My flight out of Philadelphia was delayed (scheduled departure time was 8:30 pm).
About 8:40, we started to hear the “We do apologize for the delay” corporate speak from the person handling the gate. (How’d that word ‘do’ evolve to be included in an apology?)
Then came a few promises that things would get rolling once the crew arrived. “It should be soon.”
Around 10 pm, the pilot and co-pilot arrived … sloppily dressed … slowly walking into and through the gate area full of waiting passengers. Zero sense of urgency and completely comfortable showing it. Really embarrassing for their boss … if they have a good one … one that cares … one that understands it’s always the leader.
We took off about 10:40 pm and arrived about an hour later in Richmond (home). Most of us with bags needed to wait for them outside next to the plane. It was about 11:45. Dark. Not too cold.
The baggage handlers kept the pace … slow … indifferent. Again, embarrassing for their boss (maybe).
My guess is there are all sorts of rules and regulations standing in the way of encouraging these people (gate people, pilots, baggage people) to improve the experience for their passengers on their own (keeping them from 212ing things).
My guess is if I’d asked those pilots to walk a little faster so we could get home a little sooner, they’d have ignored me or let me know they didn’t have to walk faster because of some rule or regulation. They might even have gotten snarky with me and asked me for my preference between getting home faster and getting home safer.
My guess is if I’d asked the baggage people to hustle a little because their passengers wanted to get on the road a little sooner, they’d also have some sort of rule or regulation standing in the way of care. They may even have slowed down a bit just to make sure I understood they didn’t have to move quickly.
But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe they would have responded with an authentic, “You’re right. I’m sorry. I’ll pick up the pace and get you home sooner.” More below.
It had me thinking about the importance of having a sense of urgency (the 8th point to Smiling & Moving)…
We all have things to do, places to go, people to meet. We are all busy.
Every moment counts when we’re waiting. The same is true when we’re serving.
When we’re in service-mode, to move (in the Smovish sense of the word) is to minimize others’ waiting time. It’s to predict and pre-sweat the details for those we serve … every time.
It’s about making every moment … count.