Amybeth Hale – Research Goddess

Making the Best Out of a Bad(?) Situation
October 17, 2007, 5:20 am
Filed under: Thoughts

Many of us have experienced something like this in our lives. We’re sitting on the plane, ready to fly to wherever, when we get notification that our flight has been delayed due to bad weather, mechanical issues, whatever the case may be. We deplane and hang out in the terminal for who knows how long. When we finally get back on the plane and land in our connecting city, we’ve obviously missed our connecting flight. Since it’s late in the evening, no more flights to our final destination and leaving so we are forced to stand in the Customer Service line for what seems like hours to change our flight and figure out where the heck we’re going to stay for the night.

You may have guessed that I recently experienced this very scenario! You guessed right. On my way back from Florida where I just attended my 10 year high school reunion, my flight was delayed in Florida due to some nasty weather in Houston where I was supposed to connect to get back to Cincinnati. 2 hours later, we were finally in the air on our way, and of course I missed my connecting flight home in Houston. What a crappy experience you might say. I say not at all!

For starters, you must keep in mind that there is no sense in getting frustrated or irritated by the situation. Things like this happen from time to time, and when you’re in the middle of one o these moments, stop to think that EVERYone else around you is experiencing the same issue. Then remember that there’s nothing that can be done at that time to fix the situation, so you might as well just make the best of it.

The first thing I thought to do at this time was to tap my network and see who I knew in Houston. I emailed one of my former franchise owners whom I supported when I was at SearchPath and told him what was going on, asking if the situation arose where I would need to spend the night in Houston, would I be able to crash at his place. He responded within ten minutes saying absolutely, and to let him know when I landed what was going on. Check out my post on Jim Stroud’s blog about gracefully departing a company – by maintaining my friendship with my former colleague, I was able to solve one potential problem before it even arose. It is so important, when you are networking, to make sure you cultivate those connections and add value upfront. You never know when you may need to call in a favor!

When something like this happens, I also like to take the time to converse with some of the other weary passengers with whom I am travelling to try and keep them from getting too frustrated. In this case I met a nice young girl named Abby who happened to be flying home to Houston from visiting her boyfriend in Florida. He just took a new position in Florida and this was their first experience being so far apart. We got to talking about work and come to find out she isn’t quite sure what she wants to do yet. She currently works in her dad’s accounting office, but she wants to do something that would allow her to have more human interaction. I threw out a couple of suggestions and we had a very nice conversation. Also on my flight happened to be a group of musicians who were playing some of their music on their laptops in our terminal boarding area. I listened in and enjoyed the music, so when we were about to re-board the plane I stopped and inquired about their band and asked if I could purchase a CD. Once we were on the plane, one of the musicians came up to me and handed me a CD, telling me I could just have it. Very nice!

Once in Houston, I re-booked my flight back to Ohio and called up my colleague, Jeremy Sisemore. He came and picked me up from the airport. Since I was unable to get a flight out of Houston until 7:50pm the next evening, Jeremy graciously offered to let me work at one of the empty desks in his office. (I never travel without my laptop, just in case!) I spent all day Tuesday in Jeremy’s office amongst his recruiters. (Jeremy runs a SearchPath franchise recruiting office specializing in SAP placement. If you know of anyone who works in the SAP space, Jeremy is a fantastic SAP recruiter and I would HIGHLY recommend him to anyone) Over the course of the day, I was able to show one of his brand new recruiters a few little tips and tricks using LinkedIn and Yahoo and Google groups to look for passive leads. I also showed her one of the email templates I use when I reach out to my passive contacts regarding opportunities we have available at Waggener. She was very excited about using some of these techniques to find more candidates. I figured helping her out was the least I could do! Jeremy and I grabbed some Mexican food before he returned me to the airport, and over dinner I found out that he has a TON of connections with individuals who work at one of the largest PR agencies in the world. He offered to put me in touch with them. Had I not been forced to stay overnight in Houston, I may never have found this out!

So, what’s the point to this long-winded tale of my awful travel experience? That it wasn’t awful at all. I made some new friends, got some cool music, learned some helpful information from a trusted colleague, and helped a few people along the way. If I left the whole delayed flight/stuck overnight part of the story out, it sounds like a pretty fulfilling day, don’t you think?

Don’t look at the situation for what’s gone wrong with it. Look at the situation from the standpoint on how you can make it a great experience – and not just for yourself, but for others too!


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[…] preferential treatment in a situation like that, so you might as well suck it up and deal with it. I always try to make the most of experiences like that – find an interesting place to go eat, or have a nice conversation with some of your fellow […]

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