Globetrotting | Rome, Italy

You, Me, Parking Lot at 10 o’clock

O'Hare Terminal 1 B Concourse
O’Hare Terminal 1 B Concourse

Bring it on, Be-aytch,”

the Gate Gourmet caterer yelled as she wheeled the food cart down the aisle.

“Temperatures rising”

the Isley Brothers’ tune popped into my mind.

As soon as I boarded the plane, I could feel the tension. I did my best not to add to it. I got to the plane early so I wouldn’t have to rush through my safety checks. Unfortunately my timing was off and now caterers, cleaners and crew were on at the same time – a recipe for disasters.

Caterers boarded food and drinks from door 2 left, Scrubs crawled through the seats picking up trash and wiping down trays and at once, all collided.

I didn’t see it happen but it wasn’t hard to figure out the Gate Gourmet rolled over a Scrub and it was on and popping.

“BRING IT ON!” “Considered it ‘Brung’, Bi-yatch!” “I’ll meet you in the parking lot at 10 o’clock.” “I’ll meet you at Jack’s Market.” Quick thinking prevailed.

Fighting on federal property is akin to terroristic’ activity. Airline employees and contractors are extremely diligent in regards to safety and security of the aircraft.

“You just a Scrub, anyway!” the caterer lashed out.

It wasn’t really a personal attack, the cleaners work for Scrub, Inc. and the four inch high neon-green letters emblazoned across the back of the uniform spell out “Scrubs”
I wonder if management had to wear those uniforms would they option for a more dignified less conspicuous design?

A United Customer Service Representative traveling down the jet-bridge to cool off from a “hot flash” (her words) heard all the commotion. She questioned the Purser about the goings-on only to find the purser was trying to make sense of it too…

As the Purser relayed the story to the CSR, the Captain and First Officer, it dawned or her she had no clue as to where Jack’s Market was located. Too bad too; we were expected to return to O’Hare around 8:30 just enough time to see the fight go down.

I kid, I kid!

The CSR reported the incident. Everyone not going to Washington-Reagan airport deplaned and flight went off without further incident.

Except I was left with this one question:

Why fight over territory?
Why do we argue over the small space we occupy even if it’s only in that moment?
Aren’t we stewards of the land; not its owners?
Copyright 2010 MH

Shared: Meet the Bloggers #FollowFriday

I just want to take this time to thank everyone who reads, subscribers and shares my site. I appreciate all the support and encouragement.I would love to read everyone’s blog, but I don’t always get a chance to read and follow everyone’s blog. So today I want to offer a networking opportunity and a chance […]

via Networking + Share Your Blog — Jay Colby

Goals are Wishes with Deadlines

Friendly Skies
Friendly Skies

Do you struggle with your goals?

You’re not alone.  I recently found a list of goals I wrote on December 31, 2007.  Here it is almost 9 years later and guess how many of those goals did I achieve?

A big fat zero!

So you might ask yourself,

“why the heck should I read any further?  There’s nothing this woman can teach me about goal achievement.”

To that I would say…WRONG!

Now listen.  We are exactly one month from the big “Make a resolution” day.  You may know it as New Year’s Day.   And if you’re one of the 62% of Americans 1  that make a resolution – stay with me.  I’m going to give 3 tips on how to achieve your goals.

  • Review your current life choice. Review your decisions. Your decisions must support your choice.  Your goal must be aligned with your choice.

When I made my resolutions – they were career goals. What I didn’t consider, however, was the fact I was about to embark on a new career of Flying the Friendly Skies.  Yep that’s right, I set goals related to my marketing /editorial vocation – and then I took the skies of United Airlines.

I chose to see the world working as a Flight Attendant.  More than 20 countries and 8 years later; I landed back on terra firma.  In doing so, I didn’t achieve the goals I set in 2007 but I did achieve a few undeclared goals as a result of my  temporary career change.

A lot of us make goals but we fail at achieving them because they’re not aligned with the path we choose.  Although I didn’t realize at the time, I had a different vision for my life.

So remember with any plan, the goal is a part of the life you envisage; a mental picture of something not yet existing or known.

  • Picture how your life looks once you achieve your goal.

Now that you have a picture in your mind; write the story.    Use the plot line format, if it helps. Who is the protagonist?  What is the problem? How will life look once the challenge is overcome?

For example: The Fugitive (1993)2

Who: Dr. Richard Kimble

Problem: Unjustly accused of murdering his wife;  now the target of a nationwide manhunt.

Goal: Must find the real killer to clear his name and gain his freedom

OK, maybe your goal setting isn’t that dramatic – but when you see it in those terms it becomes something real, tangible and definitely achievable.

  • Stay focused on your goal so you can achieve it

Plotting your strategy and tactics will help chart your course.

Voila, before you know it –you’re one of the 8% of Americans 3 who are actually successful at achieving your New Year’s Resolution.

Congratulations!0champagnepour

1 – Harden, Seth. “New Years Resolution Statistics.” Statistic Brain. 2016. Accessed December 01, 2016. http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/

2-Reeves, Jon. “The Fugitive (1993) Plot Summary.” IMDb. Accessed December 01, 2016. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106977/plotsummary.

