Thanking the People

Thanking the People November 9, 2012
Bleeding heart doves


The lines to D-gates were inexplicably long at PDX Thursday afternoon. They divided us up into two lines that reached nearly all the way back past the doors of Pendleton store. It was there by the door that a woman approached me, smiling.

The election was over so I had no idea what she was hawking but I backed away as soon as I saw the 4 by 6 card in her hand.

Would you mind helping us? she asked.

I looked around for the Bleeding Heart sign hanging on my back. No may be the last word to enter my vocabulary. It’s one I still forget from time to time. Sister Tater and I were just discussing that very thing earlier in the day, talking about all the ways in which daughters have a difficult time telling their mamas no. Do sons ever deal with that problem?

Just take this card, the lady continued. Give it to someone who does a good job. That’s all you have to do. Give it to an employee at the airport who goes out of their way to help you.

Okay, I said. Easy enough.

It’s the adult version of earning Citizen of the Month award.

I like it.

Wouldn’t it be great if we went about our day handing out 4 by 6 cards to people who treat us kindly?

I might have some made up, come to think of it. Instead of a business card, I think I’ll hand out YAY YOU! cards.

My choice for the good citizen card was a clear cut choice. After I misplaced my boarding pass (stuck it inside the book I was reading) the Delta counter guy reprinted me one, without even asking to check my ID. Guess he figured that if I could spell Zacharias, I must be Zacharias. What he said though was that he trusted me.

“You have the kind of face that speaks trust,” he said.

I knew it. I should have gone into politics. (I did write myself in as mayor and someone else wrote me in for Senator, so I’m told.)

“Thank you,” I said, taking the newly printed boarding pass and then handing him the Good Job! card.

“Thank you!” he said, grinning.

I’m not sure what reward the employees at PDX get for doing good deeds but I hope it includes a sunny beach somewhere.

What are some of the most creative ways you’ve been thanked or thanked someone for doing a good job?




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  • Jane

    Many years ago when I was working at the Pentagon, we had a secretary who started us on a tradition of a pink star, given out similarly to the good job card. She cut it out of pink card stock. I can’t remember if I was the first recipient, but I know I once received it after many many rewrites of a paper that finally got signed (by that time changed back to very close to the first version). The practice was that anyone could pick it up and award it to anyone else for a good job. it was a nice way for peers to recognize each other for a good job when that wasn’t always appreciated by the bosses (several levels of those). A nice heart warming thing that took only a little effort. Good job card is a great idea!

  • Samantha Clough

    Two evenings ago, I was sitting at work waiting to go to a school board meeting. My phone rang showing the number of one of “my kids”. Josh was one of the kids who came to the teen center I ran years ago. Most adults in town were leery of him because of his looks and his family. He was always viewed as scary…except by myself, some of my staff and the other kids at the center that knew him. He graduated over 4 years ago and moved on with his life. I haven’t heard from Josh since the last time he visited NH 21/2 years ago. His fiance of 4 years had just broken up with him. He told me he was all alone and had to talk to the one person who he knew would be there for him. There is no better thank you than knowing you made a that much of a difference in a child’s life.