Workshop, it was fabulous. But I'm tired and I just want to go home. And so, apparently, there's some kind of storm activity or some mechanical problems. So that evening, I go to catch my flight, they say it's canceled and that I have to fly the next day. And so, I'm really bummed out because home is where I want to be. And so, I'm a little bit frustrated, but I can handle that. So they give me a voucher to go to a hotel. I go to a hotel just to have a night's sleep and prepare for the next morning. My flight's supposed to leave at 7:10. And so, I get up the next morning about 5:30 because I have to return the rental car. So I didn't get a whole lot of sleep, and sleeping in smoky hotels isn't necessarily the best way to start your day.
But at any rate... So I go to the hotel. I took the rental car back. I'm going back to the airport, and my 7:00 flight is canceled. Now, it was canceled the night before, and now it's canceled again at 7:00 am. And so, the next flight out that I can take to Milwaukee is at ten o'clock. So having no other choice, I go there. Now, I really want to get home, and I'm starting to get a little hot into the collar. But then I remember the thing that I always talk about. Right?
So I'm practicing what I preach at this point, because this is where the rubber meets the road, that people are doing the best they can with what they have to do their job and that there's dignity and honor in being human. I always say that. That's like my mantra. Right? I mean, you've heard me say that here, as well as other places. Right?
So I say that all the time, "There is dignity and honor in being human." But here is an opportunity for me to... I'm being challenged on this. Right? So how do I deal with this craziness of being stuck? So my flight leaves at 10:00. I get on the flight and I'm going to Milwaukee, and I'm saying this whole mantra of, "There is dignity and honor of being human."
So we land in Milwaukee, and the Milwaukee flight to Minneapolis is also canceled. So now, I'm in Milwaukee, I finally made it out of Indianapolis. I'm in Milwaukee, it is currently now 11:00. The next flight doesn't leave until 4:00. Now, I don't know about you, but these long layovers drive me crazy. So now I have to wait until 4:00.
Well, as it gets closer, they actually delayed the flight because there is another flight from California that needs to catch this flight. So now we are not leaving until 6:00 pm. Now, at this point, everything that I have in me is being tested. Right? I'm really frustrated. I don't have any food coupons, all of the stuff. So I just wait around. 6:00 comes, board the plane, get to Minneapolis and they're holding. I mean, they really put you...
You can feel the G forces. Your face is like Botox central or something. So we're blazing on the trail to Minneapolis. We get to Minneapolis and we are ahead of schedule. The only problem is, there is somebody at our gate. We got there too early. So we have to spend about an hour on the tarmac before we could get off the plane to Minneapolis.
Now, by this time, everything... I've been tested and tried and I've really been trying to keep a good attitude. But I get a little bit snippy and I request two bags of pretzels and a full can of soda. I'm getting back at them. Right? So I have that stuff and I finally get off the plane, and my first inclination was to give everybody at AirTran a piece of my mind.
And that would have been my reward. Had I given everybody a piece of my mind, they would have known how dissatisfied I was, how much they inconvenienced me and all that kind of stuff. But then, that still small voice at the back of my head said that they were doing the best they could with what they had to get you to your destination.
And so, I listened to that voice and I didn't say anything. I didn't say anything. I just kind of... I said, "That was a learning experience. Something great may happen out of this, or maybe I was supposed to learn patience." Because that is how you learn it, by practicing. Right? And so, I just kind of left that alone and didn't talk about it to a whole bunch of folks.
And then I got a letter from the mail from AirTran. Now, these were the folks who kept me waiting and all of this kind of stuff. So I got this letter from AirTran and the letter said, "We apologize for the inconvenience that we have caused you." Now, I didn't say anything. Right? So they sent me this letter, "We apologize for the inconvenience. We understand the importance of you getting home, blah, blah, blah..."
These were all things I'm thinking and they are saying them to me. Right? "And because we want to keep you as a valuable customer, we want to send you on a round trip flight with a ticket to any place that AirTran travels, any place. Within the next year, you can go anywhere." Now, my first inclination would have been to tell these people off and give them a piece of my mind. And that, probably, would just get extra peanuts.
And it is really interesting that I would have got the satisfaction of giving them a piece of my mind. That would have been my reward. But I held my peace and I understood that they were doing the best that they could. And I got a totally different and more beautiful and more special reward.
Pause today, pause today. And when you have that first inclination to make that move, pause and just sit back, take a deep breath and think about what lessons could be learned and what's your reward. I'm Andre Koen, until next time.
Andre's purpose is to reconnect people to their Dignity and Honor in Being Human.