Most people I come across are friendly and display good manners. However, I have been surprised at the situations when some people don’t say ‘Thank you’ and also the individuals who show no appreciation.
On several occasions I have witnessed someone returning a purse left behind on the train or a wallet that has slipped from a pocket and the owner has not said, ‘Thank you’. This happened a few days ago as I was preparing to get off the train. I turned when a man said, ‘Excuse me,’ to a fellow passenger. He handed him his wallet and said, ‘You dropped this.’ The owner shrugged, took the wallet and said,’ I would have noticed when I got off the train.’ He did not express any gratitude or appreciation for the return of his wallet. I would have expected him to be very grateful.
If he had noticed the wallet was missing once he was off the train, it would have been too late. The train would have left the station. Had the other passenger not noticed it, picked it up and returned it, someone less honest could have pocketed it. Even if the wallet had been handed in by another honest passenger it would have been a lot of bother for the owner to get it back from the lost property office.
The chap who picked it up could easily have slipped it into his own pocket but he was honest. Even if the wallet did not contain much in the way of cash I am sure it contained valuable pieces of plastic such as driver’s licence, credit card, rediteller card, medicare card or health benefits card. It is inconvenient and time consuming to have to cancel cards and replace them. Anyway, that’s not really the point. The owner should have said, ‘Thank you.’ It's not hard.
Some time ago I was taken aback when a well dressed woman of around sixty five just pushed past me when I held the door open for her. Her hands were full and she would have found it difficult to open the door. She did not say, ‘Thank you’ or even, ‘Ta,’ or smile. Even if she was tired and stressed, surely she could have managed a smile. I particularly noticed this incident because shortly before I had been surprised by the good manners and friendliness a rough looking chap in motorcycle leathers had shown my young son. Sometimes people don’t feel it is necessary to be polite to children but this chap set a good example. The incident reminded me one shouldn’t judge people by their appearance.
Whatever is happening in your life, I think one should make the effort to say, ‘Thank you,’ especially if the action of another has saved you angst, inconvenience and possibly the loss of money. It lets the other person know you appreciate their honesty and effort. Yvette Nicole Brown, American actress and comedian said, ’We all have our down days, but it’s not hard to smile and say, ‘Thank you.’ I certainly agree with her.
So true Marie. In some ways, people have become more polite e.g. on my morning & afternoon commute to work, a lot of passengers say thank you to the bus driver when getting off the bus - this didn't happen a few years ago. Then you get situations like the one you have described or work situations where the occasional thank you from your boss for going that extra bit further would mean a lot. For those types of people like you have described in your article, I just say " you're welcome" & it usually makes them think twice for next time.
Thanks for your response. I have also noticed the increase in people saying thanks to the bus driver and at the supermarket the check out staff are more chatty than in the past. I really like this. However, it highlights the situations where people really should express appreciation and they don't. I believe if someone doesn't feel and express gratitude and appreciation, that person loses out more than the person they did not thank.