Wedding Anniversary – an unexpected opportunity.
Friday afternoon, July 20, 2007. After a busy day with leadership role interviews in the middle of London, I’m in a taxi on my way to Heathrow Airport and only now check my messages on my mobile phone.
Oh no, Lufthansa informed me two hours ago that my planned evening flight unfortunately had to be cancelled due to the weather conditions. I look out of the window of the taxi and actually see deep dark storm clouds gathering around me. Such a misfortune. Because tomorrow is our wedding anniversary and I might not make it home now.
Chaos at the airport. Hours of queuing to book the replacement flight and find a hotel room for the night. Lufthansa has contracted hotels, so I’m in the fortunate position of having a bed for the night. Many other passengers from other airlines are not doing so well. Today, I am grateful to Lufthansa for this. And there is also a free dinner.
In line, I make friends with two other passengers who were booked on the same flight as me. Fellow sufferers, but also with a room for the night. We spend the evening together. Best friends for a day. The next morning, our tracks are lost just as quickly as they were found.
The wake-up call rings early on our anniversary. Very early. Because boarding of my rebooked flight is at 5:55 a.m. That’s a good thing. I need to make amends.
Arriving at the airport, then the big surprise. July 21, 2007 is the release date of the seventh and final Harry Potter volume, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” in the original version. The German version should not be available until October. It feels like half the world is waiting for the last volume. So do we. And the whole terminal is decorated with it. An overwhelming sight – at least for the Harry Potter fan community. You can buy a volume on every corner. What a huge luck, I think. I’m buying this volume twice, one for my wife and one for myself.
When I get home, I’m the hero for now. Our anniversary day will be a day of reading. Shortly before midnight, we are both through and pass the book on to each of our two daughters who are reading through Sunday. From Monday on we can discuss the outcome of the seven-volume Harry Potter story together. What an experience.
➡ And with you? Have you ever missed a flight and that turned out to be a stroke of luck?
My name is Bernd Scharbert and my task as a mentor and facilitator for leaders is to ensure that virtual intercultural teams will be successful.