There appears to be a depressed social atmosphere during these tough COVID times. Regular social interactions are laced with confusion and distraction. Customers may still hold the door open for incoming customers, but at a 6-foot length. The new
There appears to be a depressed social atmosphere during these tough COVID times. Regular social interactions are laced with confusion and distraction. Customers may still hold the door open for incoming customers, but at a 6-foot length. The new customers still step through it but with caution and fear that the person holding the door may be COVID contaminated. The social atmosphere would improve a great deal were the recipient of the door holding favor smile back broadly at the holder, nod, and say “Thank you! Have a nice day!” It does take more effort and may be out of people’s comfort zone to address this stranger, but it turns the whole transaction into a positive social act, raising the mood of both participants.
Many of the drive-thru fast-food cashiers (such as at our local Taco Bell) seem to have a more cheerful mood when working with customers. A smile and hearty “Thank you!” goes a long way to show their appreciation for our business, and the fact that they appear to value us enriches my own mood, and I usually leave the drive-thru smiling.
When speaking with a colleague, friend or family member, it is best to demonstrate that they have my full attention by making eye contact and ignoring my telephone and things happening in the surroundings. I try to move away from any hubbub to a quiet area and listen intently, not jumping in quickly to say something or to express my own issues. By showing empathy and attentiveness, other people feel as though their ideas are important. The appreciation they express in return validates my own listening skills, and both of us are uplifted by the encounter.
I show my appreciation for servers at restaurants by adding onto my regular tip amount. An extra dollar may not mean a whole lot to me, but to the waitperson, it is a validation that their service was appreciated. Like the old saying, “It is not the amount, but the thought that counts.” (Wait, that isn’t an old saying … I just made that up.) Similarly, I carry a few extra dollar bills with me to put in the tip jars at places like Subway and Dunkin’ Donuts. The visual reminder of the growing pile of tips encourages employees to feel appreciated.
One of the best ways to show appreciation for a job well done, be it at the drive-thru, blood test clinic, grocery store or elsewhere, is to write a note to the management citing the employee for a job well done. This only takes a few moments but serves everyone well. I feel happier after writing it, and I am sure the management and the employee feel uplifted when they receive it. I keep a small packet of note cards in my car just for the purpose of filling one out when the incident is fresh in my mind.
The best words to show appreciation are “please” and “thank you.” They are so easy to say and slip in easily among other words. They cost nothing yet contribute so much. If everyone consciously forced themselves to use them more often along with a smile, these words would become second nature, and the current social atmosphere would rise from cautious and guarded to joyful and pleasant.