The way a person treats a stranger, particularly someone in the service industry, is highly indicative of the way they will treat you as a friend, loved one, employee, or business partner.
Recently I was on a business trip and my flight was canceled due to weather conditions in the city I was flying into. This travel mishap provided me with a unique opportunity to observe people in stressful situations. One gentleman and I use the term loosely, felt he had the right to be short and borderline belligerent with the gate attendant…as if she had been the one to cause the cancellation. He was accusatory and egotistical; he acted like his problems were the only ones that mattered.
Now, every single one of us had somewhere to go and things we needed to be doing, but he was the only one raising his voice and acting like a child. He got on that new flight, same as the rest of us, but we did so without treating someone like they were less than we were.
When we arrived at the next airport, there he was demanding this new gate attendant do things for him. He even went so far as to include himself in a conversation I was having with the lovely attendant. She quickly got his ticket printed and sent him on his way to another gate to wait for his flight.
After he left, she mentioned that initially she thought he was with me, but after just a few minutes of our conversation, she knew for sure he wasn’t. I imagine this stems from the difference in the way we treated people. I did not see him again and as my flight was one of the only ones to land that day, I don’t really know when or how he arrived. Nor do I care. I could not wait to be rid of his selfish attitude.
That day the vast majority of my fellow travelers kept their cool, treated one another and the airline employees with respect and courtesy.
That same day, I had the chance to watch the way some of my coworkers treated the employee while under stress and deadlines. I learned a lot about them too. They were good humored and treated everyone we met with the same amount of respect with which they would treat our CEO. We laughed and joked our way through an incredibly long day and I ended the night knowing I had chosen well in my new position.
These folks were good people who would treat me with respect and courtesy. Those are traits I always want to surround myself with.See y'all later!