Golden Ticket…

I fly quite a lot. It’s inevitable really. Even with the wonders of modern technology there is still nothing quite like meeting someone in person, or like a team meeting in the same room. Conversations are different, body language is apparent, mood is sensed, problems are resolved and opportunities are identified.

I always fly with the same airline. It is partly policy and partly habit. Most of my flights are to the same destinations. When I fly long-haul, I fly with a UK airline. Not that I am particularly patriotic…it’s more about the benefit of the majority of people on a plane being from the same time zone as me.

The majority of passengers on a UK-based airline flying back overnight from the US will be very tired and will want to sleep…like me. The majority of passengers on a US-based airline flying out overnight from the US flight will be wide awake and will not want to sleep…unlike me.

I don’t actually get very much from the airline by way of recognition. I get a lot of surveys…and marketing. I was excited last year when I received a thick envelop…could this be the moment? Inside there was a ‘Golden Ticket’…sounded fantastic! But was it a reward? Or some sort of recognition? Well yes…but just not for me!

I read the letter; my Golden Ticket was ‘the chance to recognise staff who give outstanding service.’ Yes it was for me. But it was for me to give to someone I met during my travels that year who really made a difference.

Last year, I dutifully took my Golden Ticket whenever I flew…looking out for that moment when someone really made a difference to me. In the end I awarded it out on my last trip of the year…to someone at Chicago check-in.

I realised of course that I was thinking about it too much (no surprise there then!). I had lots of great experiences on my travels that year, and I always try to recognise and to say thank you. But I held onto that ticket…waiting for one special moment.

This year I received two tickets. I adopted a different plan. I gave the first in January to someone I see most every time I fly back home. He should have been my recipient last year. Always friendly, very helpful and always interested.

I resolved to give out my second ticket instinctively. Whenever the thought came to me. No matter when. Or what.

Last week I flew to the East Coast to meet one of our partner companies. After watching a film and catching up with my email I wandered down to the kitchen and asked if I could have a cup of coffee and a bottle of water. The coffee was for then. The water was for the transfer to my hotel. They had coffee…but there was no water left.

The stewardess apologised and I went back to my seat. A few minutes later she reappeared with a bottle – she had ‘borrowed’ it from the front of the plane. I was surprised but very grateful.

As she left, it hit me – that was the moment. A simple act…not necessary or even expected…but an action that made me feel special.

She had no idea I was carrying a Golden Ticket. She was amazed when I went back to the galley and gave her my Ticket. ‘For a bottle of water? Really?’ She looked shocked. She was delighted.

I smiled as I sat back down. I knew that recognising someone always feels good. Little did I realise how great giving my ‘instinctive’ Golden Ticket would make me feel.

Cheers

Steve

 

 

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About Steve Street

I have worked in R&D within the Pharmaceutical industry for over 32 years. Up until April 2012 all of my career had been with one company, but that has now changed. I left that company and took up a new role on May 1, 2012 - still very much within the Pharmaceutical industry and again based in the UK. I have been blogging every week now for over 9 years but only on an external site since January 2012. Email updates of the blogs can be requested using the ‘follow’ option within Wordpress. The blogs are only ever my personal view of what I see, think and feel. I am delighted if you agree and find value; happy if you disagree with my views and overjoyed if you feel motivated to comment. Most of all I am simply grateful that you read. Cheers Steve
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