Lesson One +

Every single day is an opportunity to learn. Every day. Whether you are attending a conference or an unconference. Whether you are flying across the country or driving across a state. Whether you are sitting in a comfy chair listening to the conversation taking place around you or rationally driving that conversation forward. The beauty is that if you can be open enough to view it all as a chance to learn, you will.

Last week my life changed. I boarded a plane that took me to a different part of the country in which I reside, and I flew to a different plane of understanding. The discussions in which I participated increased my knowledge. The people I met altered my network; I met some folks face-to-face that had previously only been a part of my online communities or with whom I had shared phone calls or tweets. And, it was good. And I have to say that profile pictures do not capture the true essence of their beholder. Kind of like your driver's license photo or your passport, how can one expect to share who they really are in a 2D likeness? Not gonna happen.

Over a week ago, I was standing in a remote parking lot at Long Beach Airport. My luggage was neatly stacked and I fiddled with my phone, checking emails and sending out tweets while waiting for the shuttle to pick me up and drop me at my terminal of departure. My curbside check-in was complete in about three minutes, my walk through security? less than two minutes - literally, I walked up, slipped off my shoes, deposited my netbook in a bin and strolled through to a waiting coffee kiosk that sealed my great morning until we, the passengers, were herded on board.

Lesson: Good service will always be good and it is sad that it is so unexpected these days that it shocks us when it happens. I stayed shocked until my flight landed at O'Hare and I was hit in the face by a cold, Midwestern breeze and the icy stares of anxious travelers; they obviously had not received as good of service as I. I saw several people crumble under the pressure of airport security or misinformation at the rental car counter. Others were well-practiced in complete avoidance and lack of eye contact with other human proto-types. Sad, really.

How I will use my gained wisdom: Be thankful for good service, not shocked by it. Allow it to enhance my day and how I treat others. Sometimes just acting like you know what you are doing is enough and can trick others. Distractions and discouragement, as well as apprehension can easily throw one off course. When in doubt, don't. And the best way to get a smile is to give one.
Say cheese.

© by rayannethorn

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Great post, Rayanne. One of the things I began doing awhile ago was to remember to reach out to those that are offering exceptional service and acknowledge it. Only too often do we only call that customer service line to complain about problems that we are having. Just think of how your day would change if just by doing a great job a client calls your manager just to thank them on such a great job you were doing. How would that one minute call change the way you interacted with the next client you encountered? Next time you have exceptional service take a minute and let someone at that company know. Compliments and enthusiasm are contagious, spread them around.

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