This week the post will be a bit short and perhaps a little bit different. My sister got married on Saturday in North Carolina. I live in Wisconsin. This meant my family and I flew down from Wisconsin to North Carolina, a trip requiring two flights. I have twin two year old girls. Did I mention the weather for last week was full of storms?
Parents who have flown with small children most likely just winced. Those of you who follow me on twitter seen my hopeless cries of despair as I attempted to arrive – with my family – for my sister’s wedding. Our plane was supposed to leave at 9:00 AM on Thursday and I was going to have a three and half layover in Detroit before we took off for Raleigh, NC. Our first plane left after 1:00 PM. As we were landing in Detroit, our connecting flight to Raleigh took off. Everyone, but me, had a confirmed seat on the 8:26 PM – the last flight out. My family started the day at the airport at 7:30 AM this meant we will have spent almost 12 hours in airports or airplanes so far that day with no guarantee that I was going to have seat. The 8:26 PM departure time became 9:00 PM then 9:30 PM and finally 10:38 PM. I found out I had a seat at 9:30 PM. We arrived in Raleigh just before midnight and finally got the kids to bed at 1:30 AM.
Still with me? Good. This post isn’t a rant about traveling with children or shaking my fists at the weather gods. Rather, this is a comparison post. Fans of this blog post may remember my last comparison post: What Salesforce Admins Have in Common with Disney World & SeaWorld So what does a tired, frustrated traveling dad and airline staff have to do with being a Salesforce Admin? Glad you asked!
Admins help simplify the process and occasionally help if they can’t
The first time I flew with my family was in February. They had just turned two the month before and we were all going to Orlando. Being two, they required their own seats. Knowing my kids and safety suggestions we decided to fly them while strapped in their car seats. That means two car seats, plus 4 bags of carry-one luggage, plus stroller, plus children. My wife is a supermom but even she couldn’t juggle everything else and leave me to two car seats. I bumbled, dropped, I think I knocked some poor guy in the head (sorry again).
This time, I made the process a tad easier. I grabbed some bungee cords and strapped the seats together for an easier carrying experience. It was still a load. When I was getting on of the planes my children decided to panic. I couldn’t carry them, my wife had her hands full. A very nice Delta Steward rushed over and asked if he could help me. He grabbed two of my bags, helped me and my kids get to our aisle and then came back with cookies.
I had a process I had to get through to be successful. For me it was getting those darn car seats and bags setup for my kids to sit in. I couldn’t change this process neither could the steward. I was the tired frustrated end-user trying to complete my process and my steward was a helpful admin that gave me a hand when I needed it. Did I get help every time? No, I did not. I got help when I absolutely needed it because I didn’t have control of the conditions (Kids).
Admins are courtesy and kind when they can
As tired, frustrated, angry, full of despair as I was with trying to fly my family out. I tried to be nice whenever I asked for help. Every person I met was very helpful and kind. I never flew on standby. I wanted to get my family for a hotel for the night if it wasn’t realistic that I was going to get a seat. I had two attendants who were very helpful. They explained the earliest I would know I had a seat and also told me my place in line (First!) and the number of people already listed to miss the flight (9!). They also suggested a restaurant in the airport that would be fairly kid friendly. They didn’t cheat the process, but they gave me some peace of mind with a little information.
Ever experience that? Had someone not know what they needed to do to submit a record for approval? Help them out very nicely and patiently?
We try to make thing easy for our end-users
I don’t mean we do their work for them. As admins, we provide training and assistance. We try to help simplify processes to make them easy and effective. Most importantly, we try to configure and setup Salesforce in a manner that is effective while still being easy for our end-users.
On that last flight out we were nearing almost 14 hours of airport/airplane time. My kids had not napped. I was visibly a shaken and near broken husk of a man. When I saw I had a seat on the plane I rejoiced. When I saw that all our seats were separated by a few rows I moaned. There was no way my kids are going to be able to fly alone and there was no way I was going to chance being able to swap seats while people were loading the plane. I had car seats to install!
I went up to the counter, thanked them for getting my a seat and presented them my problem. My kids choose that time to scream their own frustration at the top of their lungs. The attendant smiled knowingly and said “We’ll fix that for you.”
I now had four seats, two across from the other. Granted it was at the last row in the back of the plane, but that made thing amazingly easier for me.
The attendant couldn’t control my mood, or alas, the mood of my kids. She had some control over the seating configuration (see what I did there). She did what she could do to make it easier for one of her end users.
So there it is, three examples of how Salesforce Admins and airline staff have things in common. I have learned many other jobs and positions have similarities to being a Salesforce Admin. I also learned that I hate flying with my kids during storm season.
I hope you find some value in this post. Fly safe.
A Note From The Editor
A little secret about WizardNews posts. I hate writing Post Titles. I struggle with trying to write titles that are informative, accurate, and grab your attention. One of the more difficult parts is not to interject my sense of humor into the title – too much. For example, alternative titles for today’s post included:
- Twin Terrors at 30,000 feet
- What do you get when you cross and admin with a flight attendant?
- I could’ve driven there by now!
- Why we should be nice to those airline staff
What other titles can you come up with for this week’s blog post?