Monday, August 11, 2008

please, thank you and the lost art of courtesy

I am always pleased when I hear my child use the words "please" and "thank you." And I am always pleasantly surprised when I hear someone else using common courtesy. Because in our fast-paced world, I wonder sometimes if simple human courtesy is getting lost.
I'm always careful to be especially courteous to people who are in customer-service jobs. Waiters and waitresses, fast-food establishment employees, retail clerks, bank tellers and receptionists. They encounter hundreds of people a day, and they have a job I don't think I could do.
This week, we are welcoming the new freshman class on campus. It is my hope that their encounters are pleasant and successful; that FVSU employees bend over backwards to meet their needs and answer their questions. And if we encounter someone having a bad day, that we will remember the difference courtesy can make. I have learned, if nothing else, that if I can't help someone myself, that being nice and going the extra step of directing them to someone who can help leaves a very positive impression. They don't always remember that I couldn't help, but they do remember that I was kind and courteous.

--Misty Cline works for the Office of Marketing and Communications at Fort Valley State University

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