What does the Baggage in Your Luggage Say About You? Interview with Dr. Joseph Williams

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This is the interview with Dr. Joseph Williams, about luggage packing and some of the interesting questions that surround it, on Monday Night Radio. Monday Night Radio is an online (Internet-based) talk radio show where different experts are interviewed, and people around the world can listen via the Internet, and call in to talk with the expert, and ask them questions.

The Internet Patrol’s Anne P. Mitchell, Esq., is the host of Monday Night Radio.

This Monday Night Radio show with Dr. Williams was first aired on 12/13/10. In addition to reading the interview below, you can listen to the recorded show via iTunes – where you can also subscribe to the podcast of all of the recorded shows. Here is the iTunes link: http://www.MondayNightRadio.com/ref/MNR-iTunes.

Links to the guest’s website and book, if any, are at the end of the interview. We have also included links to the websites and books that our listeners called in about.

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Anne: It’s time for Monday Night Radio. Monday night is your night to talk with the experts. Call us now to get into the queue at 866-Monday6. That’s 866-Monday6. Call us (Silence)

Anne: Well welcome to Blog Talk Radio. That was a very odd and unfortunate glitch for which I apologize. As you know we were having some trouble with our promo starting up apparently now we are over compensating for it. So, I hope you enjoyed hearing it two or three times. (Silence)

Anne: And that’s even stranger. Alright, we are going to have to try and work with this. It seems like our recording equipment is recording and playing back instantly. So, if you are hearing that we are working on it and I apologize very, very much. (Silence)

Anne: Ok, well I am just going to keep talking and maybe it won’t keep going as long as I keep talking. Although, that…Again, I apologize. If you people out there could somehow send us a message, let us know what you are hearing I would really appreciate it. This certainly has never happened before and… (Silence)

Anne: Alright everybody I am going to ask you to please hold on a minute while we work this out. Dr. Williams who is our guest who is there waiting very patiently, I apologize to you as well. Please just give us a couple of minutes. (Silence)

Anne: Ok, we are going to see if that is any better. I appreciate the feedback. We are back on the air. Let’s see if this works. Apparently most of you can’t hear what I was hearing. So, I am very grateful for that. Perhaps I am just lucky. In any event, we have a wonderful show tonight. We have with us Dr. Joseph Williams. He is the author of “Who do you see in the Mirror”. As you travel over the holidays, ask yourself, “What does what I put in my luggage and how I pack it say about me?” Is there more baggage in your baggage than you may realize? What does your mate’s choice of luggage say about their baggage? Why do some of us over pack while others always end up having to borrow or buy essentials once they arrive? This week’s guest expert, Dr. Joseph Williams, not only has a PhD in applied management and decision science and an MBA in organizational behavior, but he also spent seven years in the trenches working as an airline baggage handler. So, when you put that all together, Dr. Williams is uniquely qualified to explain to us what the baggage in our baggage says about us. Of course that is not really what his area of expertise…I mean that is an area of his expertise that he has, but that is not his focus now. What his actual focus now is talking about irresponsible behavior in the workplace and how to bring about organizational responsibility and accountability. But, because he has this unique background where he is an expert in organizational behavior and in decision science and also has spent all of this time working in the airlines in the baggage area and observing people, he clearly is quite a student of human nature. We asked Dr. Williams to come on and talk a bit about what he saw out in the trenches. I’m going to try and one more time figure out what is going on on this end before we bring Dr. Williams on, because even though you can’t hear it the system seems to be repeating everything I say into my headset which means I can’t hear anything else. I won’t be able to hear Dr. Williams. So, Dr. Williams, hold on one more moment please while we try to figure out back here what is going on with our recording system which has gone haywire.

Recording #1: Hi, this is Gail Rubin author of “A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for those who don’t Plan to Die” and the Family Plot blog. I was on the program and just wanted to let you know that your listeners are awesome. It was a great conversation. I very much appreciate you having me on the program. Best wishes for your continued success.

