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Edition 420 – Try A Little Kindness

It’s Sunday evening. We’re overnighting in Gundagai on our journey south to catch the Spirit of Tasmania out of Geelong. We’d left home late and the day’s journey had been hot. Three hours didn’t quite break the back of the trip, but it was enough to give us a good head start for day two.

On a Sunday night, in regional New South Wales, there’s not a lot of dining options. The ubiquitous fast food places, attached to the roadside rest stops, one or two pubs in the main street, and the Gundagai District Services Club. We chose the latter for the fact it had an Asian food option.

It turns out that on this particular Sunday night, there’s a lot of people in town. The caravan parks were full to brimming, with the utes and SUVs hooked up to a mixed array of camper trailers and caravans. Perhaps it’s the time of year when the grey nomads head off – after the school holidays and whilst the weather is still warm.

Inside the club, there’s a few people in the queue. The first woman was quite solemn. She lists her order, impatiently correcting the attendant behind the counter then, after paying, walks away to her table, without a word of a thank you.

The chap in front of me is doing mental arithmetic to see what he’s going to order vs what his budget was. He took items off his order, then added in cheaper options. If this is what caravanning in your golden years is all about, managing your meal options in terms of a dollar or two, it’s certainly not for me. He pays the bill, then walks away, again, without so much as a hint of a thank you.

Two from two. That’s a pretty poor strike rate.

I’m up next. We’d ordered earlier and it was now time to pay up.

“May I pay the bill for table 21, please?” I ask of the young lady behind the counter. Behind her, the open kitchen is a hive of activity as the various chefs and wait staff do their magic to make it all happen.

“That will be $38.90” comes her reply. Good value for what we had, in my opinion.

“Thank you very much. That was delicious. We really enjoyed it. We’ll be back” was my response as the credit card transaction processed.

At that very moment, her face lit up. A wide smile, broke out across her face and she expressed a “you’re welcome” back to me.

It doesn’t take much to show a little appreciation. Yet, so many are so lacking in self awareness, they don’t engage in it.

I’ve seen this inside businesses as well. The way the leaders are, towards their employees, often leaves a lot to be desired. Sure, your employees turn up to work everyday and they are paid for doing so. However, a simple “thank you” as they leave at the end of the day, or a few moments of your time as you not only express your appreciation, but the reason you’re doing it, can make the world of difference to not only their life, but the culture of your business.

This Week’s Tip

“A simple act of kindness might just be the tonic to turn someone else’s day around.”