Every day life seems to get just a little bit more chaotic, a bit more busy than the day before. With the constant sound bites of desperate politicians begging for your vote or ceaseless ads invading your head space so that you will try a new hair product, it can all be a bit overwhelming. Your phone can ring 10 times a days with some automated caller, a voice all cheerful and happy, telling you that YOU may be entitled to debt relief or asking if you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault.
Then on top of that you probably get your in-box jammed with 25 emails daily offering you everything from generic Viagra to the best price on a holiday in Majorca. Buy Now! Save More! It is not uncommon for people to spend the first hour of their workday going through their messages. It is high pressure sales without a guy in the bad suit standing in front of you. It has become a hurry-up world, where few people have time for niceties, as they only have 20 minutes for lunch break and have to race back to the office so that they aren’t in the line-up when the next lot of redundancies are announced. From the supermarket to the dry cleaner and even at your local bar, it seems people are in much more of a hurry and not often in the mood to bother with the somewhat outdated notion of courtesy.
Yes, it seems like courtesy has left the world…it got on a bus and headed to warmer climates where it still felt wanted and appreciated. No forwarding address and not even a thank you note. Can you blame it? After being ignored and tramped on for the last few years, well, I would probably do the same. The art of saying thank you (which was never really all that hard in the first place) seems to have also tagged along when courtesy went on vacation.
A great example of this lack of Thank You’s in the world can be found in that in-box that you dutifully spent clearing junk mail out of this morning. When you order a product online, almost every company will send a “confirmation of order”. Yes, there will probably be some kind of thank you tacked on there, but it is of the cursory kind, as though it was just the e-marketing team bowing down to the memory of their mother who told them relentlessly “Say thank you to the nice man.” It doesn’t feel like a REAL thank you, it feels a lot more like a receipt. And there is nothing wrong with a receipt, it is an important part of the process.
But how much nicer would a real personalized thank you be?