Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
- Leo Buscaglia

Friday, October 19, 2012

Baggage Claim

     I was traveling today from Asheville, NC to Birmingham, AL (heading to visit my son Ben!), when I ran into a few difficulties.  As we landed in Charlotte (my transfer point), we sat on the tarmac for close to an hour waiting for a gate to open up.  Though I was barely able to make my connecting flight to Birmingham, apparently my bag was not, so when I arrived in Birmingham my bag didn't show up on the baggage claim belt.
     I waited patiently on line at the US Air baggage claim office and eventually learned that my bag was on the next flight out of Charlotte which was to arrive in another 30 minutes, so I obviously decided to wait around for it rather than have it delivered to my hotel in Tuscaloosa.  As I was waiting, the woman who was at the baggage office counter noticed that there were roughly 15-20 unclaimed bags (for some reason) still sitting on the belt.  She needed to move them all to her office where they would eventually be claimed.  As tired (and to be honest, annoyed) as I was, I went over and helped her move all those bags.  Working together, it didn't take long for us to get the job done.
     Obviously it wasn't up to me to help her do her job, but that's so often the essence of kindness - thinking more about others than ourselves.  There are so many opportunities when traveling to be frustrated and annoyed, especially when we're tired.  While it's always easier for me to say than to do, I find that if I can focus on finding someone to help, it reduces my own personal sense of frustration a bit.  

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