I was headed to Cincinnati Ohio.
The plane was due to leave at 5pm. I was to connect to a flight from Charlotte, NC at 7:10, and from Charlotte fly to Cincinnati.
It was raining. The flight was late. It was very late.
By 6:45, the gate attendant asked for all passengers with connections in Charlotte before 7:45 to come to the counter.
The line was long, very long, and very slow moving.
At 7:00 the plane took off. There were still people in the line that had connecting flights in Charlotte before 7:45.
I was one of those in the line.
It was obvious that we weren't going to make the connecting flight. There was only one gate agent handling the connecting passengers. He furiously worked finding alternatives on other airlines. Sometimes there were none.
Passengers were upset and they made it known.
The man beside me was from London. There were no available flights anywhere that would get him to London on time. He would be at least a day late.
"I work with the public," he said.
He explained, "The public often doesn't understand what a person behind the counter has to go through. It's not their fault.
They didn't cause the rain, or the mechanical problems or set the policies.
Yet they have to bear the brunt of the cursing, the fussing, the anger and the frustration that the public releases.
It can be a real tough job.
But you know one nice person can change your whole day.
Just one nice person out of the angry mob can really make a difference."
It was a MountainWings Moment.
I looked around.
Everyone (at least most everyone) was angry and frustrated.
I could hear the elevated voices and the complaining as the agent patiently tried to explain that was all that he could do.
Was there one nice person in the crowd?
One nice person that would ease the burden on the agent's shoulders.
One nice person that could "make his day."
The next time you are in such a situation, look around for the one nice person.
If you don't see them, then you have a chance to make someone's day. You have a chance to ease the pain. You have a chance to become the light in the midst of darkness.
Suppose you don't. Suppose you fuss and vent along with the rest of them.
You won't get to your destination one bit faster.
Suppose you become the one nice person. You won't get to your destination one bit faster either. But you will have made one person's journey much more pleasant.
Maybe your decision won't change your destination, but it might change where you are heading.