort it takes saying a simple thank you.
It’s all about communication, or more to the point, polite communication. Manners demand respect, and they get it. But even proper manners can be miscommunicated. Then there’s the flat-out sarcasm, something you get plenty of here on a regular basis. While I may have skin as thick as a shark’s, others do not, and for me, it’s sometimes hard to throttle my tongue-in-cheekiness accordingly. And for that, I’d like to thank all those who’ve voiced their opinions, regardless of whether they were of “printable” context or not! We all need to be put in check every now and then—myself included.
In closing, I just want to make sure that everyone knows how much the entire staff appreciates your continued support. Without you, we’d be relegated to an online entity, and I’m not going there again ... well, not quite yet.
See y’all next month. And, thank you ... with a smile!