PRACTISING BEING “OUTSIDE OF THE BOX”

After I got chips from my backpack, I threw backpack on the shelf about the seat and sat cozy to start reading. My gosh, that’s the happiness. Finally I can read peacefully, without thinking when I have to walk/feed/play with the dog the next time, without thinking that I have to go somewhere or wait for smth; in the compartment there’re only me and my book (and some food so that reading would be more fun). Having fully realized what a lovely time I happened to receive, I started to crunch chips and page of a recently started book.

Story told by Bud, a great boss and an inspirer

(A shortened and retold abstract)

As you can imagine, I have to travel very often all over the country. Airlines is a great help in this – just couple of hours and voila I’m already attending a meeting in office situated on the other side of the country. One of the most often flight I take is never full. Normally there’re about 2/3 of places taken, sometimes even less, this is why there’s always a big chance to be sitting alone in an empty 3 seats line.

As usual I entered the plain one of the first, took my place and open the newspaper. Every few minutes I was taking my eyes of the newspaper and was eyeing other passengers that were entering.

Oh no, not this woman with a kid, it’ll be a 2.5 hours of kicking a chair in front; oh not this one – she’ll be definitely trying to talk to me; this guy is a bit untidy; this one has to much carry-on. I was judging every incoming passenger and imagining how he’ll be annoying me on the scale from 1 to 10. They weren’t people for me, I saw in them only a problem, and object, that potentially will interrupt my comfort. I was sitting in my box and was getting angry for something they didn’t do yet.

This was what Lu wanted to eliminate from the people that he was hiring, specially when it was about the management staff. After the first meeting with Lu I thought I got his point, but it was still far away from applying it. I managed to really get “being out of the box” principle that Lu was kicking into my head when I was in the shoes of a passenger looking for a free spot.

A month after I started to work in a new company, me and my wife needed to go to her parents. We didn’t manage to book two seats next to each other, but we decided to go at least like that, because we had to leave ASAP. We were secretly hoping that one of the nearby places would be  unoccupied and we’d be sitting together.

Once we entered the plain, it already seemed full. One of our places was close to the entrance, and the seat next to it was already taken by some women. Stewardess greeted us and we asked her right away if there’s a chance to sit together, since our tickets are for rows in different parts of the plain. The woman that was in a seat next to one of hours heard our question, put down her newspaper and spoke up to us. She said she doesn’t mind to give us a chance to sit together, by taking her place and she’d go to our second seat.

This woman treated us not the way I was treating other passengers – she didn’t see a problem in them, she saw just people; people whom she could help since she had a chance. The most important is that instead of being angry at potentially problematic companion, being worried about it and wasting effort to avoid such a situation, she just kindly reacted to a chance to help others. This woman wasn’t closing and moreover she was opening. She was “outside of the box”.

Time to learn your lesson, young padawan

I got distracted from my book by a sound of an opening door of the compartment. In the wagon corridor there’s was a girl standing with two guys on each of her sides. One of them had dreadlocks till his waist. All of them had big tourist backpacks. The girl started to speak quickly that they’re going with a big group and would like all to sit together, this is why they’re basically kindly asking me to lift my ass and move to a nearby compartment.

“Oh another complication on my poor head. I just took my seat!” – would have thought me-few-years-ago.

“Cool, my action can help somebody else, awesome!” – thought I lifting my royal ass and moving to a next door compartment.

After saying hello to people in new compartment I sat again and opened my book. What I definitely didn’t expect it a fast reaction of the reality: read, good girl, now make sure you got it. Karma was also exclusively fast – people in my new compartment left of the next train stop 10 minutes later, leaving me in initial desired state – alone reading.

picture from here

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