Flashback: Candy Spiegel: Thankless task? Let's fix that

Candy Spiegel: Thankless task? Let's fix that

Candy Spiegel, Livingston Press & Argus
October 10, 2010

Every day, I come in contact with people who do little things for complete strangers. These seemingly insignificant actions go a long way toward making the day shine a little brighter, yet they often go completely unrecognized. I would like to rectify that situation by thanking some of the special people in our community.

Take, for example, the store owner who greets you with a smile as you walk in the door or the cashier at a discount store who takes the time to ask you about your day and inquire if you found everything you needed. These comments take little time and do not cost a penny, but they make customers feel welcome and valued.

Unfortunately, no one notices when they do a good job. But, when you find the store's employees are more interested in discussing their weekend plans with one another than waiting on the customers, you realize how special the staffers who focus on you really are. So, to all the store owners and employees who take the time to wish us a good day or offer to help us find something, thank you.

While we are talking about cashiers, I also would like to acknowledge the clerks and baggers at the grocery stores who understand that raw chicken and cleaning products should not be placed in the same bag as cheese from the deli and that canned goods do not mix well with fresh produce, potato chips or bread. It makes my day when I can confidently serve my family sandwiches that are poison-free accompanied by chips that have not been turned into crumbs. Thank you.

Next, I would like to thank the waiters and waitresses who make sure your water glass (or coffee cup) never runs dry. It's a little thing, but it is nice to have water available, especially if you are eating something particularly spicy or salty. Thank you.

Along a similar thread, I always appreciate the people at the fast-food drive-through window who hand you your beverages with a straw as soon as you pull up. There is nothing worse than being handed a cold, refreshing beverage that you are practically dying for, without a straw to enjoy it with. It just sits there and taunts you for what feels like an eternity while they finish preparing your food. It is just so much better to have the straw in hand, rather than in the bag. Thank you.

I also want to thank the people who hold the door open for complete strangers when entering or exiting a business. The day is always brighter when a door doesn't smack you in the face. Thank you.

And, I want to send a special thank-you to a young man on the cross country team at Kensington Woods High School in Genoa Township. I was on my way into the school one afternoon as the team was coming out. I waited as student after student exited the building. The last one, this young man I mentioned, was following his team to the bus when he saw me standing there. He turned around, grabbed the door and held it open for me. I wasn't expecting it and I wouldn't have thought poorly of him if he had simply followed his team. But, that tiny act of kindness made my day shine a little brighter. It also gave me a great first impression of the school. Thank you, Mr. Cross Country.

Finally, I want to thank the bus drivers, waste collectors and delivery people who, upon noticing a line of vehicles trapped behind them, pull over to let others get on with their day. I know it makes their job last a little longer, but it makes the sun shine brighter for all of us. So, just in case no one has thanked you recently for your actions, thank you.
Candy Spiegel is the niche products editor for the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus. She can be reached at (517) 552-2849 or at cspiegel@gannett.com.

FlashbackJessie Pratt