On a recent trip to Amarillo, TX, I was scheduled to fly out of the Amarillo airport on Friday morning. As I wrapped up an exam in Lubbock, TX Thursday afternoon, I drove two hours back to Amarillo, just to be hit with an alert on my phone that my flight out of Amarillo was cancelled the next morning due to mechanical issues with the plane. I would much rather the airline send me an alert that something is wrong with the plane the day before, then when I am in the air somewhere over the continental United States.
I picked up my phone and called the airline to see which flight I could get rebooked on. They said unfortunately that was the only flight on Friday out of Amarillo, but they could get me on an early flight out of Lubbock, TX. Keep in mind, I had driven two hours back to Amarillo from Lubbock, and now the airline was saying that I needed to drive back. I told the airline I would call them right back, and then I called my car rental company to confirm that the price wouldn’t change for me to do a one-way rental to Lubbock, instead of returning my car to the Amarillo airport where I picked it up. The rental car company at the 1-800 level said they didn’t know and that I needed to call the airport office directly where I rented it from. I called the number they gave me, and then I got re-routed overseas to some operator. They gave me the number to call, that I had just dialed, and I called it again. This time the local agent at the airport car rental office answered, and assured me the price would remain the same.
I proceeded to call the airline back to book that early flight out of Lubbock, but they informed me that in the few minutes it took me to call the car rental company, the last seat was already taken. They were able to get me on a later flight that afternoon. To make a long story longer, I flew out of Lubbock, TX for a quick jaunt to Dallas, TX in order to get my connection to Louisville, KY. It had been a long week and I just wanted to get home to my wife and kids. While at the gate waiting for my connection, they came across the loudspeaker and informed us that our plane was “Broken” and that we were being moved to a gate farther down the terminal. As the crowd stampeded to the new plane, I watched wondering what the rush was, as we all had assigned seats, and the plane wasn’t going to leave without all of us. We finally boarded the new plane…and sat… Then the captain came on the loudspeaker and said: “Ladies and Gentleman, in case you were wondering why we are just sitting here, it is because the airline didn’t have a work order for fuel for this particular plane to go to Louisville, as it was originally scheduled to go to El Paso. Oh and by the way, we are also sitting here because the entire El Paso luggage is still sitting on this plane, while your Louisville luggage is in the belly of the broken plane. They are in the process of switching this now.”
That is when the guy next to me lost it and started jumping up and down in his seat, dropping the F-Bomb, and slapping his legs repeatedly. It was quite a sight to behold. I almost started laughing, but thought maybe it wouldn’t be wise at this juncture. Instead I went back to watching a movie on my Kindle. Another adage that I learned a long time ago was: “Don’t worry about the things that are out of your control!” This was definitely out of my control, and being impatient, frustrated, and visibly irate, wasn’t going to get me back to my family any quicker.
I am the first to admit that patience is something that I struggle with. Therefore it is imperative that I incorporate flexibility into my life and schedule, otherwise patience will not be a shining virtue for me. As we all encounter situations that text our patience, I encourage you to think about the aforementioned adages and attempt to intertwine them into your everyday life.