Nice Timing by Dr. Tom DePaoli
Life is the game of boomerangs. Our thoughts, words and deeds return to us—sooner or later—with astounding accuracy.
I had spent over five grueling years on my dissertation for my Ph.D. and was frantically preparing for my oral boards. The boards were to be held in California, and I had scheduled a flight through Minneapolis, where I was to change planes and get to John Wayne Airport. My incoming flight was very late, and I was soon in an all-out sprint to catch my flight to California. Very few people were left in the concourse. I had to stop to catch my breath on a moving sidewalk when I noticed a woman in her fifties struggling with a carry-on bag.
I don't know why, but I looked at her face and blurted out, "Are you going on flight 567 to California?"
She responded, "Yes."
"So am I," I responded. "Give me your bag. I'll run ahead and tell them to wait for you." I took her bag and started sprinting again. I raced onto the plane and told a flight attendant that one more passenger was behind me and to please hold the plane for her. I seated myself with her bag, and a few moments later she arrived and was the last person on the plane before they closed the doors and took off. After the plane leveled off, I presented the bag to her, and she smiled at me and thanked me.
I didn't sleep a wink in the hotel that I stayed at before my oral boards and arrived at the university at seven o'clock in the morning. The board kept me waiting for an hour in a room before the defense of my dissertation began. I walked into the boardroom and was initially intimidated by all the professors in their regal robes. As I slowly glanced at the faces of all the board members, I noticed the bright face of a woman directly in the center of the board. She looked at me, gave me a flirtatious smile like a young schoolgirl and winked at me. It was the same woman whose bag I had carried ahead the night before. Needless to say, whenever I stumbled on any questions, she did a great job of extricating me.
Dr. Tom DePaoli, (Dr. Tom) is currently an independent management consultant, the Principal of Apollo Solutions (http://www.apollosolutions.us), which does general business consulting in the human resources, supply chain and lean six sigma areas. He founded his organization in 1995. Recently, he retired as a Captain from the Navy Reserve after over 30 years of service. In other civilian careers, Dr. Tom was a supply chain and human resources executive with corporate purchasing turnaround experience and lean six sigma deployments. He has worked for over ten major companies and consulted for over fifty organizations throughout his career. Some of his consulting projects included: information systems projects, re-engineering organizations, transformation, e-procurement, e-commerce, change management, global sourcing and negotiating. His industry experience is in the chemical, paper, pharmaceutical, Information technology, automotive, government, consumer, equipment, services and consulting businesses. He has been published extensively in journals, magazines and books. He has been involved in many forms of communications including website design, marketing campaigns, political campaigns, radio advertisements, and scripts. He the author of eleven books. His Amazon author’s page is https://www.amazon.com/author/tomdepaoli
He has instructed at six education facilities in numerous roles. He is active in supporting the YMCA, Wounded Warrior, and the prevention of the bullying of children. For more detailed information about Dr. Tom see his LinkedIn homepage.