Lesson Five+

La Porte, IN is about 68 miles Southeast of Chicago. I was booked on a 5:40pm JetBlue flight home last Friday evening. A drive that should have taken me just under two hours ended up taking me four plus. You probably can suspect how this turns out. At about thirty minutes before my flight was scheduled to take off and I was sitting in traffic, dead stopped on the Ryan Expressway, rain pouring down outside, the stress slowly left my body because I let go of the notion that I would be late for my flight. I realized I would never make my flight and I needed to do something, call the airlines, get a hotel, something.

I was able to speak to a live operator within seconds of calling in. I explained my dilemma and a new flight was quickly arranged - not for 24 hours, mind you, as JetBlue has limited flights into Long Beach, CA. The associate on the other end of the line also helped me arrange for a hotel and shuttle. I ended staying only a few miles from the airport in an incredible business suite where I could get some work done, enjoy some incredible sushi and crash in a very comfortable bed. While I am a traveler that rarely complains, there really was nothing to complain about, other than the rain. Even int he rain, my walk to sushi and back was a delightful exercise in my power to get myself anywhere despite the odds and weather being against me. Funny, since my (in)ability to get myself somewhere is how I missed my flight.  :-/

I made it to the airport in plenty of time the next day and while I waited in O'Hare airport, an announcement came over the loud speaker stating that the arriving flight was delayed due to severe weather patterns. This was not a reassuring announcement, for the plane we were waiting on was coming from our destination, using the same, but opposite flight pattern. My mind wandered back to seventeen years ago when I sat in O'Hare Airport with my family and watched workers spray a pink de-icing substance on the wings of the plane we would soon be boarding. I didn't have a strong sense of comfort as my four and six-year old looked at me and asked, "Why are they doing that, Mommy?"

Comfort is hard to come by these days. A comfortable bed, comfort in job security, comfort in relationships - business or otherwise. Should we really be comfortable? Perhaps being uncomfortable provides the impetus for continual improvement or to consistently assure those we serve or work with of our ability and interest. To become complacent or self-assured leads to lazy behavior or taking certain abilities or connections for granted. This happened to many in the recruiting industry, whether they are in-house or contract recruiters or even vendors to those HR and recruiting professionals.

Smugness and self-satisfaction cannot reside in individuals who continuously strive to be at the top of their game, who want to improve, thus improving the experience of those around them. There is not time nor rest for those at the head of their class, there is always someone nipping at their heels. Competition becomes steeper near the top, making it easier to slip or mess up. That's why working with the best is just that, the best. When you miss your plane, will the cattle boat get you another ride?  Something to think about...

© by rayannethorn

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