"SNACK!" the man yelled. "I said I wanted a meal. Do you know who I am?"
Robert replied. "Frankly, I don't have a clue about what rock you crawled out from under,1873 Ugg Bailey Button Triplet Chocolate Boots. But if you don't know who you are, I'll be glad to inquire around and see if anyone knows the pompous ass in 12C."
Instead the words came out as, "I'll be happy to check the galley and see if anything is available. I'll be getting back to you."
This seemed to satisfy the man and he nodded a curt thank you.
This went on for the entire flight. Whenever a passenger annoyed him he didn't hesitate to invite them to leave by the rear door,or anything else you can't control. Parachutes were available for an extra fee.
It was an amazing experience. He was free to express his anger and frustrationand did so. But somehow, without any effort or intent on his part, the words came out polite and in accord with company policy,you can visit the following page. Instead of feeling angry and upset at the end of the flight, he was relaxed and totally at peace.
He was so relaxed that he even enjoyed standing at the exit door, bidding passengers a warm goodbye. And for the obnoxious passengers he would add, "And I do hope you fall flat on your big ugly stupid face the moment you step off airport property." But, of course, the words always came out as, "Have a nice day." Robert loved it.
For the first time in years, he really began to enjoy his job. When he thought about it, he realized that it was more than being able to tell any difficult passenger where they could get off. It was the idea that he was also doing a suburb job. He had become a master at handling the most challenging situation.
Praise in the form of letters and comments began pouring into his personnel file. Other crew members were turning to him for help in handling unreasonable passengers. In fact other flight attendants considered it a plum assignment when they were booked on a flight with him. He just had a knack for making even difficult flights go smoothly.
Months later, Robert again found himself walking down Grant Street in San Francisco. Quite without intending to do so, he turned into the alley of the old Chinaman and sought out his shop.
It was still the same. Except when Robert entered, the old man bowed a greeting before gesturing for Robert to take the chair. When Robert sat, the ancient Chinaman put out his hand. "Please return blue stone."
"But I can't," Robert replied. "It's turned my job around."
"Yesbut no longer necessary."
"But how will I control my angry thoughts and frustration?" Robert protested.
"How many angry thoughts did you have today?"
Robert thought for a moment. "I don't recall any."
"And how many right words did you speak?"
"I guess they were all right. At least everyone seemed to accept them. But that was the blue stone speaking for me."
"Yes, in the beginning that was so. But the stone only spoke words you already knew. Anger clouded them from memory. Now anger no longer speaks for you. You speak with right words and actions. Someone else must now wear the blue stone."
Reluctantly, Robert took the chain from around his neck and placed the stone in the old man's hand. "Thank you," the Chinaman said with a slight bow. "Your father wishes me to say he is proud of you."