As the holiday season is here once again, it is a great time to remind ourselves of some of the basic manners we were taught as children. One of the most common manners most of us were likely taught was saying, “please” and “thank you.” These are actually some of the most simple words that are embedded in us, and we may need to be reminded to bring them out.
Let’s think back to how important it was when our parents taught us that we had to say, ”Yes, please,” and “Thank you,” if we wanted to ask for something. If we were going to visit a family member or a friend’s house, we were most definitely reminded to make sure we remembered to use kind manners. So now as we are adults and most of us are parents, we try to pride ourselves on and making sure we really, “Practice what we preach,” as the saying goes.
As we all know the holiday season can be very stressful with lots of lines in stores, no places to park, and overcrowded stores and malls. This time of year is also stressful for retail employees who have to deal with the busy time of year and many inpatient customers. We all have been in line to pay for something, with our kids in tow, arms full of groceries, and the check out line is five customers deep. Let’s face it, it’s really not the cashiers fault that we are about to lose our minds. I am sure the cashier does not want to be working on a busy day, away from their families and possibly on a weekend.
Being kind and courteous can really put a smile on someone’s face. Take a moment to make eye contact with a stranger and use one of those basic words/phrases we all know well. I worked in hospitality and retail for many years, even spending countless weekends and holiday seasons on the “other side of the counter.” I can assure you that when I had a guest genuinely say, “Yes, please,” and “Thank you,” it immediately made me smile and feel appreciated as a person.
At the end of the day, my words of advice in surviving this holiday season is to smile, look at someone in the eyes, and remember, “Yes, please” and “Thank you.” Take the extra step to show a bit of gratitude for a retail employee (and anyone for that matter) assisting you in daily life as you step out the door during this busy time of the year!