Karl’s company was about to soar to new heights, which only added to his growing arrogance. However, after abusing a flight attendant on his flight to a life-changing meeting, Karl is finally humbled.
Karl was a middle-aged man well on his way to the big leagues. His company was about to become a subsidiary of a large multinational corporation.
Karl came from humble origins and had worked his whole life to finally get to this point in his career. He was due to travel to Berlin to sign his deal and he was overjoyed.
Karl had been waiting for this moment for a long time and he wanted to enjoy it as much as possible. He secured a business class ticket to celebrate his new venture.
His newfound success started to get to his head, and Karl became a little reckless with his behavior and his dealings with people. Sitting in his business class seat, he pompously took in the view that surrounded him. This was his first time in business class.
“It’s going to be one hell of a party,” he said to the man sitting next to him.
“Oh really!? What are we celebrating?” the man asked.
“I’m on my way to Berlin to sign the contract of my life. It’s definitely a champagne moment,” explains a happy Karl.
“Oh wow. That’s great. I’m happy for you,” said the man.
“What’s that? The audacity! It takes you thirty minutes to bring me my champagne and it’s warm!? Are you serious?”
“Hey! A chilled bottle of your best champagne!” Karl barked at the stewardess, snapping his fingers rather rudely.
“No problem, sir. I’ll take care of you in a moment,” the stewardess replied politely.
Thirty minutes passed and Karl was getting worried because he still hadn’t received his order. Eventually, the stewardess came with Karl’s sparkling wine, and Karl wasn’t at all pleased.
“So? Why did it take you so long? I’ve been waiting for about half an hour?” Karl barked at the stewardess.
“I’m so sorry, sir. I had to do something in Economy Class,” the stewardess replied calmly.
“What’s that? The audacity! It takes you thirty minutes to bring me my champagne and it’s warm!? Are you serious?” snapped Karl, pushing the champagne bottle onto the floor.
“I’m sorry sir! I just…” the stewardess began nervously before being interrupted by another excited Karl.
“Stop making excuses! Just do your job! I’m your boss here! Do you understand?” Karl yelled, and the rest of the passengers now looked at his spectacle.
As he walked towards the stewardess, who was doing her best to hold back tears, an elderly woman, Anna, entered the business class cabins. Karl was amazed to see the CEO of the company he was about to sign with. Anna went straight to the stewardess and greeted her warmly.
“Thank you for what you did for me,” said Anna.
“No problem. It was my pleasure,” said the stewardess, feigning a smile while wiping away tears.
“Why are you crying?” Anna asked worried. Karl shifted uncomfortably as the stewardess turned to him and Anna followed him.
“Well, I think you should apologize to that young lady.”
“Um… just… I just had a little disagreement with this gentleman. That’s all,” the stewardess said, trying her best to hide her pain and frustration.
“Karl? What are the chances that we’re on the same plane?” said Anna, shocked to see Karl and curious about his role in the stewardess’ sudden sadness.
“Um… Anna, yes, it’s a surprise to see you here. Why are you in Economy Class?” Karl asked hesitantly.
“Well it saves me money to donate to charity and other good causes. And you? Why are you making this woman’s job harder than it needs to be? I heard you from my department,” Anna said.
“Um… no, it’s just that it took her forever to get my champagne and it was warm when it arrived. Poor service,” Karl said, sticking to his arrogance.
“Well I think you should apologize to this young lady. While you were waiting for your champagne I had an asthma attack and she was kind enough to drop everything and take care of me. She gave me saved my life”, explained Anna Karl quite firmly and with conviction.
“Saved your life?” asked a confused Karl.
“Yes, that delayed your champagne. I’m sorry. But don’t be so hasty and don’t ask people to do their jobs unless you understand the full scope of things. Take this as advice from the person who been your boss,” said Anna.
Um… ‘would be’ ma’am?” Karl asked nervously.”Um… ‘would be’ ma’am?” Karl asked nervously.
“Karl… I have a lot of money, but what would I do with it if my life was in the hands of the stewardess today? Never put yourself above other people. They may need their help. And anyway, we’ll wrap up this conversation in Berlin.” , said Anna coolly, before turning to the stewardess with a smile, “and thank you again, my dear.””Karl… I have a lot of money, but what would I do with it if my life was in the hands of the stewardess today? Never put yourself above other people. They might need their help. And anyway, we’ll wrap up this conversation in Berlin,” Anna said coolly, before turning to the stewardess with a smile, “and thank you again, my dear.”
“Sorry! I shouldn’t have treated you like that,” Karl said to the stewardess.
“It’s okay,” she replied.
Anna exited the business class area, leaving Karl completely perplexed. Karl was getting nervous about his contract when their flight finally landed in Berlin.
As fate would have it, Anna withdrew the offer to Karl’s company, and the deal never materialized.
What can we learn from this story?
Never put yourself above others. Karl’s arrogance led to him treating people wrongly, but in the end it worked against him.
Kindness goes a long way. The stewardess dropped everything to help Anna, and her kindness later brought Anna to her defense when Karl abused her.
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