Quite a few years ago, I was watching a public affairs program on television.
No, not those public affairs, it was a show about current events. Sheesh, you people.
A panel was discussing someone (probably a politician) who was leaving a job under some extenuating circumstances.
One of the panelists was hoping this person would be leaving in a manner that showed class.
“A person is remembered by the way they leave,” said the panelist.
I was struck by that simple statement. It’s true.
Think of the times a person has left a job for any reason. It is that parting exit that is first recalled no matter how the person conducted themselves in the previous time.
We know first impressions are important, but so are last impressions.
I have thought about that more since then and I believe that final impressions apply to not only people, but to events such as shopping or eating.
I get tired of hearing a store trying to entice me by bragging about their shopping experience, because when I walk in the store I figure I’ll get what I want and leave.
Where is the experience in that?
However, when I walk in that store, I want them to have what I am there to buy, find it easily, be treated courteously by the help, and then move quickly through the checkout.
If it doesn’t go that way, then I have had a bad experience and I leave not sure if I want to return, especially if they have a competitor.
If I am thoroughly dissatisfied, I will consider not returning again.
So, I guess it is a shopping experience. It is more than “I’ll just get my stuff and go.”
Being remembered by how you leave even applies in families.
I stopped at my son’s home for about 30 minutes recently and my granddaughter, 3, and I have a mutual admiration that has been going on for almost three years.
It was time for me to go and she had gone to the bathroom. Rather than quickly exiting before she came back, because she might feel bad about me leaving, I waited for her to return and then explained I needed to go home and we would see each other again soon.
She understood and we said our good-byes.
The good-byes when our children and grandchildren leave our home after a visit have grown into a much waving tradition with my wife and myself standing in a prominent place in the window.
Our waves are returned with waves from everyone in the vehicle.
We wave as they leave going west on the driveway and then shift our view 90 degrees so we can keep waving when they turn north.
No grandparent can resist a wave from a smiling, waving grandchild.
And if you are over the age of 60, you are probably remembering the end of the television show “The Beverly Hillbillies” when, as the credits are rolling, Jed, Granny, Jethro and Ellie Mae are waving good bye to the television audience.
That is us. My wife is Grannie and that makes me Jed.
And you know what comes next – “Y’all come back now, ya hear?”
Leaving gracefully means the door is always open.
Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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