“Thank you!” “No, Thank you!”

Thank you.  Have you said it lately?

With our very existence depending on our interaction with one another, and as often as we must interact, this phrase should be a part of your vernacular, your lexicon, your speech. 

OK, this is not a soapbox moment and I’m not trying to convert the world to becoming ‘thankful’ for all that they(we) have, although I think we should be…thankful.   

I’m talking about extending a common courtesy to your fellow human beings and trying to make the world a little better place.

Frankly, I don’t care if you’re actually thankful or not, but either way, I’m trying to get you to vibrate your vocal cords and produce a sound  (T-h-a-n-k-y-o-u) as a response to your fellow human beings when they’ve given you something or extended some other courtesy.

This isn’t a stretch, is it?  I mean it’s what we do. We interact.  We verbalize (for the most part) our responses to one another.  OK, I’ll give you the nonverbals – a head nod,  a wink, a hand wave, even the trigger finger (you know what I mean, that lame act of forming your thumb and index finger in the shape of a pistol and point it at some one?  By the way, next time you are tempted to do that one,  just roll that baby right up to your forehead and form that ‘L’)   It’s what we do.  Say, ‘thank-you’ once in a while.  You don’t have to bow, this isn’t Japan, (no offense to my Japanese readers) just say the words.                         

So I’m standing in Starbucks waiting for my Caramel Macchioto.  OK, I know it’s not a manly drink.  I love coffee.  Drink it all day.  Everyday.  However, I hate Starbucks coffee.  They actually burn the coffee beans.  That’s how they created that gut wrenching brew.  I do enjoy the swanky atmosphere, and a foo-foo drink now and then, but their straight-up coffee is nauseating.  Anyway, I’m waiting for my beverage when the kid behind the counter announces the next prepared concoction, “One grande, low-fat, Caffe’ Latte.”  The recipient of this foam topped, caffeine laced, steaming drink is a 30 something, slightly overweight, blue shirt wearin,’ greasy haired dude who walks to the counter, takes his cup and leaves.  No ‘thanks.’  No head nod.  No trigger. No nothin.  Just picks up his cup and walks out.    

Now I’m not saying he ‘owed’ them a thank-you.  I mean he’s a paying customer.  Rightly, the Starbucks boys (there were three behind the counter) owed him a ‘thank-you’ for patronizing the establishment and I’m assuming that happened when the money changed hands.  But now that the interaction (you know, the stuff that makes the world go round) is complete, the Latte’ drinker needs to say, ‘thank you.’ Can we agree that’s a good idea?  A common courtesy? Am I right?  I mean, this is what we do. 

So now, I must make the world right.  So when Starbucks boy announces, “One grande’, Caramel Macchioto,” I have to make a bigger fuss than normal to make up for ‘greasy hair’s’ lack of enthusiasm. “Thank you!,” I said with a wink, a wave and a trigger; thus maintaining the precarious balance of common courtesy in the world.

So the next time you get handed your change at the restaurant,  some kid bags your groceries, somebody holds a door for you or that guy let’s you cross the street in front of his car, let’s give thanks, as in – say ‘thank-you’.  Otherwise, I’ll be walking around with my finger and thumb in the shape of a pistol to make up for your lack courtesy.  Help me, help you.  Thank you.

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