Wednesday, October 29, 2008

United Flight From Hong Kong to Singapore!

Planes, trains, buses, automobiles and boats led us from Macau to Hong Kong International Airport. Again I will remind you how I love this airport. Miki and I shopped, went to a spa, went to the Red Carpet Club and killed 3 hours without missing a beat.

But this is not the story. We boarded our 747 to our upper deck business class seats (yeah!) and nestled down for our 8:00pm flight to Singapore. A lovely evening flight with dinner and the service of a Singapore based flight crew. Right after take off the purser introduced herself, the pilots and the flight crew. She then in a very "teary" voice let us know that this was their last flight from Hong Kong to Singapore as a flight crew ( the flight attendants only), they were being laid off due to the financial problems of United and from this point on the flights would have American based flight attendants. The pilot came on and asked each of us to thank them for their years of service with United. Needless to say the 4 hour flight was filled with tears from not only the flight attendants but from passengers including Miki and me. Corporate business travelers got together and we all had pictures taken on the upper deck and many executives were giving the ladies their cards and saying "keep in touch."

Now the rest of the story - I know that alot of people are getting laid off and as an American I want to keep our country working and our people employed. But let's make sure we want the jobs. There are some great US based flight attendants - but as a serious frequent flyer there are many that could care less about us - the road warrior. Just 2 weeks ago on a flight between Chicago and LAX in first class I simply asked the flight attendant who was picking up the already read newspapers if I could see the USA Today she had in her hand. She looked at me as if I were the enemy and stated very clearly, "when I am done reading it you can have it." Well to her surprise the passenger who she had just taken the paper from looked up and said, "no way - give it to her first and when she is DONE you can have it." This would have never happened with Singapore flight attendants - I know that for sure. I have flown throughout Asia for over 20 years and have never experienced that rudeness. So guess what - bring the jobs home to the USA, but let's not forget why we work - for the customers.

When I askd the ladies if they had interviewed with Singapore Airlines they said that in the past they had even worked for Singapore Airlines but they loved the culture of United. They explained that United lets their flight attendants interact with the customer, enjoy their job and they make you part of a family. They told us they would wait for business to get better and for United to ask them to come home!

Let's all work together to get out of this economic harder, be strong, stay calm and beyond everything - have a positive outlook of the future.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do!

Welcome to the last week of October. I am posting this on Monday in Hong Kong, where has this month gone?! I just arrived in Hong Kong but final destination Macau! Since I missed the 7pm ferry to Macau I had to wait for 3 hours for the 10pm ferry. What could have been a long wait after a 15 hour flight became another amazing experience. Airports have become so user friendly. The shopping and dining at Hong Kong International Airport is simply remarkable, even with the US dollar. As I always do, I put myself out there to meet new people and this trip was no different.

On my flight I met this amazing woman - a Managing Partner Attorney of a large San Francisco based anti trust firm. Full of energy, life, great conversation and before long we found we had so much in common. She works hard, has one child, has been married to the same man for a long time and yet she still faces the negative comments about her life from her "so called" friends.

She referred to these comments as the "you gotta do what you gotta do" syndrome. Each time one of her neighbors or parents of her daughters friends ask her to join them for a cocktail party, any social event or something at the school when she couldn't make it, the friends would say the same thing - "there is always one" or "too bad you work so hard, but you gotta do what you gotta do." This is so frustrating. The comments are so lame - after all, she worked so hard to become a lawyer, build a practice, and still have a family - she did all of this because she wanted to, not that she "had" to.

Why are so many women enemies of so many women. Yes, ladies I mean "us." We can be each others worst enemies. Instead of being excited for your friend who is successful in their career while balancing their family, we act like they are being punished for what they enjoy. Just because someone has chosen to stay home and raise their children does not mean that those of us who chose to work should be made to feel bad. Everyone has choices in happy for each other! I do get a bit worked up, when I hear some feedback on my story, my style of living, working and loving life. The other day I gave a speech to over 500 people....99% of the feedback was great - they loved my message, got motivated, inspired and wanted more...but there were a few people and I mean 3 that said I needed to get over myself - enough Novotny! Well I am over those people. Just because I am real and say it like it is - some people don't want to hear the truth - "they can't handle the truth." You get out of life what you put into it. Just because I love living on the road with little or no balance doesn't mean that I don't live a "balanced" life. I have a wonderful marriage, a fantastic relationship with my daughter and am very close to my parents and sister. How many people that live in the same city as their own family can say that? So for all of you that think "we the working women of today" do what we "gotta do" are right - we gotta live this life since we only get one chance. Enjoy it now so you have no regrets for tomorrow.... from Hong Kong my best wishes!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Authentic Life

So September is over - Jessica has moved to College Station, TX to attend the home campus of Texas A&M and I jumped back into work and life. I left Texas after helping my family and flew to London to work with a wonderful client. Trains, planes and automobiles...I trained in a different city every day for 5 days - traveling by train, planes and cars throughout England. It was great and although it was hard work I was back in the saddle again where I do my best - training, speaking and enjoying every city I go to. Again, the train rides were fun, and the dinners and desserts fab! While I was there we met with another great client and he introduced us to one of his former associates that was moving to Dubai to work for a great company. During dinner we were laughing, sipping wine and discussing all the woes of the world! At one point I do what I always do and ask a lot of questions about people....I started by asking how she got in the business she is in - customer service, finance and leadership when the story began to unfold. She was actually a nuclear physicist - a real "rocket scientist"! Then everything for me came into perspective. I had dealt with so much anxiety with the hurricane - the economy was falling apart - the media was driving me crazy with such negativity and now I am laughing and sipping wine with a "rocket scientist" and she is normal, nice, smart and FUN! I deal with so much feedback in my career - one group loves me and then there are a few people who are "over" me and have no problem letting me know....well I am authentic! I am Cindy Novotny - I walk it, I talk it, I live it and I deliver on my promises. I meet so many great people who are also very talented and authentic and then there are always the few that aren't. You know who you are - if you are reading my blog chances are you are curious and get it - but are you truly authentic?