The Person Makes The Job

For this article to make sense, I need to give some background. ✈️I’ve been traveling full-time for close to 20 years. Many thousands of flights.✈ All over the world. I KNOW that I’ve flown well over 1 million miles, because I received the Million Miler designation from one of the many airlines that I travel with. 

Now, let’s dive in. As you know, the jet bridge is the retractable tunnel that connects the airport gate to the plane itself. There is usually a baggage attendant on the jet bridge near the plane door. The attendant collects any last-minute checked bags to go on the flight. This person is usually focused on getting the checked bags and putting them in the plane. No chit-chat. Just straight business.

Now, here’s the good part of the story. I was recently on a jet bridge at the BWI airport waiting to board the flight. It was early in the morning.

The jet bridge attendant (Troy), bellowed, “A beautiful good morning everyone! I hope you are looking forward to a great flight. The flight will be almost full with only five empty seats. So when you board, find your favorite seat and enjoy the ride.” (Note: This was on Southwest Airlines, so passengers pick their own seats.)

Impressively, he said all of that with a HUGE smile on his face.

Troy said more than what I wrote above, but you get the gist.

He clearly did not come to work to be “just a baggage handler.” He understood that his role is a vital touchpoint in the passenger experience. Troy single-handedly lifted everyone’s spirits on that jet bridge.

Then, because I’m nosey, I listened to hear if he would do it again after the first wave of passengers were on board. And guess what? My man did it again! With some slight variations. I love that! (Of course, I told him that he was awesome.) 

There is something incredibly powerful about those who transcend the perceived limitations of their roles. The only limitation exists in their own mind. As you go about your day, be mindful of how you can enhance the positive impact of your role. Challenge your team to do the same. 

Someone, somewhere NEEDS your smile today. 

Someone, somewhere NEEDS your encouragement today. 

Someone, somewhere NEEDS your kindness today. 

Takeaway: The person makes the job. The job doesn’t make the person.

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