Skip to main content

I’m a Teacher I Tell Them…When in Reality, I’m a Turbulence Terminator

By July 23, 2008October 11th, 2018No Comments
united airlines 777 was the plane I took oversease

On my United Airlines flight to London, Heathrow recently, I met Hope, one of the nicest flight attendants.

I was leaving for my upcoming training workshops/technical assistance training in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Republic of Georgia with the U.S. Civilian Research & Development Foundation (CRDF). As passengers were getting settled, I went over to the column where there are magazines. As I was skimming the magazines looking for good business articles, I heard a voice, “just one.” I looked up, I saw a flight attendant, she smiled, and said, “just kidding, take what you want.” She introduced herself as Hope.
Don’t know why… I shared with her my on-going study of advertising in magazines–how advertisers use images and words to spur action in their prospective consumers. She smiled again and politely excused herself. I pretty much forgot the whole conversation until…


Until Hope came back after a few minutes. She asked that ubiquitous question, “What do you do?” After hearing my elevator pitch on messaging, marketing, and storytelling, Hope became quite insistent. Insistent I help her come up with a new answer for her own elevator pitch. I curiously asked, “why?”

She said, “when I tell people I’m a flight attendant, one of three things generally occur.”

“1) People share their most memorable unpleasant experience
2) People offer unsolicited views on the airline industry
3) People share their complaints about the state of flying.”

She continued, “So to avoid this situation, I tell people simply, I’m a teacher.”


I responded with a long pause and a long “hmmmmmmmm.”

I asked her a bunch of questions about what she loved about flying, being a flight attendant, why United Airlines, and more. We brainstormed. We came up with several new elevator pitch answers for her to try.

Hope’s messages/value proposition favorites were:

– I’m a 37,000 foot happiness consultant
– I’m a cloud rider
– I’m a turbulence terminator

That little fun conversation made for a much more enjoyable international flight.

I wish you much success and smooth flying Hope…

Photography Source:  Xudeva Irribarra / Melvin Rafi (Meljet)

Ira Koretsky

Ira Koretsky has built The Chief Storyteller® into one of the most recognized names in communication, especially business storytelling. He has delivered over 500 keynote presentations and workshops in nearly a dozen countries, in more than one hundred cities, across 30 plus industries. His specialties are simplifying the complex and communicating when the stakes are high. He is also an adjunct professor in public speaking and storytelling at the University of Maryland's Business School. With over 25 years of experience, he is a sought-after storytelling coach, global speaker, trainer, consultant, communication coach, and public speaking coach.