DM Diagnosis: Still Waiting …
On Day 60 I started to wonder if thank-you note etiquette had gone the way of eight-track cartridges, Astro Pops and leg warmers.
But the Emily Post Institute assures that, to the contrary, thank-you notes still are de rigueur. The only exception is when the gift is opened in the presence of the gift giver — otherwise, it is incumbent upon the recipient to send a thank-you note. And for the older generation in particular, a thank-you note not only is expected but also received as a gesture of respect and consideration.
Well, not one of the dozens of checks I gave to various organizations was presented in person. Instead, I relied on handy reply envelopes and the good ol’ USPS. Thus, none of them qualify for the “opened the gift in front of me” exemption.
But there I was on Day 60, still waiting for more than 20 percent of the recipients of my largess to acknowledge my gift.
As a fundraiser, I can make educated guesses as to why. But when I morph into Mrs. Gladys Gooddonor, I know nothing of our business. All Gladys knows is that a bank statement indicates the checks were cashed and not lost somehow, and she’s disappointed that her gifts must not have meant enough to those organizations to warrant a simple thank-you note.
Frankly, it irks Gladys and me both. Because I investigated when the checks cleared, I can verify that several organizations had no problem with a backlog in caging and cashiering, since some checks were posted as early as Day 5 during the heaviest mailing season of the year.
On the upside, however, nearly 80 percent of the organizations have thanked me. Some, wonderfully.
The thank you I received from the USO is among my favorites. It reads in part:
“Mrs. Seville, I’ve seen first-hand the magic your gifts can perform … the relieved look on the face of an exhausted GI as she finds a USO Center in a strange airport … the awkward grin of a young Marine when a famous rock star shakes his sandy hand and says, ‘Thanks! We’re here for you. You’re the real star!’ … the warm feeling that comes from a cold Coke on a hot day in the desert, served with a friendly smile and an encouraging word. And nothing compares to the sound of a child’s voice when Mommy or Daddy calls home from ‘the war.’”