Anne: And I am back and we still seem to be having this problem. So, one more time. (Background echo) (Silence)

Anne: Ok, I think I am back and again I am so very, very, very, very sorry. Especially to our guest and our callers, please, please accept our apologies. Things seem to be working now. Ok, without further ado, let’s bring Dr. Williams on. Again, Dr. Williams, I’m so very sorry. (Silence)

Anne: Dr. Williams, are you there? I am so very sorry.

Dr. Williams: Yes.

Anne: Thank you for being so…

Dr. Williams: Can you hear me?

Anne: I can hear you. Thank you for being so, so patient.

Dr. Williams: Ok. Good. No problem.

Anne: Thank you very, very much.

Dr. Williams: No problem.

Anne: Dr. Williams, before we start talking about baggage and decision science, first I want to hear what is decision science?

Dr. Williams: It’s actually really based upon fact. When you are resolving problems with decision science you have to know the root cause of it. It’s really a person who has a lot of analytical, like my undergraduate degrees is in chemistry. So, I had that problem solving from the onset and my first degree. But, decision science is looking at all the facts, setting it up and brainstorming the ideas, and being able to select the best decision based upon the facts as possible so that you can have complete success. So, it’s really very simple. You don’t want to do a lot of that gut work or that shooting from the hip. We call that non-science. You just accumulate all of the data, organize the data and try to see where the variables come into trying to resolve a problem and find out which variable you identify that is really causing the problem. It’s trying to get to the root cause of the problem and using basic science instead of guesswork. It’s taking the guesswork out of it.

Anne: You said it was very simple, but then why do so many people have such problems making decisions.

Dr. Williams: Well they’ve have not probably been exposed to that even when they were young. The environment they were around either they saw that behavior and was influenced by it and then they were able to make some kind of decision when they developed as they got older as to what they were going to do in that type of situation. It starts very young in terms of decision making. People just tend to…they do too much thought in trying to determine whether or not they are going to hurt somebody’s feelings, that kind of stuff. They overanalyze things, and really they should just take a simple approach, line up all the facts, get different ideas, as many ideas as you possibly can, get the best information you possibly can, and digest it analytically and make the decision. If you do that you probably won’t make too many decisions like we are right now. That’s basically all it is. It’s pretty simple to me. Those people that can’t make a decision, they were probably influenced with some of their upbringing. You are a product of your behavior environment. You have a choice between two different types of behavior. Behavior comes from two sources. One it comes from your inherent behavior, which you are born with. Those are your natural instincts. And it comes from learned behavior, which is your external behavior. That is the behavior that you choose to learn. You watch other people and you learn from them. So, those are the only two sources of behavior period. We as humans have to manage responsibly both of those two behaviors. Let me give you an example. Let’s say a person, one of the inborn behaviors is they want to be loved. They want to be part of a group. They want to be accepted. What do you go through to be accepted? Would you say commit something unlawful just to be part of a group, to be accepted? Or, would you say, “Hey I’m ok being part of a group, but I have respect for the law.” You have to be brave enough to say, “I don’t mind being accepted, but I am not going to break the law.” That’s pretty difficult for some people, especially young people. Young people they tend to go ahead and join the group. That seems to be the problem, but I did come up with a solution to all of this. It’s called the Human CABLE System. I was certainly going to mention it tonight.

Anne: We will certainly get to that. Let me just say that you are listening to Monday Night Radio with Dr. Joseph Williams. If you would like to speak with Dr. Williams, and we will be getting to luggage I promise you and it’s all going to tie in. The number is 866-Monday6. You can e-mail us your comments at [email protected] Send us a message by Twitter @mondayradio. You can also find us on Facebook.com/mondaynightradio. Now, as you mentioned you developed this system. In fact, the name of your site Common Sense Management Strategies, I was about to say that this all does sound like common sense really to me. So, that is a great name for your management company. Then, your book “Who do you see in the Mirror?” Which talks about recognizing and changing irresponsible behavior primarily in the workplace to bring about organizational responsibility and accountability. So, if you could talk a little bit about that and the other, then let me sort of tell our audience how this is going to tie into the whole how do you handle your luggage and that sort of thing.

