This story exemplifies why it is important to respect people. Recently I was in the Las Vegas Airport Security line. It was about a twenty-minute line, even though it looked longer. As we approached the metal detectors and X-ray machines, a man was checking to make sure everyone had a valid ticket. There is a […]
This story exemplifies why it is important to respect people. Recently I was in the Las Vegas Airport Security line. It was about a twenty-minute line, even though it looked longer. As we approached the metal detectors and X-ray machines, a man was checking to make sure everyone had a valid ticket. There is a man in front of me. We’ll call him the “Passenger.” He carries a small gym bag over his shoulder with several items stuffed in the side pockets; a CD player, book, etc. We will refer to the man checking tickets we will call the “Gatekeeper.” (Actually, other passengers in the area would prefer different words to describe him.)
The Gatekeeper says (rudely) the Passenger, “Put that bag over there and see if it fits,” referring to a metal framework to check the size of carry-on baggage to make sure it fits in the overhead or under the seat. There is no doubt that this bag would fit, but due to the items in the side pockets, the Passenger had difficulty putting the gym bag in the metal frame.
The Gatekeeper yells at the Passenger, “You lose! That bag is not going through here! That’s right, you lose! You are in Las Vegas and you have just lost!”
The Passenger this embarrassing moment and not sure what to do, asks, “What do you want me to do?”
The Gatekeeper replied, “Go back and check the bag. It is not going through here.”
Another security employee suggests the Passenger take the stuff out of the side pockets, but the Gatekeeper insists he checks the bag. The Passenger pleads, saying that if he goes back to check the bag, he will probably miss his flight. The Gatekeeper did not budge and said again, “Too bad you lose!”
To my knowledge, this story does not have a happy ending. The Passenger leaves the line and goes back to check the gym bag that would have easily fit under the seat.
The Gatekeeper had a job to do, and according to a supervisor at the security station, it was security – specifically checking the tickets to make sure they were valid for flights departing that day. It’s the airline personnel’s job to check the carry-on baggage The Gatekeeper was using his authority to bully passengers. No doubt he was wrong, and everyone around him thought so as well. thought so as well.
I’m all for tough security, but people should be treated with respect. I’ve been stopped in security a number of times for random checks. On my worst day – which really wasn’t so bad – I was asked to remove my coat, sweater, belt and shoes while watching two people go through my briefcase. The security people were serious and thorough and, at the same time, respectful. When they were finished, they thanked me and appreciated my respect for them.
I don’t care if it is security or groceries. Always show people respect – not just to customers – to all people. You have to be helpful, not a hindrance. No matter what you do, you must consider yourself a solution, not a problem.
Shep Hyken is a customer service/CX expert, award-winning keynote speaker, and New York Times bestselling author. Learn more about Shep’s customer service and customer experience keynote speeches and his customer service training workshops at www.Hyken.com. Connect with Shep on LinkedIn.
(Copyright ©MMXII, Shep Hyken)
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