Turkey Salad or Pastrami

One of our regular readers, Diane, posted a comment on the last blog about how much she enjoys reading about the interesting people I meet in my travels and the interactions I have with them. So this latest blog is dedicated to Diane and her request.


I mentioned in a previous blog that Seattle is one of my favorite cities. I spoke at a conference there last weekend in downtown Seattle. Flying from Chicago to the West coast is usually a long, boring flight. It helps if you’re flying first class. One of the benefits of my frequent flying is the complimentary upgrades I get. When you’re in first class, your expectations on customer service are obviously a little higher. One of the flight attendants was taking lunch orders. I overheard her asking whether people wanted the turkey salad or pastrami sandwich. Now I didn’t even know whether I liked pastrami or not. I can’t believe I’ve gotten this old and never formed a pastrami opinion, but such is the case. Because of this I ordered the turkey salad. “We’re out!” was the abrupt reply that was offered by the flight attendant. No apologies, no sympathy, no kind words. Just a curt, snappy response. Then she leaves to take someone else’s order! I felt slighted being disregarded in such a contemptuous way. Just for kicks and giggles, I asked for turkey salad again when she came back for my order. You would have thought that I had asked her to produce a litter of kittens from the look on her face. “Can you double check?” I asked. Again, the sour puss.


It actually turns out that I like pastrami, but I had my own sour experience from the interactions I had with that airline employee and I found that I was now in a funk. We talk about behavior impacting behavior in our Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® training program and this was definitely an example of a negative behavior impact experience.


Once at the hotel in Seattle, I scoped out the meeting room for the next day’s seminar. I was told that it was going to be in the grand ballroom. But the grand ballroom had been broken down into four mini-ballrooms and there were no placards or signage to indicate in which ballroom I would be speaking. One of the banquet captains noticed that I was walking around with a huge question mark over my head and briskly walked towards me. “Sir, can I help you?!” I told him of my dilemma and before I had even gotten the last syllable out of my mouth, Jetesh raced off to get the rooms’ schedule. He was back in a flash and with a professional, courteous attitude escorted me to the correct room. He literally beamed with a million dollar smile when I thanked him. I left the hotel and went for a walk in downtown Seattle. The weather was gorgeous and the sun still shining as I walked down the sidewalks. I couldn’t help smiling at people I came across. I felt great!! As I walked past a Seattle Tourism window advertisement I stopped in amused shock. There, in the window, was the same beaming smile that I had just experienced at the hotel. It was a huge photo of Jetesh with the promotional copy underneath. Was it any wonder that they had chosen this individual to be the face of Seattle Tourism?


So if your mood needs a little brightening and you’re feeling blue, book an economy class ticket to Seattle, pack your own lunch and head to downtown Seattle. Tell Jetesh that I sent you.

Before you fly, get more resources for crisis intervention.


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