That extra half second
February 22, 2010

You may have heard that the Concordia – the ship used to house international high school students on a program called “Class Afloat” sank last week off the coast of Brazil.  Class Afloat was a one-of-a-kind program that allowed senior high school students to take their final year of school on a Tall Ship, while visiting ports and countries around the world.  My fiancee was one of the graduates of the Class Afloat program, and as such we were at Toronto’s Pearson airport this morning to welcome the survivors home.  So was all the media.

I don’t have a problem with the media, per se, but I did learn a valuable lesson today on the value of personal connection and patience.  While the rest of the camera teams were (literally) running from gate to gate, swarming each student or teacher that was walking slowly, there was one guy (From CBS) who was playing things a little different. He didn’t have a camera.  He introduced himself – with eye contact, a handshake and a smile.  He welcomed people home.  And then he asked if they would be willing to take a few minutes to answer some questions – back at his news van, away from the other flashing bulbs and whirring cameras.  People appreciated it, and he (no doubt) got better footage than all the other anchor people, and all because he took an extra second or two to make a personal connection before he asked for anything.  Smart guy.

Welcome home to all the “floaties”, whether that home is Canada, USA or beyond; we’re glad you all made it through the experience safe.