Just Try Something Different

2009 October 21
by Grace Boyle

Seatbelts click. Chairs squeak as people adjust their position. The dull mumble of small talk floats through the airplane. Phones power down. I’m absorbed in my latest book, ignoring everyone around me.

Sidenote: My first plane ride was before my first birthday and I have lived more than 1000 miles from home in the last five years, making flying my only mode of transportation to see family and loved ones. Needless to say, it has become mundane like a Point A to Point B transport. You get it.

Over the loudspeaker I expect the traditional safety announcement where it’s usually a stewardess with too much makeup wearing pantyhose and patent leather black pumps begrudgingly runs through the instructions.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, we found a wallet in the waiting area…” Shit, I think to myself. My head jolts up. I see everyone else do the same thing. I go so far as to lean down to my bag under the seat in front of me when the man on the loudspeaker bemusingly says, “Aha, now that I’ve got your attention, this smokin’ hot stewartess is going to run through the oh-so exciting safety instructions.”

surprisePhoto Credit

The plane erupts into laughter. He’s got my attention. I wonder if he’s going to bust out another witty line. He does. So I keep listening.

“Secure the mask over your face first, then the person next to you. Ha, like you would really be thinking rationally if we were plummeting through the air.”

“You all know, you can pull up your seat and use it as a flotation device. That is, if you really want to.”

Keep the Intrigue

“Seductive ideas rest on our ability to spark the kind of intrigue that will keep the imagination engaged.  Not knowing exactly what’s going to happen next…keeps us glued to our seats when watching a thriller and quickly turning the pages in a mystery novel.

“If we can too easily guess the outcome, or if the conclusion is not surprising enough, we are disappointed. As soon as we become confident in our conclusion, we may lose interest entirely.” –Matthew E. May, In Pursuit of Elegance.

I listened to the safety instructions, from the beginning to the end. Why? Because this guy knew his target audience (we were en route to Vegas, mind you) and stepped out of the norm. Not to mention, he entertained his passengers making the ride memorable (I remember, it was on Southwest and I retold this guy’s brilliant tactic).

Do something that is unexpected. Small or large, the unexpected change will no doubt be beneficial. Welcome surprise into your business practice, your relationships and everyday life. I dare you.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • Pingback: Tweets that mention Just Try Something Different | Small Hands, Big Ideas -- Topsy.com()

  • http://www.alifeintranslation.com/ Jamie

    It all comes down to that small attention to detail. I think Lijit does a great job of being a memorable company. You all do it differently over there and it definitely shows. 😉

  • http://www.alifeintranslation.com/ Jamie

    Not that you were TALKING about Lijit, but this just reminded me of it. Ok, I'm officially brain dead. =)

  • http://modite.com/blog Rebecca

    Southwest seems to have a lot of flight attendants like that; I've heard many similar stories. Cool stuff!

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Jamie I'm such a big fan of attention to small detail or it's the little things that count :) I'm happy you think Lijit does our part in being different and memorable, too!

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Rebecca I wonder if Southwest encourages their employees to be a little more liberal in their approach. It definitely seems like it. United or Delta are relatively rigid and would discourage flight attendants to stray from the protocol. Interesting management approach, nonetheless, eh? :)

  • kcmaund

    Funny you mention that. My stewardess the other day said “we will be lowering the cabin lights. the yellow button above your head is for the reading light. the green button is immediate seat ejection.” We all started cracking up and it made the flight that much more enjoyable. She threw in funny and witty little tid-bits here and there and I wasn't bored out of my skull. LOVE when they do that!

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Kat Ha, such a good example. It's so funny because it literally made my flight that much better – to know that I was surrounded by humor and a staff that had your happiness in their best interest.

  • Pingback: Ozzie Guillen to be Studio Analyst for Fox World Series Coverage - Esquire Video Kate Beckinsale()

  • Pingback: uberVU - social comments()

  • Pingback: Thursday WYNTR: The Baseball Playoffs Get Infinitely More Interesting After a Bad Day for ESPN | jackson-miss.com()

  • Dunki

    my flight attendant on US Airways to Vegas was like that as well. I have to say, that was the most entertaining flight ever….and I've been on a lot of flights as well.

    Great post. as if I would expect anything less from you. I am doing something different very soon and a blog post is coming. Check my site on Nov 5 to read all about it.

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Dunki Maybe it has something to do with Vegas? :)

    Thanks for your kind words. I'm excited to hear about the new project on your blog. Feel free to shoot me an email once it's live: gracekboyle at gmail dot com Cheers!

  • Dunki

    my flight attendant on US Airways to Vegas was like that as well. I have to say, that was the most entertaining flight ever….and I've been on a lot of flights as well.

    Great post. as if I would expect anything less from you. I am doing something different very soon and a blog post is coming. Check my site on Nov 5 to read all about it.

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    @Dunki Maybe it has something to do with Vegas? :)

    Thanks for your kind words. I'm excited to hear about the new project on your blog. Feel free to shoot me an email once it's live: gracekboyle at gmail dot com Cheers!

  • Pingback: The Power of People Who Are “Down” | Small Hands, Big Ideas()