Personally, I am going to admit up front that I am not actually a lover of chocolate, at least not as a food group. I’m more of a starburst kid. That said, what I appreciate about chocolate is that other people like it, and it’s a pretty safe bet when looking for a hostess gift, quick “I’ll bring the dessert” option, etc. It’s also a great gift to bring back from places that are known for their chocolate, like Belgium. The chocolate we brought back from our last trip to Brugges made us very popular for more than a minute.
In fact, more than 80% of the U.S. population will eat chocolate this year.
A few weeks ago I was flying back home from a work trip to San Diego and had to connect through Las Vegas. When you live in San Antonio you get used to not having a whole lot of flights that are nonstop, so it is what it is. Since I was flying Southwest, I was on in the early A’s and lucked into an exit row seat. Yes. I know. I’m short. I still like the exit row. That’s an entirely different conversation.
Getting the exit row often means you have quality time with the flight crew since that’s often where they park to watch the silliness ensue. Our little exit row group ended up talking about the specialty chocolatier in the Vegas airport (I’m not naming names Ethel) that the woman across the aisle from me had done some serious damage at, and the flight attendant mentioned that while they love all gifts, any chocolate is usually of the snickers variety. Yes, people bring flight crews gifts. I’ll talk more about this in a moment, but just take my word for it.
So tonite, I’m back flying to California, which means transiting once more through Vegas. Since I had a bit of time, I stopped by Ethel’s and grabbed a little something for the crew. Of course I am back to my exit row seat, and when I gave it to the flight attendant with a thank you and an explanation of the prior conversation with a colleague of hers, she was speechless. Not just that I had brought a gift, but that I remembered the conversation and brought that specific chocolate. I think she was only sad knowing there was about to be some sharing going on with the rest of her team. And I enjoyed my flight knowing their evening was a bit more fun.
So now back to the gift issue. There are plenty of articles and opinions out there about how we as a universe have gotten completely carried away with tipping, with gifts, with showing any sort of appreciation for other humans we interact with. I’m not looking to start a debate (well ok maybe I am) and this is not a directive that you must bring gifts for the flight crew. In fact, I don’t about 90% of the time. If I’m loving the service I tend to tweet their fabulousness, and if I’m not I just focus on the getting there. But I do believe that small shows of appreciation and understanding go a long way in this karmic space we occupy, and this is just a sweet (see what I did there) reminder that sometimes a little chocolate goes a long way.