Expectations are a funny thing, and one of those very “relative” things in life.
Yesterday I flew on my favorite airline again, Porter, from Toronto to Ottawa. I was very happy to get an earlier flight than planned and after a series of meetings I got to the airport in time to change to the 4:30pm flight … at which point I realised that the flight was ACTUALLY at 4pm and standing at the check-in desk at 2 minutes to 4pm was not going to work. So, I got the 5:30pm flight and was still home 3 hours earlier than planned. I was a happy boy!
While I was at the check in counter a young lady arrived who was also planning to make the 4pm flight and could not understand why this was not possible. She had phoned the airline just an hour earlier and been assured that if she arrived in time then she would get on the flight! She thought that Porter were being totally unreasonable and they should get her on the plane! When that did not happen she let everyone know how upset she was and how she would never fly Porter again. (God help her if she thinks Air Canada would be better!)
I travel a fair bit and so my expectations are tempered by experience, and the many disappointments that air travel can bring meant that my experience did not even rank as a blip on my radar. This was life, no big deal.
The young lady in question had different expectations, partly from some poor communication with a person manning the Porter 1-800 number and partly because she clearly did not have the travel experience to know that the aircraft doors always close some time before the posted departure time.
The flight was a small example of how expectations can be met or not met, and the way you deal with it helps to define who you are, and who you become. Expectations are set every day, in almost everything that we do and if we are not realistic than we are going to be disappointed. Sometimes, (many times?), we are disappointed even when our expectations are reasonable.
Expectations are probably most risky when we apply them to people. We expect people to behave in certain ways, to conform to certain rules, to act in ways that we consider to be reasonable … often we are disappointed!
I consider myself to be a pragmatic person and most times I write my disappointments off to experience and “life”. But sometimes the disappointment stings to the point where even an old guy like me has trouble understanding how I could be so far off in my expectations.
Probably the life lesson from this is to not let life’s disappointments change you. Be true to who you are and soar (like an Eagle) above the turkeys!