9 surefire ways to never receive another favor

An INC.article about gratitude was published today which I particularly appreciate.

You see, in the past few months, I’ve had an influx of accepting the responsibility of watching the pets of others (mainly, those of roommates).

I was much more willing to help the one who actually asked me if I would watch her dog than I was about lending a helping hand to the chick who disappeared for a week, leaving behind a flea-infested cat who had no food or water.

The girl who neglected her cat is, in fact, a certifiably, completely coo-coo for cocoa puffs, off her rocker, bat shit crazy kind of crazy. When she left Thunder (her cat) without any of the necessities required for his survival over Memorial Day Weekend, I wasn’t surprised. She’d already clearly shown that she was not concerned with the well being of her pet. Pushing the responsibility of your animal off on another person without any notice is, in itself, wildly inappropriate. Taking off without even asking if that person would be home to watch the cat and leaving the animal without any food or water and locked on a porch is just sick. To keep him alive, I purchased 2 bags of cat food and replenished his water until she returned. When asked to be reimbursed for the cat food I’d purchased, Rachael’s response was “I didn’t ask you to get him food. He’s an outdoor cat. He doesn’t need food.” (By the way, if anyone else is confused about this, just because you have a cat that goes outside doesn’t mean it suddenly has the instincts of a feral hunter. It’s safe to say that your indoor/outdoor cat is going to be relying on the food you give it for the remainder of its’ life, unless it has to survive strictly in the wild again. That’s how it works.)

Ultimately, as you may have guessed, she was unwilling to reimburse me for the “unnecessary” cat food purchase. Which is fine, as this was also expected. I didn’t care for these animals because of a compensation package. I did these things as a citizen of the universe, a person who believes that you should care and invest in the safe and healthy future of all living things. This is especially true if said living things are no longer capable of caring for themselves because we have “adopted” them and promised to keep them safe and healthy in our own self-fulfilling upper class captivity.

These 2 scenarios, one being a favor which was asked for and the other, an animal abuser who skipped town are in no way comparable to one another aside from the reality that a bit of gratitude would have been equally appreciated in both instances.

When someone does you a solid, be grateful.

Be genuinely grateful.

If you ever want a favor again.

Here are 9 easy ways to show a little gratitude and not come off like a spoiled brat.

9 Simple Ways You Can Show Appreciation

thank-you

Write It By Hand

An electronic thank you is ok for many…who will ultimately skim it, trash it, and move on. But if you take time and care to craft the perfect message of appreciation, why not write it nicely by hand? Finding a lovely card in the mailbox or on the desk is a nice surprise. And it increases the chance they’ll read your message with care.

Acknowledge an Absence

If someone goes on vacation or is out on sick or personal leave, that creates a vacuum. It is easy to be annoyed or resentful about the extra workload. Instead, happily pick up some of the slack, and when the person returns, tell them how much they were missed and that their particular contribution is important. They will work that much harder if they know others see and value their efforts.

Pick Up the Cup

A small gesture respecting someone’s comfort and convenience can mean a lot. If you’re heading by the break room, offer to take the other person’s empty coffee cup with you. If you’re dropping by accounting, offer to take their paperwork with yours. You’ll need to make sure the cup or file gets promptly to the appropriate destination, of course. The gesture requires little additional effort for you, but removes a burden for them and makes their day just a bit happier.

Give It Back

People often borrow small things on the spur of the moment—a pen, a stapler, a book, etc.—with the intention of returning them. But so many times one gets busy and forgets. The lender is stuck without a tool they need, and feels inconvenienced and annoyed. It only takes a moment to return an item you borrowed when you’re done with it.

Clean It Up

On a busy day, it is really tempting to leave your dishes in the break room sink or your files piled on the conference room table. You’ll come back and handle it in a few minutes…and five hours later, the mess is still there. Schedule 10 minutes into your lunch or meeting time so you can pick up after yourself. It shows everyone else you respect and appreciate their right to use the common spaces, too.

Offer Public Praise

It feels good to be told, “You did an awesome job” or “You look great today.” It feels even better to hear it in front of other people. Look for opportunities to pay small compliments at meetings, or in the hallway. Others will likely chime in, which exponentially increases the recipient’s pleasure.

Give Them a Do-Over

Even the best of us make mistakes, and slip-ups come in all flavors from saying the wrong thing to missing a deadline to clicking “send” too soon. Everyone deserves the chance at an occasionaldo-over so they can try to get back on track. Show people that you trust them to make things right.

Celebrate the Milestones

Birthdays are just the beginning. Work anniversaries, getting engaged, welcoming a child, successfully opening a new location—personal and professional milestones are important. Your colleagues probably don’t expect to be showered with gifts, but everyone likes when others remember the milestones and stop to say “congratulations” or “many happy returns!”

Leave a Lagniappe

lagniappe is a small, inexpensive gift. Drop one on a co-worker’s desk when you see them having a hard day: a flower, an origami crane, a hand-drawn doodle, or a smiley face on a post-it. Any small gesture can make a big difference.

 

Alternatively, choosing to avoid these 9 acts is a surefire way to guarantee you don’t receive any more favors, so if nothing else, you do have options…

Cheers!

 

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