The importance of being earnest

Saying “thank you” isn’t hard for me. It comes as naturally as “I’m sorry” and “I’ll have whatever’s cheapest.” Yet every December I am struck dumb by the task of acknowledging my clients. Some people are blessed with an instinct for smart and sincere giving; this is not one of my gifts. My five years of mediocre professional thank-yous have featured wines, chocolate, cookies, and, one shameful year, absolutely nothing for anyone.

I’m taking a different tack in ’09. Working on the premise that those fortunate enough to work in the commercial persuasion business have our personal needs pretty well covered—and that office people need more snacks like they need extra reams of 8.5 x 11—this year I’m eschewing the goodies in favor of a donation and a card.

The donation is to a fine literacy organization I’ve worked with in town. The card features a collage I made from vintage slides, an attempt to convey my game-for-anything attitude about the coming year.

I’m not sure people are going to get it, or care much even if they do. But at least if things go south for me in 2010 and I’m left unloved and unbillable, it won’t be because I didn’t say thanks.


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