Airports and Normality Unhinged

May 09, 2010

Airports and Normality Unhinged

  I am right now sitting in the Malpensa airport in Milan waiting for a flight to my next city on my two week visit to Europe to talk to clients and the media about the new normality — how life will change as the global economy slowly recovers (e.g., consumer is kingmaker, disruptive communications, online reputation snipers, just-in-time pr, communications advisors working side by side with CEOs, silence is not golden, naked reputations).  Before I left one week ago, the world seemed alot safer than it rapidly became with the news of the Times Square bomb, the Greek debt crisis, the stock market 1000 point plunge and our closest ally, Britain, facing a hung parliament (sounds like a hung jury to me).  Then Saturday night while dining on saffron risotto, I heard that Times Square was evacuated again. This was particularly unnerving because my daughter works in the area.  Here I thought the world was becoming more stabilized or more normal or less unsettling.  The Gods must be laughing. The Age of UNnormality is here for good.
Today my stress level was heightened by reports of volcanic ash making its way across Europe.  I figured that Milan would be fine, right?  How could Milan be affected by what was happening in Spain? I went online and saw that my flight was not cancelled.  However, flights from Malpensa were cancelled 2pm and I had already checked out. So I have been in the airport most of the day.

That would be bad enough but did not mention the really bad news which is why I spent so much time in the airport. I lost my blackberry a few days ago in Brussels and do not get a replacement til Monday night (hopefully).  The stress of managing flight cancellations and finding if I could get on another flight without a cell and low battery laptop rattled my nerves plenty. But all is okay now as I sit and write from deep inside the airport waiting for news about my delayed evening flight which is taking off….so far.  I wonder where the volcanic ash will be tomorrow as I depart for another city in the late afternoon.

I do not mean to complain because many people have suffered far worse but the news has been particularly unplesant! I just wish to remind people who think that the world has returned to normality, please think twice.

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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross
lesliegainesross@gmail.com

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of corporate and CEO reputations.

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