It’s the time of year for resolutions big and small. Yeah, yeah—lose weight, cut back on drinking, swearing, smoking. But why not make, and keep, a resolution that truly will make you and others feel good?
Remember to say, “thank you.”
Not a big deal, right? But it obviously is, because I don’t hear it being done enough these days.
In our industry, where we are all trying to get by and get ahead in a rather small circle, we must look after and appreciate one another’s efforts. Whether you’re a golf course superintendent, a general manager or a golf professional, we depend and rely on each other.
So, what’s the price of a thank you?
While seemingly small, there could be big consequences for not doing so. There may be no “next time.” No more favors. Or me not thinking of you in the future. Why bother when there is no recognition for my having gone out of my way to help you?
As Caddyshack’s Carl Spackler said to the Dalai Lama, “Hey Lama, how about a little something, you know, for the effort?”
In this small industry, word spreads quickly. Trust me. You do not want to become known as the person who never says thanks, who only takes but never gives back. Not even two little words.
There are no barriers or age limits to this lack of appreciation. Think about the people who help you on a regular basis:
- The salesman who gave you a discount on a product or made a special trip to your course to deliver something that would save your bacon.
- The golf pro who arranged a tee time for you and your dad during the holiday season when the course was packed.
- The guy who provided a reference when you were applying for a new job.
And, by the way, I’m not talking about a thumbs-up emoji or the “THX” text. I need the real deal – verbal and said with sincerity.
I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I’ve received a genuine “thank you” in recent times, whether I recommended someone for a position, gave a reference, suggested a different agronomic practice, connected two peers in similar circumstances. Call me old school, but I do not like that “take it for granted, entitled, you-owe-it-to-me” attitude. And if I don’t, others don’t, either. Just a “thank you” for the effort. Come on: How hard is that?
Sometimes, a hand-written note is both more appropriate and more rewarding. If I have to explain to you when, then we have a bigger problem. But thank-you notes seem to have become a lost art, going the way of the rotary dial phone and a television with rabbit ears. More than a call, a note is the perfect time to mix some humor with your sincerity. For example, I recently received a thank-you card with a message on the front that said, “This is not a text!”
And while I’m on my “OK Boomer” soapbox, here’s something else I’d like others to know: Not returning phone calls, emails or texts is rude. Yes, we’re all busy, but ignoring communication is inconsiderate. Even a “thanks but I have no interest at this time” response is better than ghosting or employing the dome of silence.
So, when should we say thank you? Every day. Make a positive impact on people, and let others know you care, have noticed and are appreciative.
Has anyone ever been hurt saying thanks? Not likely.
And, oh, by the way: Thank you for reading this column.