What I Learned From My Airline Personnel “Experiment”

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

If you’ve ever travelled via an airplane, then you know what it is like to be at the airport and experience firsthand what happens when other passengers get frustrated. Maybe you’ve even been one of them before?

While it is understandable that you could feel irritated or upset when you’re ready to get home to your family after an extended time away only to learn that your flight has been delayed or cancelled, it seems like airline personnel are on the receiving end of some pretty negative emotions on a day-to-day basis. Which is when I decided to engage in a little “experiment.”

After I saw a frustrated passenger “vent” on one of the airline personnel, for what reason I’m not sure, I decided to see if I had what it took to help turn their day around. After all, I AM a motivational speaker and who better to test my efficiency on than someone who just got called names I’d never heard of by a person who looked like their head was going to explode? I was up for the challenge.

Besides, I have always felt that a little niceness goes a long way which is why I strive my hardest to make people smile even when they have every reason not to. There isn’t always enough kindness in this world and I want to help change that, which was my goal on this particular day.

So, with confidence the size of Texas, I went up to the counter, quickly read the airline attendant’s name tag, smiled and gave her my most genuine look as I said, “How are you today, (enter her name here)?” It was a rather simple phrase that is extremely common, but you would have thought that I told her I had the winning number to tonight’s lottery and was willing to share them with her.

Her eyebrows lifted, her eyes twinkled, and the sides of her mouth slowly started to curve upward. It was almost as if the man that had stood before her just minutes before was a figment of her imagination and everything was okay now. My experiment worked as I had hoped. Her day seemed to be turning around, just because someone took the time to say something pleasant to her.

A little bit of kindness goes a very long way. In fact, I would almost bet to say that I probably could have gotten almost anything I had asked for at that particular moment, simply because I had extended some kindheartedness in what was previously a very tense situation.

Perhaps my acting coach put it best with a phrase that I’m sure you’ve heard before, “It’s easier to get bees with honey than vinegar.” Although it is a rather old adage that has been around for ages, its lesson certainly still applies today.

When you’re dealing with someone and start to feel frustrated and as if you’re about to lose your cool, remember that you’re likely to get nowhere by throwing a tantrum or belittling the person in front of you. All that is going to do is make the situation worse than it is, and potentially make you look like a fool.

Instead, keep your calm and turn on your charm and you’re more inclined to get what you ask for. And then some. Like maybe an extra bag of peanuts and a blanket. Wouldn’t that be nice?


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