Everyone needs affirmation

There I was this past Monday afternoon, in the airport, heading out to Altanta on what should have been a routine trip.  Now, in hindsight, I should have known when the rain starting falling heavily with flashes of lightning, that things would be delayed.  My flight was to originally set to leave at 6:15 and about an hour before it was changed to 9:03….then 9:30, then 9:50…..


After hanging around for a while I decided to call American Airlines to see what could be done (e.g move to a flight they next day, etc.).  The representative (let’s call her Betty) answered the phone nicely enough and I asked her if they could move me to a morning flight, but the first flight in the morning was full and the mid morning flight would get me into Atlanta far too late for my meeting.  I then said, “ok, I will wait for my flight this evening.”  Eureka, I thought..as long as I’m going to sit in the airport for 3 hours or so, American should give me courtesy access to the Admiral’s club.  So, I asked the representative, “In a situation such as this, does American extend courtesy access to the club.”


Now, that is clearly what I asked her.   However, she heard something totally different.  She then said, “Oh Mr. Rosseau, that is so kind of you.  Thank you for recognizing my service, but I can’t accept such a gift from you for a mere few minutes of service.  You should really hold on to that for someone who really deserves it, but I can’t thank you enough for such a kind gesture.”  She went on and on for about 30 seconds – – I started to interrupt her and restate my question, but she was so excited to have received a compliment that I just couldn’t do it. 🙂


I hung up the phone, not having resolved my question at all, but feeling great that Betty felt better.  It kind of goes to a point I made early in my book.    Everyone wants so form of acknowledgement – – admiration, affirmation, etc..and just think how easy it is to give it.  Just take this example – – it didn’t cost my a thing – – in fact, I didn’t even give it – – she misunderstood me.  Is there someone you could say a special “thank you,” too or acknowledge something they did, knowing that your words could translate to a huge benefit for them?!  Go for it – – give it – – and be glad you did!


By the way, I did eventually call American Airlines back and they do not provide courtesy Admiral’s club passes in situations like this AND the flight got cancelled after waiting 5 hours!!!! 🙁  Booooo!!!


To affirm a person is to see the good in them that they cannot see in themselves and to repeat it in spite of appearances to the contrary. Please, this is not some Pollyanna optimism that is blind to the reality of evil, but rather like a fine radar system that is tuned in to the true, the good, and the beautiful.  ― Brennan Manning

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