Dr. Williams: Right. Ok. It took me four years to write this book. I had 30 years experience in nothing but management for two fortune 500 companies. But, I did not have any experience working for non-management, an hourly, blue-collar worker. So, when I found out that I was going to write this book and I was able to get my dissertation in “Management Review Journal”, which was published in eight different countries and all of the 1600 MBA schools across the globe. That is when I indicated that the root cause when I was doing my research I found out that the root cause of all of these systemic problems when things happen whether or not it was the space shuttle that blew up or whether it was the BP oil spill or whether it was the West Virginia coal mine. All of those problems had one common denominator. The common denominator was the human factor. That’s when I began to delve into trying to find out a formula of how to be able change that. I was able to do that by extensive research of looking at what the behavior scientists had researched before I began to do my dissertation. I found out one important overlook that they made. That was they didn’t isolate the five key elements of human behavior. That is the reason that I call it the Human CABLE System. CABLE is an acronym for Consequence Attitude Behavior Learning Environment. If you look at real life like when I went undercover and was able to observe the behavior, if you take those five elements most of those are being treated by the relationship has been exclusive of each other. But, that is not the correct way to approach it; they are mutually inclusive of each other. What I did was just formulate those since the other scientists left them out, and develop a formula structure saying that your attitude drives your actions. Your actions drive your consequence. Actually when you decide to act your consequence is automatically part of your action. In other words your action caused a positive or a negative consequence.

Anne: So, the actions get the consequence.

Dr. Williams: Yeah, it gets the consequence. So, but past research was treating them separately. Then the next element, which is learning, there is always learning when you have a consequence.

Anne: That makes perfect sense.

Dr. Williams: That’s what they left out. So, I reformulated and called it the Human CABLE System. It is the first time in print.

Anne: Well congratulations. Congratulations on that. You know it is interesting if you have kids, every parent already kind of intuitively knows that. That is what hopefully you are teaching your kids, but that is not what is necessarily being put out in the organizational arena. So, that’s pretty cool that you were able to bring that into the professional environment. Let’s talk about when you were working. Are you allowed to say what airline you worked for?

Dr. Williams: Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. It was U.S. Air. Actually I started with America West. America West Airlines merged with U.S. Air. So, yes it was U.S. Air was the last airline that I worked for.

Anne: Alright. So as you know we have already people lighting up the switchboard and they are calling in most of them with interesting stories about luggage and what has happened to it or didn’t happen to it. So, what we wanted to ask you in particular before we get to the calls is in your capacity as someone who was looking at organizational behavior and decision science and how these systems work, can you tell us a little bit about how the airline baggage handling system works or doesn’t work and in particular are there things that you saw in the background…I know that you saw things that from an organizational, management standpoint probably stood your hair on end. You probably also saw things that worked well also. But are there things that you saw that the average passenger would never in a million years would guess would happen that would turn their hair on end if they knew that that’s how disorganized their luggage handling was?

