Babies were wailing. People crowded around the check-in counter. The tension in the air was palpable.
The gate agent responded to all of it with aplomb. She remained calm throughout the tense moments leading up to the boarding announcement. She responded to each question with full attention and kindness--no matter how harsh or anxiety-filled it might have been. The gate agent had encountered this situation many times before, but you couldn't tell. There wasn't an iota of bitterness and sarcasm in her interactions, as far as I could tell.
In short, the gate agent was unfailingly polite. And at times I even saw a smile on her face.
I noticed. I noticed all of it. In a situation that's all too commonly labeled as unpleasant, she made it pleasant. She did her job well, and with alacrity.
As I boarded the plane I turned to her and said, "Great job."
I added, "And I gave you a shout out on social media."
She said thank you.
I don't know if the gate agent regularly received such kudos, if they were intermittent, or never at all.
All I know is we had a moment. WE hadBecause I noticed her doing her job well.
It's easy to criticize the bureaucracies that dominate our lives. Some of us even take great pride in doing so.
The fact is that on the whole, they work pretty well. And the unsung heroes who get things done do many things right, day in and day out.
That's why I'm always looking out for them and others I interact with to do things well. Every day.