This is hilarious.

So Mary Hagerty, our global chief of financial literacy, and I board what is normally a relatively modest if not small commuter plane flight for South African Airlines (a wonderful airlines by the way, with great service and efficiency of operations), from Johannesburg to Cape Town, South Africa on yesterday, and the crew directs me "back," and Mary "forward." Fine. Whatever. And then I hear "2A," for Mary’s seat. So I head over to the modest but quite reasonable accommodations in the normal folks seating area (smile), and then, I simply could not help myself, and thereafter go to check on "Queen Mary," who I later learn for a one-time fee of $40.00 bucks more, got bumped from her coach seat to FIRST class. Evidently, coach was sold out and she was told that the only way she could get on the flight with me was to pay for the modest upgrade, which she gladly did with her own funds. Now, THIS is financial literacy (smile again).

South_africa_078Now, this is no normal first class either friends; she has a "sleeper bed-seat," with mahogany wood, fresh flowers and the works. Literally. She was a little upset that she only discovered the pull out foot rest 20 minutes from arrival in Cape Town.

As for me, the very nice flight attendants brought me some peanuts, and said basically, sit down, and shut up and be glad we let you on board in the first place (actually, they were exceedingly nice. But they did give me some peanuts!).

Needless to say, Mary became extremely embarrassed about this whole episode — unfolding right in front of her boss no less, and tried desperately and without success to lop off her seat to me, etc, etc. Not a chance!!! This was priceless, and I will be teasing her about this for some time. As you can see here, I actually convinced the flight attendants to conspire with me to really get Mary, with me becoming them, and actually serving Queen Mary Hagerty personally. Priceless, this was.

Evidently the airline had a mix up with its (airplane) equipment for this short two-hour in country flight, as this particular plane is normally used for transcontinental long-distance flights only. In any regard, as you can see, they got no argument or complaints out of our Mary Hagerty (smile, three times).

P.S. This sort of redefines my quote about leadership; "you cannot call yourself a leader, unless you are prepared to serve…" Funny.

Onward and with HOPE

John Hope Bryant

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