My Zen Zone and The Power of A Smile

Monday, May 21, 2012

I have a pretty short temper and get stressed out often and easily.  Crowds, traffic, loud noises... I wish I had something to blame it on but I really don't know where it all comes from.  I do know however that the one the place I rarely feel agitated is at the airport.  I think this is the place where most people experience the peaks of stress, but for some reason the airport is somewhat of a zen zone for me.   Although an airport seems like a place of chaos to many people, I've come to realize that there is a very high level of order in airports that I think I find comforting.  I don't know if that is what it is about them that keeps me calm but even in the most stressful situations I find myself uncharacteristically serene.

I'm currently en route from Boston back to Dublin right now.  I was originally supposed to fly from Boston to Philly and then transfer on to Dublin.  I had about an hour and a half lay over in Philadelphia but due to crazy fog in Boston the flight was delayed.  After the first delay I thought, "This is ok. I can still make it." After it was delay another half hour I knew I wasn't going to make that connection.  I had already checked online and saw that there was only one flight from Philly to Dublin a day at 9 pm, which means that if I missed the connection I'd be waiting about 22 hours in the airport.  Even after waiting 30 minutes in line at the counter I still felt calm.  I was basically told what I had already recognized, "you're not making that flight."  From there I was sent back out of security to the ticket counter.
There is a city somewhere behind those clouds...
When I reached the check-in counter (for the second time that day) there were two women next to me yelling at their attendant. Anyone who looked out the window could see that the fog was a serious problem but instead they yelled at the woman as if she had personally cancelled their flight.  I smiled at the man helping me and said that I would really like to make it to Dublin tonight but if it wasn't possible that I'd rather go home than be stuck in the Philly.  He smiled back and said "I wish everyone was that smart."  After typing away he looked up and said "since I know you're so smart I thought I could try to help you out here.  I might be able to get you on an AerLingus flight leaving tonight. I just have to get permission."

I honestly believe that if I had approached that counter angry and aggressive like those around me that he would have told me "sorry we'll see you tomorrow."  Instead he essentially gave up the revenue they were going to make off of me and gave it to AerLingus just to help me out.  He was an extremely nice man and it just goes to show how far a smile can get you.

So, after a sprint to the baggage claim, a bus ride to the new terminal, and another trip through security, I'm now nestled outside of my new gate, not in the least bit frazzled or angry just in one of the few places in the world where I feel calm, cool, and collected.

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