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My wife and I recently returned from a trip to San Diego, and once again we loaded up our matching suitcases. We got these suitcases specifically because they were designed to fit “perfectly” in an airplane’s overhead compartment.

*Sigh*

What followed was hilarious. If the agent at the departure gate has even a hint of a hunch that your suitcase might be one linear inch too large in any direction, he’ll direct you to our society’s version of the Iron Maiden: “Sir, would you please fit your carry-on in the box to your right?” The proud and the bold will do whatever it takes to prove to The Man that their suitcase will fit in that slot, even at the expense of removing articles of clothing and striking the suitcase a la Whack-A-Mole. I, seeking to avoid public derision on Twitter and cautious about holding up the line, immediately asked to gate check our bags.

Constraints and Responsibility will always trump Advertising.

If I stuff my suitcase like a Thanksgiving turkey, no way will it live up to the manufacturer’s claim. I knew the Constraints of the product when I got it, and after that it’s my Responsibility to respect those limits.

Companies! Are your representatives failing to inform your customers of the basic terms and conditions associated with your product or service? Could that be why your sales team is spending more time putting out fires and less time qualifying?

Customers! Do you really understand your needs? If the product or service cannot meet some of needs, are you willing to adapt? Or perhaps this product or service isn’t right for you…. are you willing to look elsewhere?

The examples are endless, yet Success Stories only come when both sides are fully engaged. If either party fails to hold up its end of the agreement, both parties suffer.

Me? For my next flight I’m bringing a smaller bag.

 

Next time you bring your bag to the airport…. don’t be a turkey. Instead, go all out with an Ultimate Turducken, courtesy of Serious Eats.