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Really…that’s my question too. Why can’t we have hamburgers on this flight? And why are there only peanuts and pretzels to choose from?

Okay, what’s the deal with the peanuts?? I’m on my way to Las Vegas and then road-tripping it to sunny Cali (girl’s trip!) and my air carrier of choice this time around is Southwest. Anyway, I had the distinct pleasure of choosing my seat at the front of the 737 next to two little girls, traveling by themselves. And for the youngest (only 5 years old)….well, this was her first trip in the sky.

Both girls were super excited, had tons to talk about, were all smiles and had lots of questions. I became the designated, older sister, helping with seat belts, drink orders (orange juice all around), answering questions, and helping with iPods (thank goodness the iPod died…I couldn’t figure out if she was singing Adele or another language!). During our 2 hour flight to Atlanta (layover!), they were a source of creativity that could definitely spark some innovation if the right people were listening.

My observations from the aisle seat?

  • It’s totally ok to talk to your seat mates. Why do adults feel the need to look the other way and avoid a new conversation? I know, I know…you want to read that book you’ve been trying to read for months (me included) or this is the only time you’re not connected to work and you can actually catch up on sleep…BUT, think about the interesting people you can meet and the things you can learn? These girls had never met before (not even on Twitter, helloooo) and they were like the best of friends! Open your mouth more often….even just to say hello. And if you ask someone how they’re doing, stop and wait for an answer….
  • “Who’s driving this thing?” This was a question the girls asked twice. Well, of course, the pilots are flying this thing…but the thought occured to me…passengers hear the voice, but we rarely see the pilots make an appearance. They’re busy doing their thing to fly this thing….but the thought occured to me, how often do we have this same question in real life? Where are our leaders and who’s actually managing this company? We hear the talk, but never really see the walk.
  • “Do they have hamburgers here?” Peanuts and pretzels have been served since the dawn of air travel (I haven’t been alive that long, but a good guess). Probably a luxury back in the day when peanuts were a hot commodity 😉 But what about now? I’ve traveled many an airline and they all have their thing…some put money into leg room or Wifi or in-flight tv…or even advertising. But why are the peanuts still here? I don’t see the peanut as a staple of air travel that needs a cushioned pad, under glass, in a museum. I see it as old, tried, dull and lacking creativity. If we look at our day jobs, maybe we’ve got some old and dull practices that just need to be changed or updated. Seriously, get rid of the peanuts in your life. Let’s try something else…like Cheezits, for example (sorry, you know me…) or even a telecommuting policy, supported by leadership, that actually allows employees to work from home without having a knife thrown in their back when they try to use the benefit? You get get where I’m going with this. Think about something other than peanuts and you’ll create more ideas that may be worth implementing.

So, there you have it…my observations from the clouds above your heads…where puffy clouds are pentiful, sleep occurs rarely, and peanuts surface every 5 minutes. Get rid of the peanuts and get a hamburger.

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