Help Desk | Turn Your Opinion into a Feature Article

421px-Fist4Opinions are like a heart; everybody has one.

If you think about it, you probably have an opinion on everything. This is a good thing if you’re responsible for producing content. It means you’ll never run out of ideas. So let’s get to the heart of the matter and turn those opinions into features.

Step 1: Know the difference between a subject and a topic.

Subject: branch of knowledge; discipline or field

Topic: specific aspect of the subject

Step 2: Pick a subject (provocative is better). We’ll use Climate Change.

Step 3: Think about topics that fall under the category “climate change”. Choose one.

I was thinking about the sea level this morning during my workout. Let’s use “rising sea level” as an angle for our article.

Step 4. Write a Headline:

More than 20 American cities will be under water by the turn of the century.

Step 5: You or your designee are reporting on this story, therefore you must remain unbiased. Still that doesn’t mean you’re brain dead. It just means you need to examine and present at least two sides (pro/con) of the topic.

Bonus: If there is someone, product or company you’d like to feature in your article, here’s the chance to let them/it shine.

Who: is at risk?

What: is at stake?

Where: will be the hardest hit?

When: will we see evidence?

How: will it happen?

Once you’ve answered the aforementioned questions via your “newsmakers”,

Final step: Edit your article to 750 words. Most people read on mobile devices. Make brevity your friend. Wrap up the article with an unbiased course of action related to the headline. A sentence or two such as:

“Sea-level may not rise more than a few inches in our lifetime but the threat of flooding is a real risk for anyone living near water. Here’s how to prepare…

Voila! You now have editorial content also known as a feature article.

You’ve also won some extra points for featuring two of your favorite clients who both have written books “Climate Change: What a Bunch of Malarkey” and “Climate Change: How to Build an Ark“.

copyright 2016 MH

Help Desk | Storytelling 101

“…the dash between the years” ~ Linda Ellis

Terror
Terror

Imagine, it’s the eleventh hour and you feel the end is near. You pause and ask yourself, “What have I done with my life? Have I really lived?

What does my “dash” reveal? ”

OK, so it may be a bit morbid. But what if someone had to tell your life’s story; how would it read?

In their book, “How to Tell A Story: The Secret of Writing Captivating Tales”, renown writer instructor Gary Provost (1944-1995) and literary agent Peter Rubie give us some insight on the structure of life’s journey.

Rubie and Provost say that 90% of stories you’ve ever read, told or heard follow a plotting formula that reads like this:

The Plot

Buy “How to Tell a Story”

“Once upon a time, something happened to a woman, and she decided that she would pursue a goal. So she devised a plan of action, and even though there were forces trying to stop her, she moved forward because there was a lot at stake, And just as things seemed as bad as they could get, she learned an important lesson and when offered the prize she sought so strenuously, she had to decide whether or not to take it, and in making the decision(s), she satisfied a need that had been created by something in her past.

~Gary Provost, How to Tell a Story

As you survey your life, you’ll probably find some points on your dash that read just like this plot. But the real gem of this outline helps you stay the course in both your fiction writing and through the difficult times in life.

THE WRAP: A Plot:

A Protagonist has (Who)

to overcome a challenge(What)

to achieve a goal (Why)

copyright 2016 mh

Out of Time

Big Ben
Big Ben

Quick! What’s the world’s most valuable commodity?

If you’ve answered,

“Time” 

You’re right.

The greatest treasure one can share, or bestow on another is time.

No; not money – time.

Money can buy a lot of things. One can even pay another for the use of her time. But all the money in the world cannot buy more time.

Time is the most valuable commodity and it’s priceless.

Therefore, how we spend our time speaks to our character. Our use of time shows us what we value.  We show those whom we spend our time with or on how precious they are to us.

We invest our time in those we care about without ever giving a thought to the return on our investment.

It’s simply time well spent.

So why do most take the gift of time for granted?

This seems especially true when those we spend the most time on, such as our adult children, no longer need our time.

Some, (insert a loved one here), will even proceed to tell us how we should spend our time once they’re finished with it.

Ain’t that something?

You give your time, and spend most of your waking moments on them, then one day they say, in no uncertain terms,

“You’re not spending your time the way we believe you should and now you’re putting our lives in jeopardy.”

Or they may say,

“Get it together. Your dreams don’t matter; only ours. You’re getting too comfortable spending your time on yourself; living your life.”

To some that sentence may appear to have a period…BUT
the unspoken words are:

“What about us? Does this mean we have to give our time to you?”

If this has been your experience, then let them know:  you’ve gifted your time but it has always been your time to spend as you see fit.

So for the last time; that is, if you’re feeling a bit generous remind them of this:

They have never  or will be able to dictate how you spend your time.

If they thought otherwise, they were deluded.

Your time spent on them was a gift from the heart.

Now their time is up.

It’s your time. Live it well.

Thank you for reading. As always, your time is greatly appreciated.