How to Handle a Mess Up?

by smartamarketing

Don’t Get Mad. Some Understanding Will Likely Get You a Better Outcome

Mike Dunn

Once upon a time in the 1980s…
A colleague and I travelled to California and the arrangements were made by an ‘almost captive’ travel agency located just off of the lobby of our corporate headquarters. We picked up our travel packets [2 plane tickets, 2 hotel reservations, and one rent car] from the agency and headed for the airport. On the flight, we looked at our reservations and found that we were booked at separate hotels that were a considerable distance apart. Needless to say, upon arrival there was an extensive phone conversation that involved some raised voices and tears. In the end, we stayed at the same hotel [the non-optimum one that was a fair distance from the vendor.

A few days later on the return flight, I began to think about how I would handle the situation with the travel agent. I decided that she made an honest mistake and I was a bit hard on her. When we returned, I went to the agency and asked to speak to her and then introduced myself [we did not know each other by name]. As soon as she blurted out the first sentence of her apology, I cut her off. I told her that I realized what a difficult job that she had, apologized to her, and then delivered a single rose from behind my back. From that time on, I had a personal travel agent who double checked her work and delivered prompt, ‘platinum’ service.


Mike Dunn is a Project Management Information Network Contributor (LinkedIn – Resourceful Critical Thinker —- Problem Solver Extraordinaire – Houston, Texas Area. Computer Software