I was flying back to Austin from Oklahoma City on Tuesday. When I arrived at the gate, I found out my flight was canceled. Actually, most flights were cancelled due to weather.
I got in the reschedule line. I wasn’t mad, there was not any reason to be mad, the airline can not change the weather. The airline just wants to keep its passengers safe. So I patiently waited in the long, long line.
The guy in front of me tried to use psychological abuse to get a magic ticket out of Oklahoma City. He was just staring in silence – glaring and snarling at the ticket agent. He vowed to remain silent until the ticket agent gave him a better ticket. There was a long line, so this was beginning to annoy me. For the greater good, hurry up and let the rest of us get out of here! I thought. But he continued: (stare) “Sir, I am sorry, I can’t get you to Oregon until noon tomorrow.” (stare) “OK, OK, there is a Northwest flight to Oregon that leaves at 5:00 a.m. tomorrow.”
I couldn’t believe it! “Stare-y Joe” got what he wanted. I vowed to use complete dick-ness to get what I wanted. It was my turn. I stepped up to the counter, took a deep breath … and was totally myself. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t be a jerk. “Hi, I know it’s not your fault, you all are just trying to keep us safe, so thank you. And I mean, you didn’t make the decision yourself, you are just helping us get our new tickets. You are just helping us out, so thank you.” From stare-down to diarrhea of the mouth, the ticket person had a completely different experience with me. He thanked me for my positivism, handed me my ticket for the following morning and said, “I’ve got you out of here on First Class.”
Oh, and on the way out, I noticed Northwest was overbooked and “Stare-y Joe” was back in the original line. 🙂
So, the moral of this post is: take a deep breath, think of the big picture, treat your neighbor with respect, and be thankful for the blessings you do have. 🙂