Articles Tagged with thank you

Just take two seconds to . . .

. . . say ‘thank you’.

It happens all the time. We’re busy. Our colleagues are busy. Our customers are busy. There’s a deadline to be met. We work beyond our contracted hours. We do it for our colleagues, for our customers, for the business or organisation, for the community. We lose all track of time to get it done.

And when we eventually click to send the report, post the goods or send off the delivery, that’s it: nothing.

No recognition, no acknowledgement, no thank you.

Someone recently told me that they had worked extremely hard, beyond the call of duty, to gather data for a project, only to hear other people thanked and their own contributions not acknowledged. They felt deflated.

It takes just a few seconds to email or text: thank you.

It takes just a few seconds to call and say: thank you.

It takes a few more seconds to pop your head into an office and say: thank you.

It takes a bit longer to call into another building and say: thank you.

Whether it’s a few seconds or a bit longer, your ‘thank you’ will mean the world to the person you thank.

And what’s more, they’ll work hard for you again when you need it.

It costs so little, yet means so much to everyone.

Read our recognition and acknowledgement polite prompt and checklist for ideas on how to thank those who work so hard for us.

Thank you.

• Robert Zarywacz is the co-founder of and is courtesy consultant for the National Campaign for Courtesy. As well as focusing on courtesy in daily life, he believes wholeheartedly in the individual benefits and commercial value of courtesy in business and the workplace. Robert provides commercial copywriting, PR and social media services at

The smallest acts can have a big effect

While out walking with our dogs this morning, we came to a narrow piece of pavement restricted by bollards. A boy of about 10 was walking towards us so I held the dogs back to enable him to pass. As he did so, he said “thank you” in a faint voice and I acknowledged his thanks.

A small act, but important in a fair society. Some people grumble about children having no manners, but it is up to adults to demonstrate how to behave well. Some businesses also complain that many young people don’t have social skills necessary for many types of work and again it is up to adults to show the way.

That boy could grow up to work in a shop, in an office or run an airline. All require effective social skills, of which courtesy is just one.

As well as knitting together different generations through mutual respect, courtesy helps young people, and others, want to be part of society. This includes eagerness to work and enthusiasm to participate in the running of a company, characteristics for which businesses are desperate.

How can we achieve this? Sometimes starting out in a small way is best.

Thank you.

Speaking to courteous businesses

Well, I’ve just come back from distributing leaflets to businesses around Ilfracombe. If you haven’t received one, you should do soon.

As usually happens when walking back from the centre of town, I’m thinking of all the people I have met and chatted with. I said thank you to Duncan in Kingsley Printers for including an article on the town’s campaign in ‘Focus’ magazine. I bumped into Jerry Bix, whose hard work led to the establishment of our new COMBEbusiness business group. I met Sam Scott at the Ilfracombe Centre, who has offered to help the initiative. And I had a great chat in NotAGreedyMan Tools, an Aladdin’s cave of building and DIY equipment. And then I ran out of time and had to come back as I have a meeting soon.

Everyone was naturally courteous.

Is courtesy from customers important?

We often hear stories about rude shop assistants and poor service, but how polite are customers? And does it matter?

If a shop assistant is rude to customers, there’s a number of problems that could be the cause. If that’s how they normally act, there must be a management problem or they would have resolved the situation.

But what if customers are rude? Should sales assistants and other customer service staff have to put up with it?

Customers can become impatient and dissatisfied if they have to wait a long time in a queue, if service is slow or a shop doesn’t have required items in stock, but these are no reasons to abuse staff. If there is a problem, it isn’t necessarily the fault of the sales assistant, so why should they get the blame?

From a sales assistant’s point of view, they have to deal with possibly hundreds of people every day. Their job could be repetitive or tedious, but that doesn’t prevent them trying to give good service.

Customers saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, making eye contact and being helpful can make shop assistants’ working life more enjoyable. This behaviour also acknowledges the value of the person’s role: we want to buy something from the shop and they make the transaction possible.

In shops with busy check-outs it’s not always possible to have a conversation, but in some shops it is possible and it tends to make shopping a more enjoyable experience for us.

If we are really annoyed in a shop, being rude achieves nothing. If we think if makes us more important or gives us more authority, we’re wrong. If we’re rude to staff in a big shop, they have very little opportunity to act outside the shop’s processes, so they probably become more frustrated and upset than we do. If we have a gripe, it’s best to take it up, firmly but politely, with the management. If we don’t get a fair resolution, we can exercise the ultimate sanction: take our custom to a competitor.

It costs nothing but a few seconds to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and it’s just as important whether we are the customer or the supplier.