Luggage and the art of “Poking”

Luggage and the art of “Poking”

Initiating takes guts, that much we know. Doing something different and standing out from the crowd usually brings up discomfort and social awkwardness – things we try to avoid. But the difference between someone who consistently initiates and takes risk and someone who doesn’t is slight. The main difference is that the former spends time seeking out discomfort. He’s used to “poking” and feeling uncomfortable and thus does so in small and big areas of his life. This takes training.

Poke the Box shows us that the only way to get comfortable poking in the big areas of life is to start small. Experiment with your normal routines. Do the opposite of what you’d normally do. Start making a difference to yourself and the people around you by acting differently. Drop out of your comfort zone and initiate things.

Glenn Auerbach did just this at Cleveland O’Hare airport last week. He made a difference to himself and his fellow passengers and solved a mutual problem by “poking.” To the people around him, Glenn’s ability to step out of his comfort zone benefitted him and countless others. That’s a common benefit of poking.

Below is the story Glenn sent us, and we’re sharing it with you in the hopes that you’ll see how simple it is to poke. It need not mean risking your life. It could just mean getting over your own baggage to do something differently.

“My plane from Cleveland to O’hare last night was one of those little prop jobs, so all of the passengers had to check their luggage at the gate.  When we arrived, most of us, 30 or so, were waiting on the gangway for our checked luggage to be brought up. It was random and everybody was pretty groggy in the cold jetway, focused on getting their bag and moving on. After a few minutes of waiting, the side door opened and a luggage worker brought one bag out, and one lucky traveler got to go on their way.

I looked at the situation and realized that this was going to take awhile. And I had to go to the bathroom badly. I could stand there, patiently wait my turn, or get involved. I moved up to the front.  Sure enough the luggage worker guy was unloading one piece at a time and walking the 3-4 steps, dropping the bag in the gangway, then walking back to grab another. I started helping, fire brigade style: As he took a piece of luggage off, instead of walking he’d hand to me and I’d turn and drop it on the gangway. Two guys now doing the job made it obviously much quicker than one.

After a few bags, I couldn’t resist announcing to the group: “I get a first class upgrade for this.”

Lucky for me, my bag was early in the pile, so once I had mine in hand I started up the gangway.  I turned to look. Nobody took up the slack and filled in my spot. The luggage worker guy was back to his painfully slow one at a time unload. “Someone go help that guy,” I advised. A youngish guy drew a smile and chimed in “I’ll get it!” and started for the luggage.”

You can find Glenn online at :