I recently had a horrible time flying United. Typically it takes a lot to upset me. I’m Miss Positive. My nickname is Fortune Cookie. I can’t wait to go to sleep every night because I can’t wait to wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed, eager to see what wonderful things the day will bring. Well, United managed to get under my skin and really piss me off.
We all have our own horror stories about revamped airline rules – no liquid, no shoes, no tweezers, no fun. The ridiculous policies that all airlines have to abide by weren’t what irked me. It was the implementation of such policies. These people were just plain mean.
I took my frustration out online, alerting the masses of my travel debacle and stewing in my own anger. I was upset with United for being such an enormous, soulless corporation that cares more about its rules than its customers. The people on the front line at the airports dealing with disgruntled passengers all day just seem so deeply unhappy and rude. They are not equipped to deal with frustrated human beings. They simply flip on the broken record and put it all on us. It’s time for companies like this to revise their script, simply adding an “I’m sorry,” or a “thank you” would suffice.
Then Miss Positive stepped back in. Maybe we need to give brands a break. We’re so quick to jump on any wrong move made by a major corporation but at the end of the day, behind every brand and every mission statement is a group of human beings trying to do the right thing, or at least it started out that way. Corporate America is powered by people. Maybe we ought to cut them some slack and treat them like people not an entity.
Just because they are enormous and have money, doesn't mean we can expect them to be perfect. What I’ve learned in the last several years is that companies are constantly evolving to find out what works. If we treat brands like the people they are, maybe they’ll reciprocate and be more kind to us. Let’s embrace the positive things that large corporations are trying to do and spend less time highlighting the negative. Let's allow them the room to make mistakes and to redeem themselves, as we would allow our friends or ourselves.