The Soda Can Tab Technique
November 15, 2014
By Laurie Clarke, Chief Operating Officer
I travel a lot and have bumped up against most traveling woes. But really, who can complain about two to fifteen hours of quiet, uninterrupted ‘me’ time? And as someone who has a deep understanding and appreciation for systems and the challenges that some work environments can present, I don’t get flustered by delays or situations beyond the control of an apologetic flight attendant.
Yet on this one late night flight, I found myself slightly annoyed by how absolutely nothing in my seat worked. The power plug was broken, the seat didn’t recline, the tray sagged…
Finally, I chose to bring all the malfunctions to the attention of a flight attendant, without any expectation for resolve. She apologized and returned moments later with the tab from a soda can. “I can’t fix the other things but this is a great temporary fix for your tray.” She plugs the tab into the hinge of the tray and voila, the tray is in working order.
Once again a great reminder of how people who deal with customers every day find work arounds to compensate for the broken systems/situations they run into.
Do you have a similar story to share where you have used/seen someone use creativity to overcome a barrier for a customer?