I haven’t posted in a while as I’ve been super busy traveling for work. Last week I was in Twin Falls, Idaho, and didn’t have a very ‘fun’ week. Actually it was the week from hell, but I guess it’s bound to happen every now and then. I had a super lazy and argumentative customer contact that became very hostile when you asked him to do his job -while he was the customer, there were definite customer responsibilities that he did not do after umpteen requests. I’ll skip the details, but I ended up having to change my travel to come home on Saturday instead of Friday; not too happy about that as it was a full day traveling Saturday, arriving home around 5pm.
Outside of that, the week was basically a blur, with a 3am wakeup call for Wednesday work, Thursday amounting to a 16 hour day (8-midnight), worked on Friday instead of flying home, and a travel day Saturday from my 5am hotel departure until my 5pm arrival home via USAirways flights from BOI to PHX and MCO. I was exhausted when I got home, and slept late on Sunday. I visited my neighbors Kenny and Mary Sunday afternoon, and had a quiet night at home Sunday night, in between unpacking, washing clothes, and repacking for Alabama on Monday!
Three things kept my sanity, and they are good advice for anyone having a bad experience, especially travel ones:
- One of my favorite quotes “This too shall pass”. This is true for any bad or good experience; so if it’s bad, it won’t last forever, but also if it’s good, it won’t last forever.
- Never judge a city, country, and to a lesser extent pretty much any service by one single person. While I realize this and don’t thing all Idahoian’s are jerks, many people might think otherwise in situations dealing with difficult people. Almost all of the people I met in Idaho were exceptionally friendly, and I don’t let one ‘bad apple’ spoil the rest of the bunch. I’m especially cognizant on the other hand, when I travel, especially internationally to not overreact, i.e. be the ‘bad American’ that many people have visions of, due to one or more ‘bad apples’ they have met, or the stereotype. For example, being loud in public, demanding things be done quicker or ‘this way’, etc, complaining about petty things etc. Like it or not, when you travel abroad you are an ‘Ambassador’ of your country. One of the nicest compliments I ever got was years ago when I was traveling solo thru Australia, and a lady who was at my dining table told me at the end of the cruise ‘Steve, you are truly a credit to your country’. I was just being myself, and didn’t totally appreciate it at the time, but looking back that was a very heart-warming comment. I guess being humble, polite, soft-spoken (or at least not loud and boisterous), smiling, and a sense of humor when things go wrong goes along way!
- And finally, Steve DOS told me this years ago when we first met regarding travel, but it could equally apply to any bad situation: ‘When you have a horrible flight – it can actually be good!’ I told him that was nuts, but he went on to explain that (as I said above) it won’t last forever, but it will make a GREAT story later when you tell it! So when you’re trying to get home, your flight is canceled, you end up having to spend the night somewhere, and then are lucky to get a middle seat between the two largest people on the plane, one of which has a screaming laptop baby, and the people in front of you are in full recline . . . . you get the picture – Remember the details! It will make a great story later!
My flights home were uneventful, other than the flight from BOI to PHX was an old plane. I posted a pic on Facebook; ‘You know you have an old plane when they still have No Smoking signs and sealed up ashtrays!’ No complaints, just brought a smile to my face. Smoking was banned on planes in 1990!
This trip too did pass!