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Author Topic: When is it too late for a thank-you note?  (Read 4096 times)

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When is it too late for a thank-you note?
« on: August 10, 2010, 08:39:07 PM »
I know the answer to the title question is "Never", but I'm feeling a little awkward, so I just want some advice. 

I just started a Library Science program in June.  I had an intensive weeklong introductory course in the middle of July that had a lot of assignments that had to be completed before the course began.  One of those assignments was to interview a library professional about their job and the profession in general.  I completed my interview July 7 and fully intended to immediately write and send a thank-you note to the woman that I interviewed.  Unfortunately, in the week and a half leading up to the intensive class, I was madly scrambling to complete the other assignments and to do the coursework for another class that I was taking concurrently.  While I was on campus for that week (I'm doing a distance program), most of my time was taken up by work for the intensive class.  Once I returned home, I had to complete the big final project for my other class and catch up on the coursework that I let slide while I was on campus.

All of that is over now, so I have some time to breathe and take care of this.  I still want to send a thank-you note, but would it seem weird or like an afterthought to receive it a month later?  Should I refer to the fact that I was crazy busy with schoolwork or will that just make me look worse?  Should I even acknowledge the lapse of time?  Any perspectives that you can give me will be appreciated.


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Re: When is it too late for a thank-you note?
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2010, 11:31:19 PM »
A month later isn't too bad, actually.

And I wouldn't go on and on about being crazy busy--excuses just make you look bad. And will remind her that she was pretty busy at the time that she helped you. Not a good vibe.

Simply say, "I'm sorry it has taken me so long."

And one advantage you *do* have is that some time has passed, and you can hopefully come up w/ more specific ways to tell her that her assistance was so helpful.
Tell her the conclusions your paper drew, or what you remember most from the time w/ her, or what grade or reaction you got to your work that was based on her input. Or even that you've had time to reflect and drawn some conclusions, learned some lessons, from her.

People are curious; they want to feel that they made an impact. Even if it's just to say, "I still tell people about that joke you made at lunch. I get a laugh every time."

Especially when it's late, I think people deserve a longer and more detailed thank-you letter. A letter, not a note. It really won't take all that much longer to write.


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Re: When is it too late for a thank-you note?
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2010, 07:57:51 PM »
Thank you, Toots.  Like I said, I just wanted a little reassurance that it wouldn't be too weird a month late.  I had pretty much decided against trying to explain why I've taken so long for the reasons that you mentioned. 

I'll get to writing it now!