More on Customer Service this week, so if you have no problems with giving it or getting it, you can skip this one! :)
Dave and I spent an absolutely great weekend with his side of the family in Bozeman, Montana. Siblings and spouses under one roof who span age ranges over 18 years could be a recipe for disaster, right? All was great, complete with food, fun, laughs, and sentimental talks. Yesterday, several of us traveled through Yellowstone, which, even though I am not a park ranger nor am I doing an ad for Yellowstone, you simply must go if you haven’t been. The scenery, the flora and fauna, and the animals are simply gorgeous! Ummmm….just a note, if there are several cars pulled over, prepare to pull over. They are all looking at SOMEthing and it is usually something you want to see, too. We watched a herd of elk crossing over a river. Another note----there is a reason they call them “wild” animals. They are not zoo animals and taking selfies with wild animals is, in my opinion, like turning your back for too long on a group of bored high school students. It is just dangerous! :)
At the end of the day, we stopped at a café where the waitress warned us they were busy and the food might take a bit to come out. “No worries”, we all assured her with smiles on her face. “We’ll just enjoy our time together until you can get us served.” She had a look of gratitude that melted our hearts. Why the good experience? No one was looking for a reason to be in a foul mood. She nor our group was loaded for a fight. We joked with her, they brought the food in a much more timely fashion than she had warned (at which point I called her a liar for making us think it was going to take longer, and she laughed and said, “I love you guys.” ) We loved her, too.
This morning before even the sun had come up, Dave and I made our way to the airport. He was headed home to hang out with the dogs before going back to work tomorrow and I was headed to Detroit, where I will be teaching nearby for the next two days with administrators. As I said, we started out early, but I just got to my hotel at 10:00 tonight. From Bozeman, MT to Detroit, Michigan, it shouldn’t take that long but so many things happened along the way, including canceling the first flight to Denver because the battery was broken. “We’re not positive we have the right kind here” we were told bright and early. We all agreed the proper battery should be put in to replace the bad one, and we soon found out they didn’t have the right one so the flight was canceled. About 75 people stood in line to try to get re-booked. When Dave and I got to the head of the line, Jake (one of the poor souls trying to solve everyone’s “I gotta get there now” issues) looked up and we both smiled at him. “You’re doing a great job”, we told Jake and I won’t lie---he looked as though he could cry right there. That was the first time, he said, he had been told anything but disappointment. Sure, we were disappointed, too, and I was worried I wouldn’t make it to Michigan in time to teach today, but it certainly is not Jake’s fault and I feel pretty strongly that nobody wants to fly on a plane that doesn’t have the “correct” battery attached.
In the education world, parents get angry with teachers and principals, teachers get frustrated with students, principals get annoyed with teachers, teachers blame the district, and so on, and so on, and so on. I’m just thinking that sometimes, if we can take a minute and give people a break, everyone ends up in a better mood and a better outlook.
Perhaps we need to examine how we handle disappointing situations when they don’t automatically suit our needs. I have fallen victim to racing heart, anxiety, frustrating emotions and words that come out before I can take them back. But I am finding more and more that if we can let go of the things we can’t control and focus on the things we can, we are so much better off. We can be better equipped to “fly safely and comfortably”, in whatever task we are currently undertaking! Have a great week, all of you!!