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Are You OK?

by Kim Ades May 5, 2017

Are you OK?
 
 
April 17, 2017.
Air Canada, Flight 408.
Scheduled for departure at 11 a.m.

It was a rough morning, and I felt a little disoriented.

As I boarded the plane, the flight attendant looked right into my eyes and asked, “Are you OK?”

How did she know? Was it that apparent?

That morning at 7 a.m., my father had passed away. I was boarding the flight to be with my family.

I shared this news with her.

“Can I give you a hug?” she asked.

I accepted gratefully.

When I first saw her, I hadn’t said a word and I hadn’t been crying. Did she have telepathy? What made her sense that something was up? And what made her have the courage to ask?

I was amazed by her sensitivity and her actions.

She came by a few minutes later to offer me a complimentary glass of wine or a free set of headphones. I passed on both items, but asked if I could take a picture of her instead, knowing that someday I would remember to write this article.

“I’m sorry, Air Canada does not permit me to have my picture taken – but my name is Julie Gagnon.”

I made a note of it on my phone because I knew that my brain was too foggy to retain that information.

Julie Gagnon – an amazing flight attendant who was completely tuned into her environment and the needs of her passengers. What comfort she gave me that day – unforgettable – and what a contrast to some of the recent experiences of other passengers on other airlines.

It can be that way. Business conducted with a human touch, with compassion and with a minute to just look at one another and ask a simple question…

Are you OK?

 

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