Thank You Always Fits*

Several years ago, saying “thank you” got Chantel Jennings a job.

Jennings, a student at an American university, was studying in Spain when she received an award that included $500 to use any way she wanted. She used it to pay for a one-week trip to Ireland.

When she returned to Spain, she sat down and wrote a thank you note to Betsy Carter, the writer and journalist (reporter) who had created the award. At the end of her note she wrote, “If you have a chance to talk, I’d love to.”

She was surprised a short time later by an email from Carter that encouraged her to call when Jennings returned to the U.S. The two women met and talked, and when Carter discovered that Jennings was a sports writer, she said “You should really come to New York to meet my husband.” Jennings went to New York, met Carter’s husband, an executive at ESPN (a TV sports network), and was given a writing job at ESPN.

When Jennings asked Carter why she was being so nice to her, Carter told her that she had been giving the award for 20 years and that Jennings had been the first person to write a thank you card. She continued, “Journalism – especially sports journalism – needs more people who write thank you notes. I want you in this business.”

Not too long ago, after more than six years, Jennings lost that job and said “thank you” again.

ESPN recently laid off (let go from their jobs) about 100 people to lower their operating costs. Jennings was one of the people who lost their jobs.

Before she left, Jennings wrote: “I’m excited for this next chapter of my life. Don’t get me wrong. This hurts. A lot. But I am profoundly (very, extremely) thankful for the last six and a half years at ESPN and whatever comes next will be built on the foundation (a base, something to build on) I laid there.”

Reading Jennings’ story reminded me of a letter written by C.S. Lewis, who wrote The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and the other Chronicles (stories) of Narnia. In it he wrote (in my words): We should be thankful no matter what happens. If something good happens, we should be thankful because it is good. On the other hand, if something bad happens, we should be thankful because it teaches us to be patient (able to wait calmly for a long time or accept difficulties), to be humble (not thinking that we are more important than other people), and to recognize what’s really important in our lives and what isn’t.

I think Chantel Jennings would agree.

* fits means that it’s always appropriate.

~ Warren Ediger – ESL tutor/coach and creator of the Successful English website.

Story credit: A quick thanks as I go by Chantel Jennings
Photo used under Creative Commons license.

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13 Responses to Thank You Always Fits*

  1. Hai says:

    Thanks. I learn not only good English but also better behavior from this lesson.

  2. hitoshi onuki says:

    thanks Warren,good story, this time i can understand about half, but i can enjoy this article very much, and thank you once more.

  3. Ah says:

    Excellent and good article. I love it thanks alot.

  4. Akira says:

    Warren, Thank you for a nice story.
    I’m impressed.

  5. Peter says:

    Tell me about it Jennings.
    Hang in there Jennings.
    I feel u

    I have got laid off several times
    The sucky part is not the lay off itself but the entitled hardship till u land another job.

    It is specially worse when u have a lot of financial commitments as in mortgage payments ,car monthly premiums ,and lots of other bills all tying to your payroll.

    Well ,if u ask me ,it is the associated post -layoff trauma that chips away at me not the physical act of layoff.

    U know ,it is a known fact that job insecurity has become a new norm.

    So ,after a couple of job looses u kind of develop some sort of resistance and stamina for it.
    However , the financial ruin typically comes right after that is always a bitter pill to swallow.

    Nowadays ,every time I land a part time job -as snagging a full time job feels more and more like a pipe dream-I don’t get my hopes high.

    The fact that most jobs these day are not dependable always leaves me with a queasy feeling even long after I get the job. It simply keeps me on the toe since there is always a cloud of instability and insecurity hanging over my head.

    It sucks!!
    But ,it is the way things are right now. What one can do!

    You get a job. You demonstrate job integrity,solid commitment ,
    Excellent team work,high job morale with exemplary monthly performance assessments in tow.

    all done in the hope that u could hold on to the job long enough to build a career out of it.

    But , one day u show up for work -as always with 30 minute to spare. And -in ur dismay u see HR office has called you in
    Or even worse , they pop in at ur cubical asking u to pack ur stuff and leave by 8 Am.

    Do I ring any bell people?

    I hear you Jennings
    And I see that you were the better person.
    Admittedly , I never was.


