Where is your focus?
Being focused and paying attention isn’t automatic; at least not for me. It takes work and it takes constant vigilance. When we stop paying attention we can miss the obvious. We limit our perception of the world, and us such, we limit our opportunities… Case in point:
For easily two years, I’ve always approached United’s Red Carpet Lounge (RCL) at the Denver airport with trepidation. Actually, it’s not just Denver; it’s any airport where the star alliance lounge happens to be run by United. “Should I even bother going in?” is the question. It’s not a question I find myself asking at any of the other airlines lounges; just United. Here’s why. The first time I flew through Denver after wifi was introduced, I rolled up excited at the prospect of getting some work done during my layover. I was politely told that wifi in the lounge was only for United Mileage members… “But what about Aeroplan members” I asked, referring to my membership with Air Canada’s mileage program of which I’m a gold member, which I have to point out has nothing to do with the character in the Austen Powers movies; it basically means I fly a lot and with Aeroplan being a member of the Star Alliance, as United is; usually receive reciprocal privileges at any participating airlines lounges. “Sorry sir. The free wifi is only for mileage plus members”. I was outraged. I felt like blockading the Maple Leaf lounge at Vancouver airport and denying entry to any Mileage Plus member who tried to get it. Because of course, Maple Leaf lounges across Canada; across the planet actually, if they have free wifi, give it to everyone. Not only did I get outraged; I stayed outraged. For two years. Every time I approached an RCL, anywhere, I readied myself for a fight as I approached the desk. Not once, after multiple “I can’t believe you guys; who do I need to talk to?” conversation; not once did I stop to ask myself the question that the woman manning the desk this morning asked me:
“Why don’t you just become a member?”
“Why? I’m already a member of Aeroplan.”
“You don’t have to use the card to accumulate miles; you can still use Aeroplan for that. But why don’t you just sign up, get a number, and that number is all you’ll need to get online…”
At this point, I’d like to say I started kicking myself for not thinking of something so simple myself, but alas; no…
My first reaction was: How is it that I’ve had this situation come up literally a dozen times; probably more, over the past few years, and only now does someone bother to point out something so obvious. After all; it’s their job; they must be having this situation pop up every day. I could think that; indeed I did think that, but on reflection I realized that the track I was going down was a cop out.
I should have figured it out. It’s that simple. If I had allowed myself to think rationally, instead of getting all lit up at the audacity of the situation; I could have stepped back; seen an obvious solution, and asked the question: “So, what do I need to become a member?”
None of us are immune. Next time you find yourself butting heads with a brick wall, or an RCL employee for that matter, stop and ask yourself.
What am I focusing on here? Am I focused on the problem, or on finding a solution?
Elaine Froese says:
Great post. Was invited to be in Air Canada lounge today when I boldly made the request. Their flight delays caused me to miss my ground shuttle. I thanked them for grace and mercy. Ask and you shall receive. Sometimes the response is not what we expect.
Warren Macdonald says:
If you don’t ask, you don’t get Thanks Elaine for stopping by and commenting; safe travels.