Thank you for helping me.
by firstname.lastname@example.org on Nov 21, 2021
If you were to hang out with me, something no one really wants to do including me, you would find in service settings I continually use the phrase, "thank you for helping me".
I started to do this early in the pandemic last year and have continued to do so. I say it in grocery stores, retailers, coffee shops, restaurants, and airline staff, to name a few. Too often, many of us take all these workers and their services for granted. And the worst us, are rude and sometimes outright mean to service workers who are simply doing their jobs.
We have all observed examples of some individuals treating workers with extreme rudeness. Thankfully, though the worst of us is not a significant percentage of the total population, they do get around a lot so seems like more of them than there really are. I always assume the worst of us are wearing underwear that is two sizes too small. That type of pressure in sensitive parts of the body can make some people unbearable, no pun intended. [Ok, pun intended.] If you are one of these mean and nasty individuals you may wish to try therapy. But in any case, it's probably a good idea to buy larger underwear.
As we celebrate another Thanksgiving, it is important to be thankful for all the usual things, starting with family and friends. However, I am also thankful for the following groups.
Health care workers. Even with multiple warnings going back years, many of our Nationally elected leaders failed us by not planning and preparing for a pandemic. In this incredibly difficult time, health care workers stepped up at all levels of health care working long hours and back-to-back shifts to literally save our country. Tragically, the total US deaths due to Covid is approaching 800,000, but how much greater would it have been without all of our health care workers? I am thankful for you.
Scientists. I am thankful for our scientists in all parts of our society as the work they do is one of the reasons America is great. But I am especially thankful for scientists who worked countless hours to develop an effective vaccine for the Covid.
Truck drivers. If you have stuff [goods] at point A and want to get it to point B or B thru Z, you are most likely shipping it by truck. In fact, a recent study found 70% of American goods are shipped by truck. So thank you truckers. For years I have tried to be a courteous driver to truckers. For example, when a truck in front of me blinks to change lanes or another vehicle, I flash my headlights to let them know I see them and slow down until they have made the lane change. This will minimally if at all affect your drive time and is a way to not only make the roads safer but show appreciation for our truckers.
Grocery and discount retail workers. As the pandemic raged and many of us were able to stay at home, millions of Americans went to work every day at grocery and discount retail stores so we were able to buy the goods we needed. Even if we had curbside service and had them delivered, someone was still doing this, so thank you.
Vaccinated Individuals. There has been much talk about the number of people who refuse to get vaccinated for one reason or another. The vast majority of hospitalizations and deaths at this time are from unvaccinated individuals. A recent study by Peterson-KFFF found the number of hospitalizations among unvaccinated individuals exceeded 287,000 from June thru August leading to almost $6 Billion of otherwise avoidable health care costs. So thank you to the tens of millions who got vaccinated at their first chance. This not only increased their personal health safety, but all those around them. It also enabled the economy to begin to reopen. So thank you.
Democracy. Too often we take democracy for granted, but our democracy is and always has been fragile. So I am thankful for all those who stood up for democracy, in some cases putting their own political career at risk. These individuals throughout the country from all branches of government, state and federal confirm the current President won the last election. I am also thankful for all those who defended our country from the January 6th attack on our Capital and have continued to do so. I want my grandchildren to live in a democracy, so I am thankful for all those who worked to preserve ours.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving. Be thankful for all the normal stuff, including stuffing. But also take a moment to be thankful for all those that we too often take for granted. And make it a year-round practice.
One final thought, I have wondered what unvaccinated individuals and those who deny the results of the past election have in common. Perhaps many things, but maybe it starts with wearing underwear which is two sizes too small.