One early morning, I was in a hurry to get to work. You know when you wake up on your own a long while after the alarm has sounded? Exactly! That’s the way it was that morning. I was hearing the sounds of the bus in the distance. I rushed out of the house without knotting my tie, my back pocket was just enough to carry it. I got on the bike already waiting for me, then the first bus, and then the second bus.
I handed over 500 naira to the bus conductor who was busy collecting cash from everyone that boarded his bus. Interestingly, I actually sat right next to him. When he was done collecting the funds from the passengers, he then began to give them their left over amounts with him. I then stretched out my hands to collect my own funds, because he could either forget to give me, or I could forget to collect it back from him.
He immediately counted 400 naira and handed it over to me. The very moment I received it, I said to him “Thank you!”.
He looked at me with shock on his face, he looked like he had seen a ghost. He then asked me “Oga wetin you say?” I replied him “I said thank you”. His face now looked more confused than before, he didn’t know what to say in return. He was the very quiet and sober for the rest of the trip. I wondered to myself why the sudden change of mood because I said “thank you” to him. Was it the strangest thing to ever happen?
It reminded me of when one day when I dropped off a bus, the bus conductor gave me about 500 naira more than was due. As the bus began to move, I looked into my hands and saw the extra cash. I immediately ran after the bus and was just able to hand the 500 naira note to the conductor as the bus sped off. The look on his face was like that of the conductor on the bus with me. He was totally amused that in our country, someone will still take an extra step, to be honest. If I didn’t run after the bus even after finding out that I had gotten extra cash, I won’t have been at fault.
I saw as the quiet conductor watched me come down like an angel. I guess no one ever thanked him for doing what was right.
We all go around expecting people to do their jobs and then when they successfully get it done, we say to ourselves “They get paid for what they do, why thank them?”
We don’t know that as little and short as the word ‘Thank You’ may seem, it is a huge booster to one’s self-esteem, it shows appreciation for the act that was done. It actually could make one feel at the top of the world. When many of us send others on a task, we end up shouting or being highly displeased at their efforts or imperfection in carrying out the assigned task. Did the person actually take a step to get it done? Yes? Then say thank you first, appreciating the person’s efforts before sending out a warning or instruction. It could mean the world to the person that the little effort was noticed by you.
Have you noticed that even termination and resignation letters contain the words “Thank you?” Do you think it’s about just putting it there to sound nice? No, it’s because somewhere along the line, the employee put in a lot of effort, the employer too.
What then happens when someone does what is more than required? Say the words ‘thank you!’
Sometimes, the words thank you are not enough to show how grateful you are. It may require you taking actions as well. How about a handshake, a warm smile, a hug, or even free lunch for the person. There are more people under-appreciated than are appreciated. I must admit that saying thank you is pretty difficult for most people. To even thank God for all he has done sometimes poses a problem for some. It has to be learned.
It’s time to appreciate others, whether they get things done the way you expect it to or not. Say those words. It has become such a habit for me to say thank you to people, because even if they may not meet up to my expectations if they probably had the same opportunities I did, they may have maximized it more than I have. I am grateful for myself and for others.
The bus conductor did not expect my reply to be ‘Thank you’ for what he did his job because it was uncommon. I choose to be uncommon, will you?
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