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We all go out into the world every day and engage with people by using their services and buying their stuff. We’ve been conditioned to believe that as customers, we’re always right and that we should get everything exactly as we want it. And after all our demands are met, we’re often out the door with a half-hearted thank you.

This week I went to get my watch fixed. When I dropped it off, the older gentleman working there asked me if I would also like him to clean the watch. For a small additional fee, he assured me that my white watch would look new again.

It wasn’t the fee that worried me, it was the time. “How long will it take?” I asked.

“Twenty minutes. No more. No less.” He answered in broken English.

After wandering around the mall for twenty-five minutes, I returned for my watch. It was not ready. I waited impatiently for fifteen more minutes. Just as I was ready to complain about how long it was taking, the gentleman appeared from the back with my watch.

Thinking only about how long I waited, I put the watch on my wrist and handed him my credit card.

“Do you like? It looks beautiful, no?” He asked me with a prideful grin.

I paused, looked down at my shiny watch, and smiled at him. “Beautiful! You did a wonderful job. Thank you so much.”

“Thank you. It was my pleasure.” His smile lingering.

I left the store happier than I had been all day. I was reminded that the world is full of people, just like you and me, who work hard, pursue their passions, and take pride in their endeavors. Wouldn’t it be nice if we told them more than every once in a while how great they are?

Here’s my challenge to you. Every day choose at least one person who provides you a service or sells you something and tell them why what they do makes a difference to you.

Here’s how I met my own challenge…

…I hugged my holistic nutritionist and thanked her for changing my body and my life.

…I thanked my mailman, who also happens to be my mother-in-law’s mailman. He’s thoughtful and looks out for my mother-in-law’s Publisher’s Clearing House letters when she’s out of town. (Don’t ask.)

…I raved about the cashier at Petco to her manager because she always remembers my dog’s name and that my other dog died recently.

Work can be hard, even when you’re doing what you love. So tell people how awesome they are and what they do matters. And if they doubt you, don’t be afraid to remind them that you’re the customer and you’re always right.

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