My intentions for a perfect morning of air travel came to a sudden halt when the check in machine spit out a receipt saying, “We cannot complete your check-in, proceed to the TICKET counter,” NOT the “Proceed to GATE” message I was looking for.
I missed my flight.
That’s never a good feeling. It gives you a sinking, churning-in-your-gut sensation… similar to bungee jumping – but not nearly as much fun.
I took my disappointment to the counter, acknowledging that I started the chain of events by poorly timing my morning, and mentioning the conference calls I scheduled through the day, timed ever-so-carefully around arrivals and layovers. I was expecting an eye-roll or an, “I am sorry. I can’t help you…” But I got something different. Karen, the Air Canada ticket agent, said, “I am up for the challenge!”
This was 7:30 in the morning. What was she on?
Then I saw it. She was in her groove. She got an undeniable charge out of problem solving. After a flurry of keyboard activity, shuffling of papers, and a final clunk of the stapler, she had me sorted out! I was going to make my connection, and each of my conference calls after all.
She had a look of satisfaction and accomplishment. Right person, right job! She came from a place of service. She diffused my anxiety with her commitment to the process, and her reassurance.
As I walked toward the gate, I turned and said to Karen, “Thank you for making this so easy for me. You are really great at your job.” She probably knows she’s good at her job, but she deserved to hear it from someone who earnestly appreciated her. Karen was the hero of my morning! She nodded to me and approached the next customer with an even bigger smile. I hope she reaped the rewards of that exchange, as much as I did.
When do you find yourself truly engaged on the job?
How can you get more of that feeling every day?
How can you spark others to great work?