When someone does something nice for you, do you say “thank you?” Our moms and dads teach us from a very young age to say “thank you” when we receive gifts or compliments. We know to say it when someone goes obviously out of their way to do something nice, but how often do you say it? And how often do you mean it?
When I was in college, I was an instructor at cheerleading camps. It was great fun and a lot of hard work. One thing our company did that others did not was teach our campers about true leadership. We had one instructor who really touched me while teaching these leadership lessons. She told the campers to always say thank you to everyone who is doing a service for them- including waitresses, fast-food workers, grocery store employees… I immediately took this to heart and have made a habit of saying “thank you” a lot more than I did as a teenager.
I often hear people saying that if a person is being paid to perform the service, they don’t deserve the thanks. Some people think service employees are simply doing their jobs, they get paid for it and that’s the end of it. I think anytime someone is preparing or organizing your food, you should definitely say thank you. And you should really mean it. Sure, it’s a job. It might not be a very prestigious job, but the people working the drive-thru window at your favorite fast food chain are meeting one of your most basic needs- food. Even if you are paying for it, and they are being paid, these people deserve for their customers to be polite, respectful, and grateful.
Being truly grateful will also be of benefit to you! According to Forbes.com, gratitude can improve physical health, improve psychological health, help you sleep better, reduce feelings of aggression and open the door to more relationships!