Sunday, September 30, 2007

"You Fell Just Right"

I saw and heard one of the most interesting displays of human "people skills" today I ever have. This just happened about 3 minutes ago too, so this is hot off the press.

Sitting at gate 31 at the Greensboro, NC airport, I watched as a flight to Cincinnati prepared finally close the gate door and push away. Suddenly, I heard a loud "thump!" I looked, and a woman that had been running simply fell. Everyone was off their feet to help her, and she quickly got up. She joked, "I'm too old to be running" and acted like she was able to brush it off, but a look at her face revealed that she was truly embarrassed, and maybe even ashamed. A flight attendant came and helped her to the gate. As the lady took her ticket to scan it, she said in a very genuine and admiring voice, "You fell JUST right! When we go through training for this job, falling is one of the things they teach us, but I've never seen anyone fall as safely as you did!" That's not verbatim... but I saw the faller flash a quick appreciative smile. Then, she came out of the little ball she had curled up into with a radical posture change, and began to strut down the ramp and out of view.

Very interesting. I hope I'm able to encourage people in moments of embarrassment.

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