In the movie, “Meet the Parents”, Ben Stiller is trying to
board a plane but the gate agent has not yet called his row
number. What is funny is that he is the only one in the entire
boarding area. Denied boarding by the gate agent he must
continue to wait. Finally, although still no one else in the
area, the gate agent picks up the microphone and
announces his row. She cheerfully then admits him to the jet
way. Many laugh at this extremely funny adherence to policy.
Obviously the gate agent was locked into the letter of the
policy without regard to the customer. Certainly if it was
impossible to allow Ben to board she could have offered an
explanation to the obviously upset passenger/customer.
Similar incidences go on in places of business every day.
These well-intentioned people are known as “Robots on the
Last week I took my car in for some required maintenance.
After an hour in the waiting room my name was announced
and my vehicle was ready for pick-up. The work was
covered under warranty so there was no money changing
hands, but I still had to go to the cashier to get my keys. She
was sitting behind a glass barrier talking on the phone. I
noticed my paperwork and keys were sitting in plain sight
between her and me. While she ignored me on her call I
read the paperwork to see exactly what the mechanics had
Finally she hung up the phone and asked if she could help
I pointed to the work order and identified it as my car.
She said, “Sorry, you have to give me your name.”
Perplexed at the importance of actually saying my name, I
made it very obvious I was looking at the paper in front of
her. It was even turned sideways to make it even easier to
read, and read my name off the paper exactly as it was
printed, middle initial and all.
What she said next shocked me, proving she was a robot on
the front line. Click here to find out why.
As Aesop established hundreds of years
ago with his timeless fables we remember
words best when we become engaged in a
story. Max has compiled an anecdotal
story collection designed to generate “ah-
ha” moments during coaching sessions,
presentations, and meetings. Click here to
©2007 Max Impact, Rochester Hills, Michigan,USA