Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.

When I think of Southwest Airlines, my teeth rattle, my nose emits curiously unhappy noises and my sinews perform involuntary movements of self-defense.

This follows an utterly pestilent experience the last time I was booked on the airline.

Which doesn't mean, of course, that Southwest doesn't employ many fine, even thoughtful people.

When it comes to airlines, the fine, thoughtful people are usually those nowhere near the top.

And so it is that I bring you the tale of a bawling child.

Not even parents enjoy it when their progeny goes all The Prodigy on a flight. There could be all sorts of reasons for it. Overindulging the child is merely one.

Last week however, Carrie Jaboor, who works at Finding Nemo -- which is, quite naturally, in Orlando -- was on a Southwest flight when she witnessed (and surely heard) a weeping child.

As she described on Facebook: "There was a mother and her 2 young girls in front of me on the plane and the baby suddenly had a very loud crying fit that wouldn't stop."

And then: "This Southwest employee asked the mother to come to the back of the plane with him."

That's not usually a good sign.

Who could forget the experience of a woman who flew in Delta's First Class and was ushered to the back of plane and told that other First Classers were complaining about the wailing.

In the Southwest incident, however, something a little different happened.

"I looked back and saw him blowing bubbles for the little girl until she stopped crying as he was also giving tissues to the mother and consoling her as she was crying too," wrote Jaboor.

What ingenious thinking. Which only leads to a single question: Why did this Southwest employee have bubbles on him?

A small question, really, when compared to an inspired piece of customer service toward both the woman and her child -- and toward everyone else who feared having to listen to the wailing for a whole flight.

This, of course, has incited a Facebook discussion about whether the TSA will allow parents and, who knows, those who fear that there may be wailing kids on the plane, to take bubbles in their carry-ons.

Just as importantly, it provides a small customer service lesson. You can't solve every problem. Some, however, you can solve with just a little unusual thought.

Following your humanity, rather than some employee handbook (you can bet there's at least one airline with a no-bubbles rule), can go a long way.

Published on: Apr 3, 2017
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