My dad was a salesman. He regularly left home on two-week missions to sell more of his “stuff,” in order to pay the mortgage for a home large enough to house my mother and their seven children.
I was #2, and I remember those days like it was yesterday. “Mike,” you say, “who cares?” Stay tuned. I am talking to you.
My dad loved to fly, and he loved his work. Based on our comfortable living conditions while growing up in a big house open 24/7 to all shape and size kids and their friends, he was a pretty good salesman.
Flying used to be an exciting proposition. I suspect that another reason he enjoyed traveling so much had a little to do with that 24/7 thing. But that’s just my guess.
That being said, he liked meeting people and was nimble on his feet. He whistled a lot. He was a happy guy.
On the Road
I too became a salesman when I grew up, and I also took to “the road.”
As time passed however, the excitement of lining up like beef going to slaughter while marching down a hot or cold ramp into a cramped, hard, pre-selected seat became less of a treat.
The risk of sitting next to a crying baby or some grumpy old codger became a real mood buster. The mere thought of another crowded airport filled with self-absorbed rude people had a way of turning a guy off.
I found myself walking toward Gate 42, dreaming of employment behind a hot dog wagon repeating with a lilt in my voice, “You want mustard with your dogs? Will Pepsi do? Yes, it is a nice day. Have yourself a good one?”
The ‘Business Trip’
Well, it’s that time again. Time to hit the road. I’m heading for the airport soon on another “Business Trip.” But as time works wonders, I have re-developed my mind-set and am actually looking forward to this trip. Honest.
By the good fortune of the CBF (competitive business fairies), I have been given the opportunity to do some good in this over-populated, over-congested, over-technical, over self-absorbed, over-stressed, over-weight, over-worked, presumably under-paid, (except if you are a professional athlete; then you are over-paid) world of ours.
I have an opportunity to make a difference in this stress-filled world. Not by appearing as a judge on American Idol, but buy bumping into hundreds of people along the way and sharing a little bit of “joy” with them.
This isn’t just another business trip. It is a GO (golden opportunity) to spread the benefits of a happy attitude to many who might have forgotten what one looks like, and feels like.
And the good news is that I do not have to pay anything extra to pack my wares. A smile, a good word, and some sincere eye-contact are all it will take.
It is amazing how a simple tweak in one’s thinking can make such a huge difference in one’s attitude. “Look out airport people… here I come. Look out world… likewise.”
Just think about it. I will soon be in the presence of baggage handlers, counter personnel, gate attendants, flight attendants, waiters and waitresses, hotel concierges, jitney drivers, maids, policemen and women, military travelers, and I hesitate to mention a “barkeep” or two.
In each case, there is a small chance that “the boy from New Jersey” can bring some laughter, appreciation, joy, and interest into their ordinary, day-after-day, same-ole, same-ole existence.
Making a Difference
How cool is that? How important is that? On this “business trip,” I will be in position to make a difference.
And the good news is that I don’t have to be anything but me. No role playing. No “let’s pretend.” Just a little levity when the situation calls for it.
I once said, “Oh ^&$^! I have to take another business trip.”
Now I say, “Oh boy! I get to take another business trip.”
I am sure my father saw these opportunities the very same way. And I am betting it had something to do with his whistling.
Mike Marchev is always looking for a few more proactive travel professionals to join his Sales and Marketing Club. firstname.lastname@example.org.
*** You want more to think about? Check out my weekly podcast (Mike’d Up Marchev). Also listed on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google, and iHeartRadio.