We live in an age of entitlement. Our society encourages pride and selfishness. If we can’t get what we want when we want it, we blame everyone but ourselves for our own impatience. We don’t ask ourselves if the person or company from whom we want a product or service can’t meet our wants on our timetable for legitimate reasons.

Because our society is so rife with above, I take extra care to be patient and always give a smile and thank you to whomever I’m buying something from.

Take for instance my favorite coffee shop. It’s had to close the lobby for the last two weeks due to employment shortages, yet their drive-thru is still open. It makes me sad, because I love spending time there. It’s a fabulous atmosphere. I nonetheless smiled and expressed my gratitude to the server at the window, even if I didn’t feel it as much as I would have in the lobby. Because it’s the right thing to do, and it’s not the employee’s fault there’s a shortage.

At the same time, I don’t expect a lot of gratitude from my company’s clients (I’m a land surveyor at a civil engineering firm). It’s my job, and my reward is my bi-weekly paycheck.

Aside: My boss often tells me when I complete a task, “You shall be rewarded.” I always respond with. “I will. Next Wednesday.”

So when a client expresses gratitude other than a simple “thank you,” I’m taken completely by surprise. This week a client wanted a lot survey for her new house, and we had the time to get it done in only a few days. Because she was so thankful, she sent an Edible Arrangement (they’re floral arrangements, but with fruit instead of flowers, many of them chocolate covered) with three Mylar “thank you” balloons.

Unnecessary? Absolutely. Appreciated? Of course. We’re talking chocolate covered fruit and balloons, here!

Then again, if she had sent a simple thank you card and nothing else, I would have been just as touched. Heck, her email calling me a “rock star” was over and above what I would ever expect. Nevertheless, her emails and gift made my entire week, and I hope to emulate her a little bit more with others who do things for me (whether its their job or not). Because gratitude feeds not only the recipient but the giver. And what a better place our society would be if it spread, thereby curtailing its rampant selfishness.

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