A Thank You Gift From Larry: A True Story of Honest Work, Grateful Emails, and Tea

In the festive month of December, when holiday cheer filled the air, the high school office workers chatted happily and spoke of their plans for the coming break: a flight to Chicago, another to California, still another to Oregon.

But one worker, the quiet one in the corner, what plans did she tell? Nary a one, for she was on the phone.

It was a parent, a father, seeking information on a program Quiet One knew little about.

Did that stop her from helping? Of course not. Transferring the call would return her to office chatter.

Quiet One listened. He was out of the country, he said. Frustrated, lost, bereft. No communication given. Could she help?

She made notes, spoke with student’s counselor.

What’s this? Father’s name is not in database? He is not an approved contact? Calls are made, mother is reached.

But he’s in London, mother said. Why list him?

If his name is not listed, they told her, we cannot talk to him. He remains frustrated, lost, bereft. No communication given.

His name is added.

Father is called. Quiet one explains, he is grateful. He tells her what he seeks, she sends it.

He has a hotmail account.

She tries not to judge.

Me, email 1He is appreciative.

first thank youA week goes by, it is the day before winter break. Cookies in the break room, someone says.

Homemade?

Store-bought.

Quiet One opens her email.

emailShe frowns. Help a person once, help them always. That’s how it goes.

Quiet One contemplates. Respond thoroughly, she decides. Consider every angle. Anticipate every problem.

FinalHe sends his gratitude.

heart attackQuiet one is pleased. She has done well. Her work is now complete.

Another email arrives.From him , email 4Not necessary, she tells him. Just doing her job.

He insists.From him, email 5He must be joking, she thinks. He’s in London. What can he do?

She plays along. Response, email 5Quiet One turns off computer. Coworkers leave. Good wishes for a nice winter break.

Merry Christmas to one and all.

Two weeks pass. The workers return. The mail is sorted. Quiet One received a card.

A card from Larry.

She opens the envelope. Tea bags fall to the desk.

TeaHer first cup of the day, Countess Grey from Fortnum & Mason.

A twist on the traditional bergamot-infused blend, Countess Grey is based on well-twisted orange pekoe teas, lifted by classic bergamot and a light orange flavour. Its light and delicate character makes it ideal for morning or afternoon drinking, when the spirits require a little reviving.

Quiet One is revived. She emails her thanks to Larry.

He responds.Final emailTo a man in London, she is his dearest.

A job well done.

Happy New Year. ☕️

Week 5 Reflection: Gratitude

RevofKindnessWhoa – is it week 5 of the Kindness Challenge already? My, my. How time flies.

Here’s the link to Niki’s site, that explains our goal for the week.

In general, I was to reflect on the things I’m grateful for in my life.

Have you heard about confirmation bias? (This might seem a little off-subject, bear with me.)

Basically, confirmation bias is our tendency to look for things – or only see things – that confirm what we’ve already decided to be true.

So let’s say you think the world is an awful place and people are idiots. You can find proof of that wherever you go — because you’re looking for it. (Honestly, you can be a real downer, you know that?)

Continue reading “Week 5 Reflection: Gratitude”

Happiness for All!

Okay, so here’s a weird thing. It seems like I’ve been inundated recently with articles, happybooks, emails, podcasts, quotes on my boxes of tea, etc., all on the subject of happiness.

As in, how we’re not as happy as we could be, and what things we should do so that we can be.

If I were into New-Agey stuff, I’d say, “Oh wow! The universe is sending me a message!”

But I’m not, so I just say, “Huh. That’s weird.”

Anyway, since I’m all about sharing (actually I’m not, but I’m told people who share are happy), here are some of the things I’ve learned: Continue reading “Happiness for All!”