DEAR ABBY: In the late '80s, I worked in the kitchen of a catering company. The hours were long, the work was hard and the pay was minimal.
One day, the boss posted a letter on the bulletin board in the kitchen from a customer who was delighted with the food, service and professionalism of our company. All of the employees were thrilled that someone took the time to write a letter to compliment us.
That letter set the tone for a very long time. Whenever we felt overworked and underpaid, all we would have to do was go over to the bulletin board and read the letter. Our spirits and morale were automatically boosted.
Since then, whenever I encounter a product or service that I really enjoy, I take the time to let them know it -- in writing.
If there is a company that is doing something right, a product that you really enjoy or a person who is an angel in disguise, take the time to express to them, preferably in writing, what you feel. Encourage them to keep up the good work, tell them what they do is important, and thank them. It will make their day -- or year.
To all the bosses out there: Don't keep the letters in a file; put them where everyone can see them! -- NEW ORLEANS READER
DEAR READER: I couldn't agree more. A thank-you note or written word of praise takes so little effort -- and yet it can make a tremendous difference. The written word is a powerful medium that can be enjoyed over and over again, and speaks as eloquently of the writer as it does the subject about which is being written.