A post-it story of togetherness from Finland

Are you a talkative person yourself?

You know, being fond of talking. Or even sometimes inclined to talk too much, without significance? Garrulous, loquacious, chatty? This is actually what we have been doing now in the first couple of lines.

But not everyone is like that. Especially the Finns. They are known for their non-verbal communication, where sometimes (or to say, many times) silence can be an answer and a social norm.

Don’t misunderstand them, though. When it comes to written speech, they can sometimes become so sweet and generous.

This is the case with what happened in a Helsinki-based international startup, called smartly.io. They specialize in social media advertising automation. You know, how to make social ads better and faster.

But what happened at their Helsinki-office soon took off to become an amazing story of togetherness, gratitude and giving. It all started with a 5-euro bill on the floor.

Read on to find out how this story unfolded!

Chain reaction triggered

It all started when a cleaner at the smartly.io office found a 5-euro banknote on the floor. Take a look at the main image of this story, above. This is the note that triggered the whole story.

Following what is the norm in Finland, the cleaner took the note and put it on the table with a post-it note saying “Found under the table. Cleaner”. To whomever it belongs, in other words.

The next morning, a colleague wrote another post-it note “I guess this is your tip now. You deserve it!” only to be paired by another post-it note by another colleague “Fully agree”!

The chain reaction had just started!

A long post-it style thread

The cleaner responded that she cannot accept it but another post-it note asked her if she would at least accept a gift, if not the money.

She replied that she had already got her gift with all the appreciation people have shown to her in these yellow and blue square papers.

Then, there was the second trigger. The thread soon got posted on Facebook and someone offered to double the dot for the cleaner. Boom!

Charity time!

Another suggestion was thrown, sorry written on the table. “Why don’t we give the money to a charity?”. Sharing is caring and everybody agreed on that! Soon, more 5 and 10-euro banknotes were added to the thread.

The cleaner also put 5 more euros. And the folks chose to donate money to a charity for children with cancer. Case closed!

Oh, sorry again, not closed yet! More interaction on the post-it note thread came up. “You can donate to the charity via mobile. I did it already”. And soon thereafter, a money-collecting jar appeared on the table. “Put your money in here, it says.

Now, case closed! Officially! With a blue post-it note also put on the side of the thread.

Lessons learned

#1 Show gratitude and appreciation. Even a small gesture like the 5-euro note to be given as a tip to someone for her hard work can trigger such a big and positive reaction, huh?

#2 It’s OK to write. Not all people are talkative. And if you are not, it’s perfectly OK to write. down your thoughts or feelings and share them with someone. Expressing yourself on the paper (or a message on the phone) is also a means of communication and can also be therapeutical.

#3 Think big. No big change can happen if there are no small incremental changes. The kind of changes we sometimes say “Nah… it’s just me. I can’t change the world”. Well, you can. If everyone did the tiniest thing to make our world better, make no mistake, our world would be a different place.

And as a great lady urges, we leave you with this: “Be kind to one another!”. Why don’t you write it down on a post-it note like the wonderful Helsinki people and put it on the communal table as a reminder? Kindness is contagious!

PS: many thanks to smartly.io for the photos. Kiitos!