Crossed Signals and Near Misses Raising the Barr Weekly Memo: Issue No. 37

This week’s reflection point: This past Monday, my wife and I were traveling to Charleston from Orlando. We had a connection through Charlotte. The first leg of our journey began with a huge delay out of Orlando which was concerning since we knew we had only one hour between flights. As soon as we landed I checked my flight tracking which showed a one-hour delay for the second flight. Or so I thought. I had misread the flight info, and assumed it related to the connecting flight.

We hurried to our respective restrooms, and in record time I ran to the boarding gate, now empty. I asked the gate attendant who said all passengers had boarded and I was last to get on the flight so I’d better hurray, which I did.

I boarded the plane, the door closed behind me, and I then realized that my wife was not in her seat. “My wife is not on board,” I shouted and told the flight attendant to hold the plane, which she said, wasn’t possible and insisted I be seated.

Long story short, when my wife arrived at the gate, now closed and dark, she was told that she was being booked on the next flight and there was nothing they could do. She thought they were joking. Finally, with my influencing skills, a bit of begging and some luck, the pilot was contacted, who phoned the gate personnel, who agreed to return the jet way and reopen the cabin door.

She slid through the narrow aisle to her seat escorted by evil glances and sneers from the seated and irritated passengers.

It’s going to be a long time till I live this one down with my wife!

This week’s tip: How many times have you misread communications from your clients and possibly even missed a great opportunity? Be mindful to have a backup plan if your original falls through.

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