A few years back, 1 of my Nottingham accounts asked me to collect a client from Heathrow, and bring to their Nottingham office.
Nothing special about that, and no special instructions other than MEET & GREET at arrivals, something we do as standard.
So, I’m there waiting at arrivals with my A4 paper sign, waiting for a client to come to me off a Virgin Airlines flight.
All I knew was he was likely Asian due to his name.
Finally I see 2 Virgin crew carrying someone’s luggage for a guy coming out, I thought HELLO that’s very unusual to see cabin crew carrying luggage that was obviously not their own.
As they headed directly towards me, with the client pointing at me, he was suddenly surrounded by many people of Asian origin who were waiting at arrivals.
These people were just members of public, chauffeurs, taxi drivers, all jostling for selfi photos with this person I was meeting.
Shaking his hand, thanking him and just generally making a real fuss.
At this point, I’m thinking I’ve not been told anything special about client, but there certainly is something special about him.
Finally he manages to break away from the photos and tells me he is who I’m waiting for.
I take the 2 luggage items off the Virgin cabin crew, and guide him to Heathrow T3 lifts to car park.
I ask him if he’s someone famous?
“Maybe to some” he says.
So I ask who and why, I’m a Nobel Peace Prize Winner.
Mmmmm, well done was my reply.
For what was it awarded?
Micro Banking across countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Asia.
Where poor people can get a small loan to set up a business and make a living.
Now I travel a lot and give speeches on how small loans can change people’s lives for the better.
All this was said in a quiet voice from a very tired guy.
Asleep all the way to Nottingham and I drop him off and wish him well.
And that was that day over.