It isn’t often when we are privileged to see real overnight success. But it CAN happen.
I walk at dawn every morning for exercise (and for the only really healthy thing that I do all day long). I walk in a circuit around my neighborhood – and the scenery doesn’t change much. In some ways, it is reassuring that the sidewalk stays the same and the traffic lights work in the same ways every day. The sun comes up at the same time and the only real debate is whether or not it will rain during the hour I am walking. Most days, I carry my umbrella, because it is the rainy season and I have found it difficult to predict what might happen during my walk – either by the forecast offered by my Apple watch or by the looks of the cloud cover overhead.
After months of taking the same route each morning, I have now gone beyond “Hello” to some light conversation with some of the street vendors who are setting up to hawk their wares to commuters who are walking to their offices. Two of the vendors that I have the greatest joy encountering each day are these two women (and the boyfriend of one of them sometimes). They will tease me on mornings when I show up late and encourage me on mornings that are overcast and drizzly and I do the same for them. There are days that I walk just because I want to see them. They make me smile!
Last week, something new happened. After months of no international air travel and no tourists, Thai Airways International has struggled to find its way in the new economy. This Thai flagship carrier filed for bankruptcy and presented a new plan to the courts. One problem it had to overcome was what to do with the plethora of ticket offices that exist, particularly in high-tourist areas of the city. On my walk this past week, I noticed that Thai Airways International has converted the ticket office near my house to a catering venue. I wondered how that would go over.
I need not have worried, apparently. They have a great marketing plan. Let me explain: On Wednesday morning, when they first opened for business, I came by in the morning and was able to observe what they were doing to prepare for their first customers. The food was in plain view and five people were working hard to cook and bag delicious fried (of course) doughnuts and other treats. There was not a customer in sight.
On Thursday morning, I came by again. In contrast to the day before, there were now fifteen to twenty customers lined up to purchase the goodies and the line blocked the front of the bank and the Western Union office that occupy the same block as the Thai Airways ticket office. But everyone was served swiftly and what little time was spent in line was spent on cellphones, checking email or playing games.
On Friday morning, I was blown away. The line of people waiting to be served now snakes all the way down the block and around the corner and into the next block. You cannot even see the Thai Airways office/catering venue from the end of the line and you cannot see the end of the line from the catering venue. Not only that: People in line got very nervous when I walked by them towards the front of the line to get the next photo.
Let’s just say that I think that Thai Airways has a very talented social media person in charge of this account! Everyone (those in line and those serving) were delighted that I was just there for a photo and not doing the “Ugly American” thing of cutting to the front of the line – because, from the looks of the empty food bins and the long line, Thai Airways is having trouble keeping up with the demand for their new venture!