Take time for thanks
Several years ago, I embarked on a bicycle ride across the country and posted a daily blog. One of those blogs was a reflection on the invisible people in our lives. The people we come across in our day-to-day experiences that go unnoticed unless we are unsatisfied with our interaction with them. I think of this blog a lot when I am in Big Sky.
When on the ride, the invisible people for me were convenience store staff, hotel cleaning staff, and restaurant staff. If they did their job, I didn’t notice them, didn’t give them a second thought.
Each day of cycling we averaged 86 miles; by the conclusion of each day’s ride I was tired and had the following expectations.
- Quick service at a convenience store so I could get my end of ride "fix" of chocolate milk and a dark chocolate Milky Way Bar.
- A hotel room ready for me when I arrived.
- Prompt service being seated, putting in the order and receiving the food at the restaurant.
The reality is, the service myself and other cyclists received was almost always great, but we didn’t give that a second thought. The only time we noticed them was when there was a problem, which was very rare.
It seems to me every day we encounter hundreds if not thousands of workers in Big Sky who are invisible. They include but are not limited to: servers at restaurants, snow removal workers, service staff at resorts, construction workers, groomers for downhill and cross-country skiing.
Too often they are noticed only when their job is not done well, which in my experience, is very rare.
Throughout the U.S., every day, there are millions of employees, often working for low pay and no benefits, providing services which are not appreciated or even noticed. Many of these individuals are working two and even three jobs just to make ends meet. Regardless, they have the same pride in a job well done as those in higher paying and more distinguished positions.
Working multiple jobs to make ends meet is very common in Big Sky. I know of individuals who have worked five different jobs during the course of a year. Locally and nationally, these workers are essential part of the economy.
We often put a higher amount of respect on the people who are our doctors, attorney, business owners or upper management in corporate America. But the hardest working person I ever knew was my mechanic. He took care of my car for years at the dealership where he worked full time, while picking up side jobs to work on at home to supplement his income and support his family.
When I owned my wealth management firm, I worked many hours, often 50-70 per week. There was pressure and stress, but I always knew my job was a lot easier than his.
It takes a combination of education and experience to be a successful CEO or general manager of a business – and clearly there is pressure and financial responsibility – however, as work goes, it is without a doubt easier then scraping snow off a roof in the winter or working on a groundskeeping crew in the summer.
So, here's my suggestion: Now until the end of the ski season in Big Sky, when someone helps you or provides you with service, notice them, and say thank you.
If you were around me, which by all accounts is very boring, you would notice I try to say "Thank you for helping me," to most everyone who provides me with help or service. Because I need a lot of help according to family and friends, I say this a lot. If you consistently do this, I suspect you will make their lives better, your life better, and it may even change your overall outlook.
Doyle A Ranstrom CFP®