Dr. Williams: Ok. The biggest problem that passengers have with luggage is lost bags. If any airline experienced a lost bag or either a bag that was put on the incorrect flight the root cause of that points directly to the human behavior. If I was at work that day, my focus was not on that tag that is on the bag. We go through a lot of practice that if you touch a bag you must read the tag. Somebody did not read that tag correctly with the right city code. One it comes down to the conveyer belt, down into the bag room, or whether it is unloaded from the bin of a plane that is coming in and stacked on a cart, each one of those bags, and all the airlines now are using bar-coding. So, they can track where the bag is going, but the human being actually takes it and puts it in the bin. You have almost three chances to catch the incorrect bag. You have it when it comes down to the conveyor belt; a human being touches it and puts it on a cart, supposedly the correct cart. Then, a human being takes it from the bag room to the flight. Then you have another two human beings. You have one human being putting it on the conveyor belt going up into the bin, and you have another human being who has a chance to catch that bag from being put on the wrong flight, to read the tag. That’s the one up in the bin, stacking them in the bin. So, if you lost your bag, it was that they are asleep or was not focused, one of the two. I lost a bag. So those are some of the things that go on. The other thing is that some of the damaged bags, sometimes when they are going up into the conveyor belt from the bin of the plane. Sometimes they fall off. That is again a machine/human factor, because if you put them on correctly you should be able to go up into the bin correctly. You do get some damage in the bag. The sides of the conveyor that also cause some damage.

Anne: So, what you are saying is in the case of lost luggage, it is almost always if not always due to human error.

Dr. Williams: It is 99.9 percent human error, period.

Anne: That is that.

Dr. Williams: There is no other way that a barcode…The only thing the barcode is supposed to do is to track it. What was the mistake? Because you are going to be able to track it. If it is supposed to go to New York, and it went to California, we will know it is in California, but it should have gone on the other, and that is a human error.

Anne: We actually had one person who wrote in to tell us a story about they were traveling within the states and their luggage got lost. When it finally got back it had a sticker from Vietnam on it. So, that luggage went really pretty far.

Dr. Williams: Oh, yeah, that is possible. No question about it. It is possible to go that far. I would be afraid to even guess how many humans touched that bag. It was a lot of humans that touched that bag. That’s very, very, very unusual, but they all make the same mistake.

Anne: There are other issues as well. One of the things we want to talk about…We are going to get to some callers now, but one of the things that we want to talk about after that is from the behavioral standpoint, people whose luggage gets lost or whatever the mishap may be with their luggage and how they react and one of the things that I have sort of observed that I want to touch on again after we take some calls is that really you can tell a lot about a traveler by what they pack in their luggage and how they react when that luggage goes missing. It occurred to me that it’s almost in a microcosm sort of a sense not unlike when you ask someone if there is a fire in your house and you had to get out what would you grab? If you are going on a trip and you have to pack, what do you put in there? It’s all really interesting from a human behavioral sort of science standpoint. Let’s get to some calls. First of all, if you would like to join us and you have any questions or an interesting story to share with us the number is 866-Monday6. You can e-mail us at [email protected] You can also send us a message on Twitter @mondayradio. Find us on Facebook.com/mondaynightradio. Now we are going to go to Dan from Santa Barbara. He has some stories. In addition to that he has a book he has written. Dan, good evening. Are you there, Dan?

Caller #1: This is Tim born in Santa Barbara. I am a passenger. I fly more than 6000 miles every week. I recently wrote “The Air Travel Handbook” which is available on Amazon. I have picked up a lot of good stories from my own travels and from a lot of other people. I guess the best one to start off with is many times when you get your bags you find that many times when you get your bags you find that the officers are walking around with drug scenting dogs. Well, they can trace senses. They can trace scents of prohibited items even after they have been removed from your luggage. On a recent trip to Auckland I was waiting at the conveyor for my suitcase when I was approached by an officer with a drug sniffing dog. The canine became excited upon encountering my wheeled attaché case. The officer asked if I had any fruit or vegetables in there. In Australia and New Zealand they are checking for those too. I replied there were some bananas and an apple in the case between Los Angeles and Sydney, but that I had eaten them. I had consumed those hours ago. He asked me to open the bag. He searched the bag, and of course the offending apples and bananas were gone, but the point is that you might have something in there and it could be an illegal drug. It could be pot or something, but the odor lingers on. They can still detect it. You want to be very careful, because in some of these countries, if you get caught the punishment is death. There is zero tolerance, no excuses. That’s something to remember.

