By now I’m sure you’ve heard or read about the Jet Blue flight attendant Steven Slater – his actions have caused quite a disturbance in the Social Media universe.
While the interesting part of all this is the intense debate as to whether or not his behavior should be notable or celebrated in the first place, that’s not what I want to write about today.
Rather, I’d like to talk about the flip side of all this.
That is, the many thousands of people out there serving customers who have the audacity of professionalism.
This Jet Blue incident is far from the first time a customer acted in an inconsiderate and cruel way.
It happens quite a bit, unfortunately. And in response to those actions, these particular customer service people are biting their lips, summoning up all the courage, control, and grace they can muster, and acting like professionals.
They don’t lash back. They use their guile and their common sense to stay calm and diffuse the anger, despite whatever harm that may have come their way.
And more often than not, this professionalism carries the day, and the situation is controlled. In some cases, their actions can even totally turn the situation around, creating a loyal customer for life.
Hopefully, within the organizations that employ them, this professional behavior is rewarded and celebrated. But usually, that’s as far as it goes.
No viral Facebook campaigns. No Twitter avalanches. No press conferences. No 15 minutes of fame.
Well today, that’s not good enough for me. I want to offer my heartfelt salute to all of those service professionals who have the audacity to be just that – a professional.
What this whole Steven Slater brouhaha demonstrates, and the real lesson here , is how difficult it really can be to hold it together when that kind of customer behavior takes place.
It is SO easy to lose it. We’ve all been there.
The next time you see someone display their professionalism in such an extraordinary way, send their boss a note. Or just say “thank you”.
For they deserve our recognition, even in that small way.