Joy in Service: Day 6 Thank a Worker

December 6, 2011
The invisible ones.
The guys who pick up your garbage. The custodian who cleans up the school. The bus driver. The kid who gathers the grocery carts. Your mail carrier.
What ideas do you have for ways to thank them. I’m thinking of standing out when our garbage truck driver comes through and handing him a gift. They drive by in the big robot trucks so the driver doesn’t usually get out of the truck… I’d have to get his attention some how. We love the robot truck. We run to the window to watch the arms reach out and grab the bin and lift it up so high to dump it into the truck! I think I might still run to the window to watch even without kids.

Boro Project by Lyric Kinard

I’ve been mentioning this to so people as I’m out in different places and it’s so much fun to see them think of little ideas they can do to make someone feel better. I did stop and say thank you to the secretary at my kidlet’s school, and told her how great she looked. I didn’t leave myself enough time to give a gift. I did some quick shopping later and instead of just picking up teacher gifts, I picked up extras for the bus driver, the secretary, and the custodians. They need the lift as much as the teachers do.

But I feel bad for one thing. I was rotten grouchy after some worse than usual “homework fights” with the kids last night and after they went to bed I went to the grocery store. I smiled and asked one girl who was stocking shelves how she was and she said “tired.” I smiled and said “tired too.” I wish, wish, wish, I had a little gift… a flower, anything, to give her. Or maybe I should have just knelt down next to her and given her a very quick hug and told her thank you for what she does. Now I know what to do next time.

And here is the progress on my Boro project. One more gore in the skirt, a zipper and a hems and then some of the real fun begins. I think I might raid my stash of hand dyed lace. I like the idea of embroidering stories into the cloth as Melly does.

Please tell me what you did to make the world a better place today!
It’s not bragging – it’s giving me ideas for what I can do.
It’s inspiring others to look outward.
There is nothing that makes one feel better than helping someone else.
And I’m having so much fun sending little thank-you gifts from my studio. Mostly some lovely Quilting Arts magazines that I need to clear out, but a few other things here and there.
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  • Reply
    December 8, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    I carry a bunch of candy canes in my purse and I give them to cashiers and clerks and random people I come across as I'm out shopping.

    Today one I gave was to the security officer at the Target store. He looked at me funny when I approached him. I wished him happy holidays and a great day. Later when I left the store, he had the biggest smile and waved to me and said happy holidays!
    I love to give them to clerks and cashiers and random people who look like they need a smile.
    I also write messages on bright paper that is about the size of a business card and I leave then or give them to people also. It's amazing how something small like that can make someone's day!
    I've done this for years and some of the clerks or workers have gotten the candy canes each year and months later they will tell me again how much it meant to them!
    The little messages I leave say things like "You're appreciated" or Your smile brightened my day or just Have a beautiful day.

  • Reply
    December 7, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    this is hilarious! I actually thanked the garbage man this week! Before I even read your article! There were 2 garbage men and they were both surprised and waved!

  • Reply
    December 7, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Lyric, I have been encouraged by the posts about your son. I had those days with mine when he was that age…and sometimes still when he comes back from uni.

    so, yesterday was not too great for fibro/pain for me. but my son is nearing the end of uni and trying to be brave enough to apply for jobs. I got a few texts and emails from him about looking for some info from documents he needed for an application. Although it meant going up and down the stairs a few times and even climbing a step ladder. I remembered you and just did it.

    Sandy in the UK

  • Reply
    Pam L.
    December 7, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    You know what might make a great gift at times like yesterday with the store clerk… a really beautiful artist trading card in the clear plastic envelope. You could include a nice sentiment on one side with the art and on the back, you could write a personal note, even if it simple "Thanks for all you do!".

    🙂 Not to self promote, just to share. And they are easy to always have on hand. (Once could even have a few mounted in mini mattes at the ready too.)

  • Reply
    Jane LaFazio
    December 7, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Lyric, I'm loving these posts. Your stories, your reader's stories. I really feel this whole concept is sooo you. Love it! thanks for doing it and sharing it with all of us.

  • Reply
    December 7, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    I did nothing in particular yesterday that would make the world a better place – nothing concrete. I called my Mom to see how she's feeling, and I gave my sister a cookie recipe to add to her cookie trays for the nurses who work with her. I sent some get well cards to friends who had emergency surgeries. I try to always have an attitude of gratitude, and I think that spills over into simply treating others with kindness and having a generous heart. I love that I've found your blog.

  • Reply
    December 7, 2011 at 5:41 am

    I have a patient who usually arrives for their appointment a few minutes late, frazzled, and always very stressed. Normally, my lunch comes after this appointment, but this week I took my lunch early. During my "break," I made my patient a cup of tea for when they arrived. My patient did actually arrive on time this week, and I had them sit down, and enjoy a cup of tea and an orange before their massage therapy treatment. I can tell that it was much appreciated, and I sure felt joy in being able to bring some peace to my patient's world. :-))

  • Reply
    December 7, 2011 at 3:09 am

    Your skirt is really wonderful. I find that just a smile can make someone's day. I live in a town where the majority of the people are over 70. A lot are alone. One day I smiled at an elderly man and said have a nice day. He came up with tears in his eyes and thanked me. He had just lost his wife and was missing her. I had tears in my eyes all the way home. A smile is so easy and simple, but can create change.

  • Reply
    December 6, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    I went through my quilted wall hangings that were just being stored after their show life was over and picked out the ones that would work as lap quilts. The place I workout adopts a nursing home at holiday time, so they will go there.

  • Reply
    December 6, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    I did a minor thing, but it made my husband happy. I made his lunch for work before he asked me. I knew he was stressed about making a quiz for his students and didn't need one more thing to do.

  • Reply
    December 6, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Oh goody! You kept the ribbon and lace intact on that pretty embroidered linen that you used in your skirt! I hoped you would –

    I work with a lot of customer service people – customer service is a really tough gig, the middleman between cranky customers and uncooperative manufacturing.

    I try to keep my heart and voice gentle when I speak with them – especially if there are problems (why else does anyone contact customer service?) and I ask about their holiday or family if I know that much.

    It helps me remember that they are human not just voices or emails.

    It's not much, but I like to think it helps –

  • Reply
    Quilting Librarian
    December 6, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    My husband went back to add a teaching degree to his degree and has been a science teacher for about 13 years…several years ago I started giving the secretaries…there are three at his intermediate school a little gift at major holidays. I give at Halloween, Christmas, Valentines, and Easter. I have added the councilor, the custodian, the person who does all of the coping for the school. Last year I purchased at the after Christmas sales small Santa Claus bowls and I just picked up the candy for them. I try to find candy that is a little different. It is fun and does give me a lift when I do it.

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