Dr. Williams: One of the things I try to do in giving advice to anybody when they travel, if you have a briefcase or a personal small bag, you want to always keep that bag in your sight. Never let it out, because anyone could put something in that bag. Traveling anytime you should be vigilant and observing your surroundings as well as keeping your bag in your sight. Do not leave it. You wouldn’t leave your young child that way, so you shouldn’t leave your bag, because somebody could put something in that bag, etc., and you could be in a lot of trouble.

Anne: They could put a banana or an apple in there.

Dr. Williams: You could just put poppy seeds in there. I tell you what, if you eat a lot of poppy seeds you may flunk a drug test right there.

Anne: So might your luggage! Now, you said you have a couple of stories. What else have you got?

Caller #1: Yeah another one that happened to me was that I was going through security in Portland, Oregon. My suitcase was pulled aside for secondary screening. The TSA officer was probably alarmed because I have projector cables and spare batteries and so on. They probably saw those on the x-ray screen. So, then they pulled the bag aside and they swabbed it, the whole thing including the handle. They put the little circular piece of cloth and put it in the detection machine. Alarmed, he came back and he swabbed it a second time. Then, he swabbed it a third time. Then he asked me if I had been on a farm or had I handled explosives. I said, “Well, no.” I thought about this. I said, “You know what happened? The cab driver, he told me he had a heart condition. He was on nitrate medication. He pulled my bag from the trunk of the taxi.” Apparently there were traces of nitrates on his hand. I spent the next 20 maybe 30 minutes filling out TSA forms while they went through everything. So, those detection machines are very sensitive.

Anne: So, the guy had taken a medication and the act of putting it from his hand to his mouth got enough on his hand that when he touched your handle it left enough of a trace that it set off the detectors.

Caller #1: That’s right.

Dr. Williams: Those things are minute traces. They are very…I agree with him. They are so sensitive. It gets down to the nanogram or whatever the smallest unit there is.

Anne: So that brings up a really good…If you could stay on the line just a moment, Dan, we want to hear the name of your book again as well. That is a very interesting study in how people deal with their luggage from a behavioral standpoint, because it is almost like he was being accused of something. Or his luggage was, his luggage was being accused of something. There are so many different ways that someone could react. They could get very defensive. They could be in shock. They could cry. They could be belligerent. They could react any of number of ways. How did you respond?

Caller #1: I fly 6000 miles every week. I am out of the country 40 percent of the time. I am going through immigration and customs constantly. I know I am ok, so I just relax and see if I can find an explanation and wait until they get over it. But, if I were carrying something I weren’t supposed to I’d feel very guilty. Another thing I do when I go into Canada I write right on the form do you have any fruits or vegetables, I’ll write “five bananas” right on the form. If you don’t declare it then you have lied on an official government form. I had a time when I went into Australia and I had protein bars. I knew that protein bars were ok, but I didn’t put it on the form. When I put it through the machine on the way out they saw the protein bars, opened it up, and I’ll tell you this customs officer read me the riot act. He told me how many days in jail that was worth and what that could cost me in Australian dollars. It was really bad. I said, “But I bring these into Australia all the time. They always say that it is fine.” Declare it or you have lied on the form.

Dr. Williams: Yeah, you really have to be careful about duty free things, when you bring those. You have to check with each airport to see which one is ok and which one is not ok, because you can get in a situation where those things will be confiscated too. You’ve got to be very careful on that as well.

Anne: Well, Dan, thank you so much for the call.

Caller #1: What about people in the airlines stealing things out of the suitcases?

Dr. Williams: That I have observed a couple of times. That does happen, but I would say it is a very small percentage of them. Here’s what blows my mind I think when that happens. There are cameras in every one of those work areas. How in the world would anybody…That’s the reason I certainly love my Human CABLE System, because you can see that would be a totally disconnect of the consequences when a person commits that kind of act. They didn’t connect the consequences with that and seeing the camera up there telling them, “Smile, you are on Candid Camera! We see you!” They still do it. It doesn’t deter a some small percentage of people that do that. That one there they are just disconnected from the reality of how behavior works, or they just didn’t care, one of the two. But, that does happen; I have to admit that that does happen.

