Up front I will concede that as a parent of young children, the battle to ingrain politeness is fairly constant. I push “Yes, ma’am” and “Yes, sir”, though I know some people now think it isn’t important. I encourage my boys to open doors for people, not just ladies, because it is the gentlemanly thing to do, even though it isn’t always in fashion. But one of the biggest things I push is for them to say “please” when they are asking for something and “Thank you” for all sorts of things people do for them. I don’t generally say, “What’s the magic word?”, but I know I’m not the only one who has heard that prompt before. And I believe that they still are magic words.
Lately I have found myself wanting to correct perfect strangers, prompting them for a “Please” or waiting to hear a “Thank You”. Of course, I do not, since I know it is not polite (and might get me beaten up or something). But I had two different situations recently that had me wishing more people used these magic words.
My family was lucky to go on vacation recently and when we got back I was tired. Very tired. So I ran out to pick up Subway for dinner instead of cooking. When I got there I was bummed to see there was a line, but I got in line and waited my turn. The Subway employee was alone facing a long line of people waiting for sandwiches. The lady ahead of me talked on her cell phone while waiting in line and when it was her turn, pulled the phone away from her face to demand some special she had heard about somewhere that wasn’t currently being offered. The Subway employee answered questions and made suggestions while the lady complained about what the worker couldn’t offer her. Finally she ordered a sandwich on the menu and resumed her phone conversation, loudly complaining about the missing special to whomever she was speaking to, despite the Subway worker needing her to answer questions about what she wanted on her sandwich. I don’t know if you have ever been to a Subway, but they offer a lot of options. What type of bread? Toasted/Untoasted? What type of cheese? Vegetables, condiments etc., and then would you like something else to go with your sandwich. Rude woman was annoyed, so pointedly ended her phone conversation. “I will call you back when I get done here.” Then she answers the questions. “I want white, but don’t toast it.” “I need American cheese.” “Yes, all the veggies but peppers.” “Give me extra olives.” “Did you forget the tomatoes?” On and on without a hint of appreciation or acknowledgement that the person making her sandwich may have been stressed with the long line waiting or with being stuck there working all by herself. Anyone paying any attention could see the worker was fighting off annoyance with the rude customer and trying to get the order done to move on to the others waiting. Thankfully, Rude Woman finally left and stressed worker asked me what I wanted. I made sure to say please and thank you and smile a few times and you could see her relax a bit. It cost me nothing to treat her politely and with appreciation, even though I was tired and impatient as well. Magic words 😀
Another time someone practiced their magic on me. I was the stressed out worker having a tough day in general. A quick email saying, “Thanks for all you do”, made me take a second and remember that people appreciated me. It was such a little thing but it made my tough day a little better.
We all have this magic within us. Magic in just a few simple words. 😀
Have you had seen or experienced a moment like these? Have you seen the magic at work? Please share with me in the comments. Thanks!
Have a great week! And please remember to check out my post over at Twisted Writers blog tomorrow and every Tuesday. Thank you! 😃