Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thank You!

Answer me this? When's the last time you said thank you to that toll gate girl? To the person weighing and sticking price tags to your vegetables in the hypermarket? To your children's caregiver while you're at work?
If you don't remember, then I suggest you start doing so. Saying thank you, I mean.

I find that our society don't express their gratitude much. I 'm not sure whether it's because we're molded that way, or we're shy, or we permanently feel that the other party don't deserve it. I clearly have no idea.

It seems so hard to say thank you to that person processing your business at the bank. Or to that person who cleans your office everyday.  Or your staff who helped you toil through the deadline. Or that telephone operator answering politely to all your ridiculous inquiries. Kenapa ye? Because we think that it's their responsibility? They're already paid to do whatever they're doing? If so, then  why can't we say still thank you anyway? They went out of their way to help didn't they. Paid or not. Tugas or not. Point is, they helped.

As runners in races, I don't think we show enough gratitude towards the volunteers. We pass race officials at junctions without even acknowledging they're there. We take those water bottles/cups ( sometimes grab) without even making eye contact with the person who's giving them out. We don't even bother to smile at the St John/ Red Crescent kids waiting patiently at the side of the road. People, they're there on the road for hours before we've even set foot at race site and hours after we've left. Solely  to cater to our needs and clean up after us. We whiz past like snobs, scattering cups, bottles, banana peels and what have yous with no thank yous, no smile, not even a nod. Is that fair?

My job requires me to meet people from different walks of life everyday. My job is mentally and physically demanding ( teeth don't get pulled out magically, crowns and dentures don't appear out of nowhere, surgery isn't done with a switch of a button) and by the end of the day, I get tired. But it's all worth it when they show me their gratitude.  It's all worth the back pain, the arm fatigue, the mental drain. It's not much, just a thank you and you'll make my day. Even though you were fussy though out the treatment, or with a low pain threshold, or demand an experimental treatment only heard of in Switzerland , you'll make it all better with your acknowledgement that you're thankful for everything. No kidding.

Point is, a thank you goes a long way. I know.

So make it a point next time to say your thanks. I propose all runners to show your gratitude in your next race. Malakoff ke, Pacesetters 30k ke, even at Jogathon Sekolah Rendah Parit Pak Mahat pun, it won't hurt. We're a friendly bunch aren't we? So extend the friendliness to the volunteers. They deserve it.

( for those yang memang dah amalkan your terima kasihs, then I salute you.)


  1. Err..saya buat doc. Tapi kadang2 tak buat. Tapi kepada volunteers tu memang buat. Especially yang tolong stop keta and bagi kita jalan. I loike.

    But honestly i feel very happy when hv this short conversation with this kind of strangers.

    When i went to see doctor ,suka tanye "How are u doc?"

    p/s:Pesanan khidmat masyarakat yang bermutu ni

  2. yup doc, sometimes we do forget our manners of being a person while running, just imaginesd putting ourselves in the volunteers shoes instead, getting cursed and being threated like god knows what craeture you are?

    u will recevied lot of thanks if u gave a lot of it back

  3. Hi doc,
    Yah yah, terima kasih is one thing that we hardly hear now. I once saw one runner almost scream her lung out to volunteer marah2 tanya "mana airrrr?" errk...not so nice. pity the volunteer

  4. gerbera: you know what, it's so seldom that a patient asks "how are you, doc?" that I can predict my reaction would be : a look of surprise, look to the left and right to make sure you're referring to the correct person, smile, answer and think, " Bagusnya patient nih".
    Shaq : yup, karma at its best.
    mclarenna : I've seen a runner say " Stupid" to a volunteer just because there are no XL Finisher's T- Shirt left ( hey, don't shoot the messenger). Terkulat2 volunteer tu.
    Next time we race, let's cheer on the volunteers instead, eh?

  5. Saying thanks/cheers is ingrained here. At the till, when you hold the door for someone, etc.

    I don't think people even hold doors for you back home, and yet we become grumpy when people voted us as one of the least courteous. And with the most notorious taxi service in the world (yes, it appears in a UK news site yesterday).

    BTW, it's me :)

  6. judin : Yes, it's you! sounding so UK! ( I haven't the slightest idea what a till was until your bro told me..heee)

  7. yeah.. hehe
    and I got used to these words too: aubergine, cashpoint, okra, courgette..

    My last comment was carefully worded, and I've been a bit more careful when I write something since there was this one time when I commented on a friend's blog comparing attitudes of people here and back home.

    And someone blasted me for being a 'selfish, non-respecting twat'.

    It's ironic, I know.

  8. I guess they should invent the "intonasi" or "intention" button, eh?
    or a button that makes people not look at comments negatively all the time kan?

  9. doc, a very good reminder. THANK YOU. :)