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#213: Magical Words

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Many years ago I was one of the country's first domestic airline stewards before the advent of the term Flight Attendant.

One day Leonard Nimoy, the half-Vulcan, half-human Spock on the original Star Trek series was a passenger, the most polite of any celebrity or non-celebrity passenger I served in my years in the airline industry.

Every one of Mr.Nimoy's requests was formed around, "If it's not too much trouble..." or "When it's convenient..." or "If you wouldn't mind..." and always ended with a thank you.

Having such a gentleman on board was a huge treat because of the politeness he showed the flight crew.

I got thinking of him today when I had a slight problem with a business and finally was able to contact a manager who said one of my most favorite phrases: "I'll take care of it."

To me, saying that shows responsibility, trust, faith and a "can do/will do" attitude that is greatly appreciated.

Of course, "May I help you with that?" is a close second. But so is "Please," "Thank you," "May I..."

It takes so little effort to be polite, to others as well as to ourselves. We needn't condemn ourselves when we blunder but should simply say, "OK, you screwed that up, now let's fix it and move on," rather than, "Boy, that was stupid. What an idiot you are."

Respect and good manners often appear to be invisible, but as Leonard Nimoy showed, such politeness is frequently recalled, even several decades later.

What phrases seem to melt your heart or turn away your ire? What phrases make you happy or buoy your spirits when you hear them?
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  • no profile photo CD5002230
    First of all, you are a very interesting man, Lou!

    I believe there is a scripture in the Bible that says something like "You don't know how to talk, yet."

    While it was probably speaking of faith filled words, I don't doubt that words of kindness and respect are valuable words that open doors of opportunity.

    Thanks.
    4047 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5002230
    First of all, you are a very interesting man, Lou!

    I believe there is a scripture in the Bible that says something like "You don't know how to talk, yet."

    While it was probably speaking of faith filled words, I don't doubt that words of kindness and respect are valuable words that open doors of opportunity.

    Thanks.
    4047 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6293043
    About a year and a half ago I took a 3 day course in Toronto and booked three round trip train tickets for myself using the internet booking option. My train left my home town at 6:15am and I was scheduled (or so I thought) for the 5:15 train home. I opted not to spend the extra money to get the tickets that could be exchanged for a different train on the same day (last time I will skip that option) The problem was for one of the days I made a mistake, I booked the return trip at 4:15 instead of 5:15, I didn't notice this until 4:30 on the afternoon I was coming home... I went to the ticket window and explained to the woman working what I had done. She explained matter-of-factly that she couldn't change the ticket for the 5:15 train because I hadn't purchased the ticket with that option and that if I wanted to return home that night I would have to pay full price for a ticket on the later train. I asked if there were tickets available for that train and she there were and I said I would take one an began to pull out my credit card to pay for the ticket... Her next words kind of surprised me. She said "aren't you going to yell at me?" I asked if her that would help, she said no so I decided not to bother... I explained to her that I understood that I had made the mistake and no one was to blame but me. She was shocked.

    Almost a year later I was again going to Toronto for a 3 day course and I purchased the tickets again but this time I paid a little extra and got the tickets that could be exchanged. On my last day the course got out early so I went to the ticket counter to exchange the ticket and the same woman was working. I didn't say anything to acknowledge that I recognized her after all it had been almost a year and surely she wouldn't remember me... When I handed her the ticket and asked her to please exchange it she said "you bought the convertible tickets this time"... I was surprised and when I told her I was surprised that she remembered me she said she did because I didn't yell at her... It saddens me that so few people are willing to take responsibility for their own actions that when someone does that becomes the oddity...

    Long way of saying that I really appreciate when someone says "my fault" or something along those lines where they accept responsibility for their own action... or inaction as the case may be.
    4048 days ago
  • BUSSMOM
    I love the words "thank you" especially when they come from the mouths of children.

    I don't like being called "honey" by total strangers....especially if they are younger than me. And let's face it, they are almost all younger than me these days.

    I like it when I walk by someone, smile at them and they smile back.

    I like it when the waitress at the restaurant notices I need a refill and then refills my glass. (always gets a little extra in her tip from me for that)

    -Maribeth
    4049 days ago
  • KLASSIE
    Just about any show of politeness or empathy is appreciated, but what really warms my heart, especially coming from one of my clients, is when I'm told that I've been a blessing to them or their families.
    4049 days ago
  • PEPPERLEAH
    I think the ones that mean the most to me are, "Would you please?" and "Thank You". "Thanks" just isn't the same.
    4049 days ago
  • KATIE4KIDS
    emoticon

    Thanks for always posting great blogs! I enjoy reading them at the end of the day.
    4049 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/28/2010 10:19:53 PM
  • WALNUT5612
    I like "Please accept my apology"

    Great blog!
    4049 days ago
  • YATMAMA
    When someone says, "I understand," and they REALLY get it, it makes my heart soar.
    4049 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4114015
    My dh uses one phrase so often and naturally, it's "I appreciate it" and I DO. That's my favorite but all of the ones mentioned are great too...as long as the person offering it, means it.
    Gaye
    4049 days ago
  • ANITARO1
    I agree with the I'm sorry-I also like to hear "you did a good job" or I'm proud of you!
    4049 days ago
  • TEDYBEAR2838
    I'm thinking it's "I'm Sorry" . that sure makes a lot of things a whole lot better when sincerely said.

    Good Post
    4049 days ago
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