My current situation: I am writing this sitting at a small bistro table in the Austin airport. My flight is already delayed, of course, so my two hour wait just became a four-hour eternity. To pass the time I’m playing a game I like to call “arriving or departing”, in case you ever want to, you can also play this game in Portland or Denver.
Truthfully, I used to get very upset when my flight was delayed, or canceled. I’d complain and join in with all the other passengers as we ranted how it’s unfair. Why don’t they just get another plane? Don’t they know I need to be somewhere? Of course, this was before I traveled weekly and learned that my flights are more often delayed than they are on time.
Over the last few years of my life, I’ve learned to take things in stride, only worry about what I can control and other clichés like that. Doesn’t always work, but I try. Last week I was working with a dealership, and when an employee was faced with a similar situation, he said something I won’t soon forget.
I was up north, helping a dealership for the third time in two months. We’ve created a great working relationship, and I enjoy spending time there. I was dreading coming back this trip, because I knew what I had to offer was going to be disappointing. I am not going to go into all the logistics as it gets complicated; but let’s just say I was not going to meet his exact expectations. Right, wrong or indifferent that was just the facts.
I had prepped the manager for the news and showed up Tuesday morning with my tail between my legs. When I told him how things were going to go, he looked at me and said, “Well, what I am gonna do? Write a yelp review about it?” I could only laugh. That was it. We figured it out, it was simple, and everything worked out.
I thought what he said was very intelligent. He knew there was nothing we could do to change the situation. He decided he could either whine and cry, like I used to do when my flight was delayed, or deal with it and find a solution.
His use of “Yelp Review” was my favorite part. In our connected culture, we can’t wait to judge and review each other. I will be the first to admit, when I go to make a big purchase, I go online and read reviews. Heck, when I’m on the road, those little stars under the name of the restaurant will direct me where to go.
There is a difference to writing reviews to critique or praise, and to simply vent. Reviews can be extremely helpful to companies who use them as training tools, to listen to the voice of the customer. We have all read those that have crossed the line though, and it is simply a waste of time. I’d imagine it is safe to say we spend more energy complaining about problems then we spend solving them. Silly.
When the alert popped up on my phone to inform me of my delay, I just laughed. His words echoed in my head, “what am I gonna do?” I no longer expect the airport to halt all operations and give me a personal helicopter ride to my destination. I’ve learned there is a lot more to the situation, what happens in Boston at seven in the morning that day could affect my flight in Phoenix at eight that night. Turns out things are bigger than you or me.
It is simple to get upset when all you see is the surface of the problem. Chances are, the change to your plans are probably much deeper than you realize. When this happens in life, and it will, you have two choices. You can manage it best you can, make it work for you, or fire up the internet and write that scathing review. Let me know which one works out better for you.
*I’m not sure who made this cartoon of the angry yelp guy – but I love it. Thank you whoever you are.