Tough Job — Cool Head

I don't know her name and I don't know how long she's been in her job. But I do know she likes her job. I know that she's very good at her job and it's a difficult job. And, on the day, I was watching her, it was a very difficult job.

I was at the airport, waiting and waiting. In the middle of this book tour, in the middle of yet another flight delay.

It wasn't her fault. There were some mechanical problems.

She didn't look like a mechanic to me, just an airline gate attendant.

But passengers were loaded for bear and her.

They cursed at her. Yelled at her. Berated her.

She smiled. They screamed.

She found a young couple sick of waiting, overnight accommodations.

She got a businessman, who literally flung his boarding pass in her face, a seat on another carrier.

One-by-one, she did what she could, for whom she could.

No one thanked her. No one acknowledged what was obvious: That this screw-up had nothing to do with her.

They just took out all that anger on her.

I've seen other gate attendants in similar situations get snippy, even nasty. But not this lady. Not once.

Her smile never dimmed. Her concerned never wavered.

I wondered if her airline knew how good she was. I still don't know even "who" she was. I just know that she impressed me.

She could have been just as ugly as the ugly mood and ugly situation this ugly moment in this increasingly ugly airport. But she was not.

There are few things more annoying than multi-hour delays at an airport. It can make people crazy. Sometimes it's nice to see not all people.

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