Everybody has bad days. For example, mine started last night when I couldn’t get to sleep and I tossed and turned. That lead to me needing a triple shot mocha this morning, thank you Dutch Bros. girls on Vista Avenue. I was a couple of minutes late for work; I try to be 15 minutes early. Right away this morning I had to deal with a situation on someone’s account, nothing major but none the less not a great way to start your morning.
Look, if you work with the public we all get nasty, rude, or even belligerent customers or clients from time to time. Instead of getting back, returning the rudeness, or jumping out of a plane why not make it a oppurtunity to “win”. I’m sure that Mr. Slater is a fine person that was having a bad day, but there is no doubt he should have been a professional and made the situation an opportunity to “win”. How? Well reports say there was a confrontation with a passenger(s), a bag from the overhead bin that hit him in the head, and possibly other things that did or did not happen.
First, unless the hit to the head was intentional, a life threatening injury, or knocked something loose, you take care of it and move on. Save the drama for your mama; so I hear from the kids now days. It sounds and looked like it was a minor cut. Second, know your customers! Realize that for the majority of people who fly are in misery to begin with. People are nervous or anxious and that could lead them to be confrontational. If you know that from the beginning you can better handle the “attitudes” you will encounter at times.
When encountered with “attitude” just take a deep breath, know that it’s not personal, and try to place yourself in the customer’s shoes. Maybe they are having a worse day than you. Maybe they are having to fly across country because someone close to them is really sick or dying. Maybe they hate flying or don’t like the close quarters. Look for ways to make their situation better, shower them with kindness. If you do, more often than not, their attitude will get better and they’ll feel bad they treated you poorly to begin with. And guess what even if they don’t feel bad, you can feel great because you didn’t let them affect you. You had the determination and fortitude to overcome a situation that could easily have affected you. That is truly awesome power to have!