  6. Peter says:

    The deluge is still plaguing parts of Canada specially in west coast.

    The downpour forced 1500 people out of their houses into a temporarily shelter.
    1200 arny troops has been deployed already to the grief stricken areas. The water is receding in some regions but people still grappling with the accumulated water and rivers spilling to their banks.
    It is by far the most sever flood in Canada’s living memory.

    Luckily ,every year , the government ,in its infinite wisdom , allocate some money to Natural disasters.
    If u ask me ,out good people in the ministers of finance should Increase the budget for natural disasters since -thabks to climate change -apparently our dear home planet is in for more shakedowns by natural disasters than it used to.



  7. Mary Carmen says:

    Hello there
    I am not much sure if thank you always fits. I am referring to those situations when somebody is trying to sell you an item or convice you to hire a service, then you refuse, and afterwards you hear “thank you” as a goodbye. Do you know what i mean? It sounds to me bad, as if other one told me in fact, something like “I am quite upset with you”.

    What do you think?

    Mari Carmen

  8. Peter says:

    U said it Mary

  9. emiliano says:

    Mari Carmen,
    Good, it is a very good subject what could means a thank you when somebody
    fails in selling you a product or a service.
    I think it depends of your previous attitude with the seller, if you let her/him telling
    you about the good or service may be this persons gives you a thank you for
    your time as usually people are rude with these kind of persons that try to sell you
    an item or service.
    Being kind with them despite we do not buy anything could be enough to receive
    a thank you.

    Talking about the other side of the question what C.S. Lewis said I am not so sure
    what to think about his reflection.
    Recently two or three bad events fall on my life and be sure I am not in good disposition to say thank you.
    No, of course not, I could accept them because I could do nothing and it is insane
    to be sad or hurting myself a day after another.
    My sister died, my best friend died, in less than two months and my wife is not with me now since eleven moths, so beside I have to say thank you.
    No my friend C.S. Lewis, I may accept and learn how life is, but to say thank you?
    Why for?
    Pain is inside my heart so I am not going to say thank you and to whom? the only lesson to have in mind it is just to live every second we have at the moment as we don´t know what is going to happens the following one.

    Just a pleasure to see you Mari Camen.


  10. Peter says:

    To loop you in
    173 countries across Canada is effected by the flood. The flood waters swamped upwards of 1600 houses so far
    And ,More is still underway.

    The rescue efforts will get even more complicated as more rain is expected this weekend.
    The relentless down pouring broke rather stopped in some areas. However , As it turns out The reprieve in the flood -ravaged communities was short lived. The local is preparing for another hit.

    The news have it that the storm cloud is forming which mean more rain and subsequent flooding.

    In some areas close to major river banks the worst is not over yet.

    There are a lot of good Samaritans are gone to the flood water effected areas to help the local water tight their houses with sand bags and other means. As there is still more to come this weekend.



  11. raul talledo says:

    EXCELENT ARTICLE,and…Thanks !

  12. Peter says:

    Hi there ,
    Mother’s Day was marked yesterday here up across Canada.
    Boy ,the price of roses are three times as much on Mother’s Day.
    I was all out -no money left in my pocket -after buying a baquet of roses for my mom.

    Anyway,happy mother ‘s day to all mothers out there.

    In my book , The moral lesson of Mother’s Day is : Mother’s Day could be a double whammy :))
    I m telling you folks.
    I mean
    I dare u to get ur mother in-law a gift of lesser value than what you get for ur own mother.
    U Will get the wrath of wifey and her mother : ergo double whammy :))
    Well ,the story hit close to home for me ,this mother day around.
    Well ,almost close to home.
    it was the case for my brother, yesterday !!
    Let’s just say ,he crashed on my coach last night 🙂

    Hopefuly ,he can talk it out with his wife today, or I better put out the hidabed I have in the storage room for him to crash for the next couple of days until things blow over.

    Well ,what can I do folks ,he is my brother and Hotel room rates are through the roof around here.


  13. Mary Carmen says:

    Hi again

    Another example could be when someone says to you “you’re welcome!”, and you realise than you didn’t say thank you first. Terrible, isn’t it?.
    Then, if you say than you, is like saying “I should have said thank you but now it is too late”.
    There, to say thank you doesn’t fits, or maybe yes.


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