I am horrible at Thank you notes. This is not something I like to admit. It’s kind of a blessing in a way though, since people do not give me gifts and I really do not want them in the first place.
I don’t know what it is, I guess I get so forward-focussed that I forget the important things people have done for me. On the positive side I never hold a grudge. *shrug*
I’m learning, however, that the thank you note is important and is probably essential for the job hunt and future careers. At MPOW we got added vacation as part of a new terms for non-union employees. I sent a thank you to the board for approving the new terms and the response was amazing. While the thank you note was somewhat out of character for me — after today, I’ve learned that it may be essential and is a habit I intend to build into my life.
Did I deserve the extra vacation? Well, of course. But I’m sure that, unless he’s a jerk, Robert DeNiro still says “thank you” when their fans say, “ohmygosh I loved you in ‘Raging Bull.'” Does DeNiro deserve accolades? Yes. Ought he still say “thank you?” Yes.
The “thank you” factor is important. Employers need to know that things like raises and vacation allotments and the like are doing what they are intended: rewarding performance and showing trust in the staff. When you put out a statement like “I really value you,” silence can be a very loud thing.
A small “thank you,” I have learned, can be just as loud. Sure you deserved the raise, but so did the board deserve to approve it. They might as well hear about how nice it was to get it. Terms are fairly legal mumbo jumbo things on paper, but behind all that formality are real people who want to do special things for people who use libraries. You want to do special things, and extra money is a great incentive for that goal. Boards want to do special things and they put funds into your bank account (meaning they take away from other things like collections, technology and other capital expenditures don’t forget) because they trust you to make those special things happen — over collections and technology. In my books that’s a pretty big statement — “we think our staff bring more value to customers than more technology.” “Thank you” is just about the least a staff person ought to do when the extra bucks or vacation time come down the line.