We've Got a Volcano to Beat
"Your boarding pass will be at the gate," Jason said, so I finished my cappuccino and bolted. Nothing like 30 minutes on the phone with someone who understands the problem and knows how to solve it. I was never put on hold while he talked to a supervisor. No disparaging remarks about my cheap fare. He just got me on another plane.
On the way to the gate I called Pete, a colleague who was still enroute to Philly while all this was happening. I knew he was going to be stuck. Six tries and I get him. He was on hold with a travel agent (always a waste of time when time is tight). With the plane to Munich due to flap its wings in about 40 minutes, he was going to be looking for a hotel or a flight back home. Get to the gate, I tell him.
At the gate I et Monika, a lovely young woman from the Czech Republic. I got my boarding pass and asked if there were still three seats left, as Jason had told me. Yes, there were, and she quickly plugged my friend into one of them, and gave me a better seat than Jason had been able to do. Pete showed up a few minutes later and we were ready to fly. I thanked Monika for her great efforts and she smiled and said, "No big deal. Besides. We've got a volcano to beat."
The point here is that Jason and Monika were just doing their jobs, but doing them in an exceptional way. On a day when they were having to deal with a barrage of angry, unhappy people, some of whom who almost certainly took their frustrations out on the Jasons and Monikas of the world, they were pleasant, charming and didn't miss a beat.