Re: To thank or not to thank...

Subject: Re: To thank or not to thank...
From: Jean Richardson <jean -at- BJRCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 1 Jun 1999 09:21:00 -0700

Here, here, Lisa! Though I have never been criticized for sending thank you
notes, many people have been surprised and flattered to receive them. I
also would worry about the fit if the receiver of a thank you note found it
"condescending". I prefer a certain level of civility in my working
environment -- strongly prefer it.

Also, I don't find saying thank you -- in any context -- to be analogous to
saying "I am not worthy". Rather, it seems to me that you are acknowledging
the value and "worthiness" of the other person and/or the service she has
rendered you, which is not the same as denying your worthiness. (And, if
you have ever been involved in interviewing candidates for a slot of any
kind, you know what a huge and often thankless task it is!) If anything,
saying "thank you" means that you recognize value when you see it!

Perhaps I should note at this point that I am an independent contractor and
it sounds like most of the people in this thread are talking about staff
interviews. I think thank you notes are also very important for
contractors. And, there are a lot of ways you can send a thank you note.
Sometimes email is appropriate. Sometimes, if you're working in the area
anyway, dropping it by the front desk yourself later that day or the first
thing the next morning is appropriate.

If you find you have a concern about sending the thank you note because you
expect you will be either selected or deselected by the time the note is
received, you might ask yourself why you are sending the thank you note
anyway. Is it just to "gain points" and get the job? If so, don't bother.
That's not what thank you notes are about. They're about expressing
gratitude and nurturing relationship. If gratitude and relationship only
matter if you get the job, well, hmmm . . . it might be interesting to look
at how that fits in with your view of the world in general.

-- Jean

At 11:57 AM 6/1/99 -0400, you wrote:
>I am thoroughly enjoying this thread, and even though it may not "directly
>relate to Technical Writing", I think it does directly relate to job
>searches. Having been on both sides of the table more than once, I decided
>to comment.
><end reasoning, begin sinpping and clipping, and rebutting to comments>
>Patricia Allard <always wrote thank-you notes...until ... hired by a boss
>that said
>"Never write a thank-you note for an interview. You are thanking the
>interviewer for doing their job and it is condescending and ingratiating.">
>>>Of course they're doing their job, but thank-you letters/phone calls,
>emails, notes, etc., are a sign of courtesy, and respect for the
>interviewer's time spent. Not condescending. Pat, the opinion of the many
>outweigh the opinion of the few, and I would suggest that a courteous and
>brief thank-you would be appreciated by more people than those who consider
>it insulting. How many jobs have ou unknowingly given up by not sending a
>quick thanks?
>Tracey Moore <believes that courtesy goes both ways.>
>>> Absolutely, but in my experience, the interviewer is too "busy" deciding
>who to hire, and hasn't got the time. We can, however, cure this in a way I
>found helpful when I was hiring:
>>>Immediately following the interview with the candidate, I reviewed the
>notes I made on said person. Since I use a PC to keep track of info, I had
>already created a generic keyboard-merge thank you letter, to which I added
>info based on the interview. If I had the candidates email address, I could
>email it, if not, I'd print it out and sign it, and mail it using one of the
>nifty labels with the candidate's address on it.
>Sabahat Ashraf guesses <they did me a favour by not hiring me; I wouldn't
>have fit in and felt really bad about working with people so much older'n me
>>> I sense the sarcasm, and I understand it, but from my only true "job from
>Hell" experience, I wish to gosh they'd thought more about the corporate
>fit, as well as the age difference between other staff and myself...
>(Sabahat - it's a long story, and I'd be happy to discuss it off-list if
>you're interested) but if you expect a thank you, and don't get one, this
>might be a clue about "corporate fit" in itself.
>Sean Brierley sees <the thank you as a professional courtesy and a sign of
>interest in the job>
>>> You bet. And a thanks from the interviewer shows the same professional
>Jarnopol interviewed thankless people <through head hunters, others came
>through contract-to-hire agencies and some even came from the ranks of this
>>> From personal experience, (not to give the ingrates a way out,)
>headhunters and contract-to-hire agiencies rarely 'allow' the candidate to
>handle any correspondence with the interviewer. However, I will ask the
>headhiunter to please pass on my thank-you to the person who interviewed me
>if I'm not "allowed" to do it myself.
>John Posada says "...By the time the thankyou note would have arrived, it
>would be
>arriving at a destination where I either have it or don't have it. If the
>former, it's superflous. If the later...well, TNT."
>>> If they're deciding that fast, obviously, a "thank-you for interviewing
>me" letter may be inappropriate, but I have gotten jobs after the person
>hired didn't work out because I sent letters saying "Thanks for interviewing
>me, wish your company the best of luck, enjoyed leraning more about XYZ, and
>am still interested if any positions come free in future".
>>> I guess all this babbling means I have strong opinions about thanking
>people - my favorite author says <paraphrasing> a lack of courtesy is the
>sign of a sick society, soon to die.
>>>As writers we are courteous to our audience by finding out the best way to
>address them, so why, as interviewe(rs/ees) are we not as courteous?
>Lisa Comeau
>Accounts Representative, Client Services Group
>Y2K/Exchange Project, Ontario Ministry of Health
>Office: (416) 327 1112
>Pager: (416) 715 9198
>mailto: Lisa -dot- Comeau -at- moh -dot- gov -dot- on -dot- ca
>From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000==

BJR Communications, Inc.
Portland, Oregon, USA
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From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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