When I was managing restaurants in Michigan I carried around a Thank you note in my pocket. Just like the habit of grabbing my wallet before I left for the day, I always checked to make sure I had the Thank you note. One day it fell out of my pocket and a co-worker picked it up and read it before handing it to me. He was surprised to see that it was so old and tattered. The look on his face said "Look who thinks so highly of himself" but his words said "Why do you still have this Thank you note?"
It was a good question. Who keeps Thank you notes? Who keeps a Thank you note, much less carries it around with them? I kept it because I was proud of it. It reminded me of a time when I succeeded at my job. I'll admit that at first explanation someone carrying around a note that details how great they once were seems a little egomaniacal. But what if you looked at that note like an example of your potential?
It's no secret that you can be the best at your job and still have bad days. You can be the most dedicated and committed employee in the building, and have days when you can't seem to find the interest to care. For me, that's where the note came in. A Thank you note is a quick glimpse of your best day, the time when you went above and beyond. It's a reminder that even on those days you have too much going on, when you can't possibly take one more call, that you have before. So mind your Thank you's. Check back with them to remind yourself exactly what it is you're capable of. And if ever someone asks you why you keep Thank you notes, ask to see theirs.