Good news too

Having written a couple of semi-humorous, semi-grousing posts about my Delta Airlines exploits, I felt it would only be fair of me, after a no-surprises Delta flight cross country, to write a post about the good flight: it was successful, easy and uneventful, and it arrived 30 minutes early. I even began wondering how best to write a post about something so totally devoid of interesting details and turns of events.

Musing about that a few hours after I landed, I got a call on my cellphone from an unknown San Francisco number.

“Hello Mr. Dichter?”


“This is Delta Airlines calling.  Did you just fly from JFK to San Francisco?”



“Mr. Dichter.”


“Did you leave anything on the plane?”

(longer pause.)

“Um….I don’t know….Oh *$&%!!!  My iPad.”

“Yes sir.  You can come and pick it up at the San Francisco airport by Door 17 at the Lost and Found.”

Joy ensues.

Which is to say, first, that in no way shape or form do I really deserve to still be in possession of my iPad.  And, second, that I’m extremely thankful to the Delta flight attendants who found it and turned it in to Lost and Found, to the Delta representative who then called me to deliver the good news, and then to the folks at Lost and Found (including a guy in an actual red coat) who promptly and without any hassle returned it to me.

It is much easier to remember to complain and explain why everything’s broken.  It takes a decision to start to be in the businesses of shining a light on things that are working well and to thank people.  Good news stories don’t sell newspapers, but we need more of them.  Grousing is entertaining but mostly it just holds us back.

Thanks Delta.

Some terrible advice from Fortune magazine

In a Fortune magazine column, titled “5 Tips for Keeping Your Job” (p. 14 of the December 8 issue), tip #2 is “Don’t be a maverick…This is not the time to throw yourself in an unauthorized direction.”

Seriously?  When firms are cutting back, Fortune suggest that now is the time to hide and hope you don’t get noticed?

How about the opposite?  How about making now the time you go the extra mile, do something surprising and wonderful, and stand out from the crowd?

Wouldn’t you rather be the person that your company HAS to keep because you’re so exceptional than the person they forgot to fire?

(More amazing still, some blogs are quoting this mumbo-jumbo verbatim as if it were good advice.)