Thursday, April 22, 2010

Worth Your Time- part three

Calling someone's supervisor to praise a job well done.

This is one area I can do better in. I find myself feeling the urge to shoot off a strongly-worded-letter to a supervisor when someone 'does me wrong' (although I never do) but don't often think of giving a word of praise to the manager of an extra sweet cashier at Target or a very helpful bagger at Macey's.

There was this one time though.....

I was in my bedroom one afternoon. The window was open letting in fresh air and with it came the sounds of happy teenagers at lunch at the middle school next to my home. I paused for a minute to see if I could catch a glimpse of my daughter but instead saw something that surprised me.

There was a group of young men playing basketball in the school parking lot and standing among them, playing right along, was the assistant principle.

Not to sound too critical of the teachers or administrators at this school, but this was not the norm. It was for this man though. There were several occasions when at the school, I had walked down the halls and had seen him giving high-fives, chatting with or teasing the kids. I had never witnessed another administrator behaving this way in the 2 1/2 years that my child had attended the school. He was making a difference in these children's lives by being a kind authority figure who treated these kids with respect.

I decided it was time to let the principle know that someone had noticed this man and how he was always going above and beyond to befriend the kids at this school. I sent her an email telling her how impressed I was with him and what I had noticed.

Her response later that day was sobering. She replied that no one had ever taken the time to send her an email praising a teacher or administrator before. She often received complaints and threats from upset parents, but this was the first time someone had pointed out someone doing good. She said how grateful she was for my email and how she would pass it along to the assistant principle saying, "I know it will make his day as it has mine."

It was such a simple thing to do- but was obviously appreciated. So here's my challenge to all of us. Find one person who you can praise for a job well done this coming week- and then let their supervisor know. (You could even use those handy thank-you cards that are now in your purse, right?) I promise it's one little thing that you will find is truly worth your time.


  1. Wow. You are so right. We are so quick to address the negative, but never think about acknowledging the positive. What a great story!

  2. This gave me goose bumps when I read it. So cool!

  3. What a nice thing to do. I've sent off a couple thank you's to supervisors and the people were always so appreciative.

  4. I'm really enjoying your "worth your time" posts. They've made me happy. Thanks.