Isn’t it true that compassion is best appreciated when you need it most?
Like when you screw up.
I’m a cross your t’s and dot your i’s kind of person, so discovering that my best laid travel plans were utterly flawed this week left me flummoxed.
I was already operating on a deficit of sleep. A late dinner with my dear friends Roseann and Mike to celebrate our last night in Montreal resulted in just four hours of sleep before I had to hop in a taxi for the airport.
Just one agent manned the desk at 5:30 AM, and I observed him patiently handling the travelers in line ahead of me.
When finally my turn, I observed his name tag and said, “Good morning, Joe! I hope you can help. I need my connecting flight to now be my final destination.”
In my mind, it was a simple matter. Already booked from Montreal to Charlotte; no new flight was required. I just needed my bag to deplane, too (and not travel to Sarasota.)
Joe looked at me and said, “You realize we need to completely re-ticket your flight?”
No, I didn’t realize.
And it would be costly.
I looked up at tall, handsome, kind, smiling Joe with my bleary red eyes from a scant four hours of sleep and said, “Oh my.”
And my intended destination wasn’t even Charlotte; it was Chicago.
You’re thinking exactly as I was; perhaps we could get me on a flight from Montreal to Chicago! Problem solved!
Absolutely…for $700+ dollars.
Thoughts of renting a car and driving the 13 hours to Chicago flashed through my mind. I imagined getting to Chicago on my originally booked flight – without my bag and the need to shop for the essentials to help me survive the next two days.
My crestfallen face and deer in the headlights paralysis tripped a compassion switch in Joe.
Click, click, click click click. More clicking. A brief consultation with his manager.
What was Joe up to?
A boarding pass, non-stop to Chicago from Montreal spit through the printer.
No, it wasn’t free, but it surely wasn’t $700 dollars. It was less than $200 – and that was a pill I could swallow without too much bitterness.
In an era when poor airline service goes viral and it seems that most carriers need a crash course in customer service, my encounter with Joe affirmed the goodness of people who stick their necks out to help a stranger in need. Joe would have been perfectly within the confines of the employee manual to require strict adherence to a complete re-booking.
Ah, but Instead, he followed his heart and had compassion on me.
Here’s to you, Joe! You not only gave me a great story about compassion, but your actions put a smile on my face as I wait these five hours for my new flight to Chicago.
Let’s move onward to new adventures and the new Word of the Week (but first some closing thoughts on Compassion)!:
It’s not over. Nope.
Yes, you may fall, but you can keep getting back up.
They call it failing forward; every bump in the road teaches you something to prepare you for the next step.
You are STRONG. You are RESILIENT.
Just look at how many times in your life you seemed down for the count, only to bounce back and rise higher as a result.
Be encouraged, my friends.
Let resilience win this week!