This week my work adventures took me away from home for a couple of days. I packed my bags on Sunday night and set off on Monday to start my adventure.
All was great, I had a productive and enjoyable couple of days and by the end of Tuesday was looking forward to getting home. I was flying back and thought I would arrive at the airport earlier than I needed so I could do some work to wrap up my day. I checked in at the self -service booths and merrily moved to the check in desk to check in my bag and realised that I had forgotten my photo ID. I asked the lady behind the desk with much hope whether anything could be done and she said a strong ‘No, it was a hard and fast rule that they couldn’t break’. For a few moments the weight of the world was on my shoulders and then something clicked in my head and I thought to myself, “I have a little bit of time what can I do to resolve this?”
I had been working with a large company that day and reporting to reception that morning they had taken my photograph and given me a pass. At that moment, another member of the airport staff who had overheard my story came over to me and asked if she could help, I voiced my idea of going back to the company office and getting a reprint of my pass. She made a couple of calls and eventually got through to a supervisor who confirmed that they would ‘probably’ accept it. That was enough for me, I thanked her and started on my mission to get home.
I ran outside to the Taxi rank and on opening a taxi door was told I had to pre- book a taxi inside. Another moment where I could give up, but told myself no, I can make this happen. So I went inside and told my story and pleaded with them for an urgent taxi, he was brilliant and moved me to the top of list and I was able to get the next taxi available waiting in the rank.
I got in the taxi and explained my situation once again, asking him to take me to the office, wait whilst I sorted out the pass and then take me back to the airport. He agreed although he had some concerns about how long the wait might be. I was optimistic it wouldn’t be long how hard could it be! however we were travelling in rush hour and by the time I reached the office everyone on reception had gone home. An Oh no moment again, but I quickly recovered and decided to find security to see if they could help.
I once again shared my predicament and the first gentleman explained that he wasn’t able to help however he clearly wanted to and called his manager to see if there was anything that could be done. His manager greeted me warmly as I stepped into his office and as soon as he heard my story, committed that he would do whatever he could to get me home!!
Our first point of call was to search the bins to see if the pass had been thrown in there, we rolled up our sleeves and dug deep but no joy!! He then called all the receptionists at home but to no avail! He then suggested he take my photo with the company logo in the background and place on headed paper with a signature and we proceeded to do that. All this time the poor manager was being bombarded with loads of requests and he dealt with them all positively and efficiently without losing focus on helping me.
Time is really pressing on now, I had been there for at least 20 minutes and was worried the taxi driver might have left and that this photo on headed paper really isn’t going to work. I try not to show it but my heart is racing. The next minute the manager gets a call from his colleague to say one of the receptionists have rung back, he is delighted, so am I!!!
He rushes over to reception both thinking this should be easy now. No! The system fails to log him on, it won’t do as instructed and I am residing myself to the fact that I’m going to miss my flight. He however isn’t giving up and so just as I think that’s it! he pulls it out of the bag and bingo the pass reprints!! He smiles, we high five and I thank him before I run to the door hoping my taxi is still there.
Luckily he is, when I get in I thank him for waiting. He tells me his supervisors have been asking him to come back as it’s a fixed price fare and he has been waiting 30 minutes. He has ignored them because he has a daughter of his own and thought that if she was ever stranded he would want the taxi driver to wait for her. I am so grateful. Time is ticking on and I am mindful that I have only a very short window to make my flight, I’m not sure I will make it. He knows too and makes a number of diversions to avoid traffic and try to get me there on time.
We pull up, he helps me with my bags, shakes my hand and wishes me good luck. I rush to the terminal; I have 1 minute to go before check in closes! I start telling my story to no avail and then out of the blue the assistant who offered to help me, turns up calls the supervisor and explains my story and they let me through. I make it through security and onto the plane and get home that evening. What an adventure!
Tuesday night I was a little exhausted and just grateful to get home. Now on reflection it reminds me of two things. First that in times of stress our natural response is panic, anxiety and at this stage it seems so overwhelming that it is often easier to give into it. However, the key here is that there is always a choice. To stay in this state or be resourceful, the event is the same but the outcome of those choices are very different. I work with many individuals and companies and the ability to choose the resourceful response in times of stress is key determiner to personal success. Much of the work we do on a practical level we underpin with working on this as a life skill, it’s so valuable.
The second is when it matters there are wonderful people out there who will go that extra mile for you. If you are positive and grateful, then people will go to enormous lengths to help you out. I’m lucky enough to work somewhere where we value this in our people and I experience this week in and week out from my colleagues. It’s a great place to be.
So if you find yourself in a stressful situation today, consider the choice you make. Will you choose to ask yourself “What can I positively do right now to get a better outcome?” And, if someone asks you for help, what can you do to go the extra mile for them?