One of my recurring nightmares since I was young, was missing something important like showing up too late for a university class, missing a plane or even missing the transit bus! The Psychology majors are thinking “Smacks of early toilet training….”. Ok, so I have more stuff to deal with in therapy but who doesn’t?
Anyway, my nightmare came true 2 weeks ago. I missed a plane! I was on my way to the airport to rock Saskatoon with Respectfully, UP Yours! when I got a flat tire! Of course that would have been bad enough but it only got worse (my jack was broken….) and I got to the airport at the exact time my flight should be taking off, missed it by that much! I could’ve cried, and I did in fact, but not for the reason you’re thinking.
First thing I did was head for the West Jet counter and plead to get on the next flight. Sorry, nothing until 3:00 pm. I had to be in Saskatoon by 1:00, 100 people were waiting for me! So I ran to the Air Canada counter and pleaded for a spot on the next flight out. Nothing….. I explained how people were counting on me and I had a flat tire and said I would take ANYTHING that would get me to Saskatoon by 1:00, even a rickshaw! Claude, my Air Canada Angel got very quiet for a moment, stared at his screen, fiddled with the keys, looked concerned and my heart sank. I knew it wasn’t happening. I felt sick.
Claude looked up after what seemed like 24 hours and said “ I may have an option for you but it involves an illegal transfer”. “I’ll do it I shouted!!” It sounded so exciting that I didn’t care what it was! Claude explained that I could take a flight to Calgary, change planes and get to Saskatoon by 1:25 pm. It was considered an illegal transfer or connection because I would have minutes to get through the terminal to the departure gate for the flight to Saskatoon, instead of the minimum 30 minutes. If anything happened to make 1 flight delayed or another early by even a few minutes, it would all be for naught. I asked him what I should do, he said he would try. This is when I cried. He was so sweet, had such gentle energy, was so willing to help and so reassuring. I snuck a peak around the counter, looking for the halo I was sure he had on his person somewhere. Nothing visible but he certainly was an angel. He had me calm and hopeful, against the odds, in minutes. And it got better! He made sure I got the best seats on both flights so I could eject, I mean exit quickly and let both air and ground crew know my situation. Soooo kind.
In the meantime, I still had 100 people in Saskatoon expecting me for 1:00 pm but I knew it would be closer to 2 before I got to the venue. Again, wonderful people reassured me that the wellness walk for the participants could be moved to after lunch and we could start my session at 2:00 pm. This would end the day only 15 minutes later than expected. I was so grateful for such a warm and kind response. I promised to make it a workshop they would never forget!
I met the LOVELIEST people on the flights, had great conversations and slowly felt my stress response (which no doubt took 10 years off my life!) diminish. I watched the ground fade as we climbed and then watched the clouds fade too. Up above the clouds, at 30,000 feet, the blue sky and sunshine are constants. It was such a reminder that when things are bad, seemingly impossible or the worst that they can be, if we had the vantage point of being above it all, we’d know, the sun will shine, the sky is blue and all will be well. A little faith goes a long way! And so does Air Canada! Thanks to my angel Claude for his much needed acts of kindness on September 5th.
If you could use some help with getting above the clouds, I can help http://arlangroup.com/sylvia!-speech-topics/ I can be reached through ARLANGroup inc. http://arlangroup.com/contact-us/ and would be happy to connect and discuss.