While recently going through some old boxes of work-related materials in an early attempt at spring cleaning, I came across an old file of mine containing thank you letters from colleagues and clients of mine back in years at IBM. Finding these letters made me abandon the cleaning process for a while – while I reminisced about the memories the letters brought to mind!
Having started my working life at IBM, I was shaped by the strong culture that was such a core part of the company. The IBM Basic Beliefs (Respect for the Individual, Customer Service, and Excellence) became part of my life in those early years. Especially that first one: Respect for the Individual.
One of the customs inside IBM that was a delight was the practice of just saying thank you. When you became an IBM manager, one of the accoutrements was a set of personal stationery that you used to just say thanks. Sending those letters was an important part of gratitude for me – and receiving them was just a delight.
I had such fun going back through this folder of personal thank you letters that I had received over the years. A practice and a tradition that’s certainly faded a bit in today’s email-based world – but one certainly worth remembering! Gosh, how I also wish I had kept copies of the thank you letters I sent as well!