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Offer kind word to those who serve us well
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Certain occupations have a predisposition to being unpopular, such as working at any kind of office that collects taxes or issues driver’s licenses.

But even in those positions, people who have a kind heart can make even the most difficult situations seem better.

My wife and I recently went to a restaurant after church Sunday. That’s the time folks come in like a thundering herd and want to be fed.

The young lady who was our server suddenly had three new tables at once. That’s three groups of folks who all want to get something to drink and place an order for food.

She came over and told us of her predicament and started taking orders as fast as she could. Throughout the meal, she was attentive and we were in and out in a short time.

In times past, I have used corporate websites to complain about poor service. This time, I decided to use it to compliment our server. That same day, I got nice email from a regional executive with the restaurant chain and she thanked me for doing what was actually so easy to do.

Saying thanks is something we don’t do enough. The unsung heroes of this world are the hard-working folks who are just doing their job. Some people repair your car before the promised time or some do something extra without expecting payment.

Finding the person who has the magic combination of good attitude and customer service is a problem every good manager faces whenever there is an opening.

It isn’t limited to local shops; it’s true in big business.

A sales clerk at a big national store at a mall has gone beyond what is expected to help me find shirts or pants. I’m a big fellow and finding clothes that fit is a challenge. One day, I walked to the customer service desk, filled out a comment card with compliments and dropped it in the box.

Next time I came in, she hugged me and said thanks. She also knew every shirt she had in my size.

For several years, Betty Wade was the sales clerk in the gift department at Riverside Pharmacy. She was widely known for her ability to make beautiful bows from decorative ribbon. Her bows have graced our door and the top of our Christmas tree. Her talent was amazing, but her smile was the charm.

I didn’t walk in that store when she didn’t smile and ask about my family. When my wife came in, she showed her what was new.

In January, Betty became ill and died. Since that time, her missing presence has made the store seem empty. Out of habit, I look over to the right and it only makes me realize how much I miss that sweet lady.

I said “thank you” to Betty many times, but her absence makes me appreciate her kindness and skill even more.

It is so easy to moan and complain when we are disappointed, but saying thanks when things are good will pay handsome dividends.

Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose columns appear on the Sunday Life page and on

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