I stepped off the plane at the Dallas, Ft. Worth airport on my way to Tucson.
Unless you have your own private plane, there are no direct flights to Tucson, the land of the brown and flat. I was not even out of the gate area, when an airport personnel type looking person approached me. “What gate was I connecting at”, he asked me. He then proceeded to pick up my carry on and put it on that shuttle labeled DISABILITY.
I take Barre classes, aerial yoga, and spin. I don’t think of myself as disabled. While I do have a faint memory of the day JFK was killed, I don’t think of myself as requiring a shuttle labeled DISABILITY. I followed my carryon to the little shuttle golf cart all the while perplexed as to why I was now breezing through the airport when everyone else was walking.
Perhaps I was going to be abducted to the bowels of the airport?
I was both glad to have the ride and feeling guilty for not getting in a minor amount of cardio while searching for my gate. Perhaps I thought, passersby would think I had a foot injury hidden from view.
Why oh why oh why did he put me on that shuttle? About mid-way to my gate he stopped and picked up another able bodied person. But this one he identified as his boss. Yeah! I thought, now I can get an answer to this burning question of why me?
Did I look disabled, did I look old, did I look pathetic, what was it? The answer shocked me.
More for my naivety than his brazen proactive status, the boss guy explained to me that the drivers of these glorified golf carts are paid $5.00 an hour. Have you figured out the answer yet? Any additional income comes directly from tips. There are those drivers that just pick up the passengers they are sent to meet on each flight: the old, the disabled, and the infirmed. And then there are drivers like mine. My driver figured out a way to increase his income by picking up healthy passengers. You could either moonlight on a second job, or figure out how to increase your earning income on your present job. My driver was increasing his income potential.
They funny thing is that if the boss guy had not told me this, I probably would not have tipped. Not because I didn’t appreciate his ride. I just would not have thought of it. As a healthy person, I don’t usually take rides on the DISABILITY cart so I don’t know the etiquette.
The lesson learned to me was that there is always another way to increase your income, your footprint, your influence, whatever it is that you want to increase.
Although not standard, his way was accepted as “legal” by his superiors.
What ways can we extend our sphere of influence in a way that is legal but perhaps not standard?
Read more posts by Leslie Ungar here. Leslie blogs for JenningsWire.
JenningsWire.com is created by National Publicist, Annie Jennings of the NYC based PR Firm, Annie Jennings PR. Annie Jennings PR specializes in marketing books for getting authors booked on radio talk show interviews, TV shows in major online and in high circulation magazines and newspapers. Annie also works with speaker and experts to build up powerful platforms of credibility and influence.