The following story is by author Meagan O’Nan and taken from her January 30th blog entry.
“A couple of years ago, when my book “Creating Your Heaven on Earth” was just published, I was on my way to upstate New York for a book signing and speaking engagement. This was my first book signing to a place where no one knew me…a writer’s dream.
I was flying from Denver to Pittsburgh and from Pittsburgh to Syracuse. I had an early flight to catch on the day of the book signing (which was scheduled for 6:30 that evening). I barely made the 30 minute cut-off to check-in and had to run to my gate. I caught the flight, barely. The flight went smoothly. I was so full of anticipation and excitement that feeling exhausted
was fine by me.
My flight arrived in Pittsburgh on time. I made my way to the “Departure” board to check on the location on my next flight’s gate. When I looked up at the board and found my flight, bright red letters stared back at me and said,“CANCELLED.” My heart dropped. I started to panic on the inside. I almost began sharing a curse word or two out loud when a voice from my heart said, “Meagan, go with the flow.” I listened (mostly because the voice was really loud).
I decided that the madness, frustration, and anger that was in the airport (because numerous flights had been cancelled to New York because of an ice storm) was something that I did not want to be a part of. So, I decided to go with the flow. That meant, being nice to everyone, seeing the best in everyone, being calm and patient, and being willing to possibly not make it to upstate New York for my event that I so wanted to be at. It was a quick shift of mindset, but a shift, nonetheless.
I waited in line at the US Airways counter where my flight was supposed to be departing from. In front of me was a woman screaming in an angry rage at the woman behind the desk. I felt so bad for the US Airways agent…I mean, is she the one that made the weather what it was? After seeing that, I made a special effort to be extra nice to the agent because no one deserves to be treated the way she was being treated.
When I made my way to the counter I told the agent, “Thank you for waiting on me and I promise I won’t scream at you.” She smiled and I could see her take a deep breath. I told her my dilemma. We worked together to find the best solution, but everything was leaving after my event was happening. We looked at each other in disappointment each time we realized that every solution she presented wasn’t going to work. So, I thought, well, I guess I just won’t make it and there must be a good reason for it (keep in mind, I REALLY wanted to be there).
Suddenly, the agent says, “I know!!!” She yelled across the terminal and asked another US Airways agent, “Did that flight leave yet?!” He yelled back, “No!”She quickly printed out a ticket for me and told me I was going to Ithaca (about 60 miles from Syracuse). Arrangements were made for a driver to pick me up in Ithaca by the event coordinator.
I stood for about 30 minutes wondering if I was at the right gate (wondering what in the hell was going on, to be quite honest) when another agent came up to me and asked, “Are you ready to go?” Confused, I said, “To Ithaca, right?”He shook his head yes and asked me to follow him outside. He took out his umbrella and walked me to plane about 20 yards away and said, “You know you are the only one on this flight right?”
Sure enough, I was the only person on the flight. The flight attendant greeted me, let me choose my seat, and as I sat down and buckled up, the pilot spoke over the loud speaker, “Welcome Meagan, we are taking you to Ithaca. Sit back and enjoy the ride.” Huh? Really? I guess there was a break in the clouds or something – kinda like the parting of the Red Sea.
I made it in plenty of time for my event that night. Thank you US Airways for a valuable lesson. It pays off to choose to be nice to others and it certainly makes a difference if you choose to go with the flow with no expectations. Be kind to one another, as Ellen would say. It really is that simple.”
Meagan is the author of Creating Your Heaven on Earth. To find out more, visit her website: www.meaganonan.org