Anne: Well, Dan, thank you so much for the call. Tell us again, it is “The Air Travel Handbook” and it is available on Amazon, right?

Caller #1: That’s right. “The Air Travel Handbook” it’s not on general travel, only air travel.

Dr. Williams: Good.

Anne: Oh, I see it’s available digitally as well on the Kindle, very modern.

Caller #1: It’s also an iPhone app. You can get it as an app or an eBook.

Anne: Very cool, so on my iPhone I can just…Well I don’t have an iPhone, but on my iPad I can just go into the app store and search for “Air Travel Handbook”?

Caller #1: That’s correct.

Anne: Before we let you go, would you like to give us your sort of top favorite luggage related tip from your book?

Caller #1: Well you know as Dr. Williams pointed out you watch your bags at all times. There are cases where flight attendants have gone into bags and stolen things while people are sleeping. So, you want to put your really important things like your money or passport, your medication, and so on into a compartment that you can put a little lock on. That’s really important.

Anne: So, a locking compartment in your luggage, that’s a really good tip.

Caller #1: You just have to lock up one of them.

Dr. Williams: Anything of monetary value, those kinds of things should never be put into a checked bag, period.

Anne: Dan, thank you so much for the call.

Dr. Williams: That’s about as clear as I can get.

Anne: Ok, wow that was some interesting stuff. To imagine…I would imagine, I would hope that the bomb sniffing dogs would be that sensitive, but to have that minute a quantity of the nitrite set things off, that’s actually comforting I think. That’s really pretty comforting. Again, this is Monday Night Radio. Our guest is Dr. Joseph Williams. He is speaking with us about behavioral science as it applies to luggage handling both on the passenger side and the airline employee side. Let’s go. We have Detracy…I hope I am saying Detracy’s name right. Is that right? Is that Detracy?

Caller #2: That’s great. That’s perfect.

Anne: Hi, Detracy. Thank you for hanging in there. I know you have been with us since the beginning when we were having our technical problems. I appreciate your patience. Thank you so much. Uh oh. Apparently we reached the very end of her patience, because Detracy has left the building. Hopefully she will call back in. In the mean time, let’s go to Brian. Brian writes about travel. Hi, Brian, are you there?

Caller #3: I am. How are you?

Anne: Hi, Brian. I am well. You are on the air with Dr. Williams. Thank you too for your patience. Again, this has been a very interesting evening technically. What have you got for us?

Caller #3: Well I have a blog that I started in the fall. You were talking about how people react to luggage problems. The blog was started because on a Labor Day trip to D.C. my baggage came up destroyed.

Anne: Destroyed? How?

Caller #3: Literally the bag came out of the carousel and there were suits and dresses everywhere. It was followed by a can of shaving cream, followed by a toothbrush. I got frustrated enough and it happened several times before so I decided to start a blog about damaged luggage. So, it’s on BlogSpot and it’s called “The Gorilla Ate my Luggage”.

Anne: “The Gorilla Ate my Luggage”, is that a reference to the old (?) commercials?

Caller #3: The old American Tourister commercials.

Anne: Oh, that’s what it is, the American Tourister. Dr. Williams, what accounts for this? That’s a horrible tale, that it was just ripped apart like that.

Dr. Williams: There are several ways that a bag can be damaged. One of the things that I always tell people if you’ve got baggage that has straps or something outside of it, make sure that those straps are put inside, because when it comes down the conveyor belt they’ll get caught in that conveyor belt in some sense. They’ll just hang up there, and then all of them other bags oncoming bags come and hit it. You can get some damage there. The other of course is people not being able to handle bags the way when they take them off of the conveyor belt and put them on the cart. Then, I have seen some situations where the bag has fallen off the cart and rolled under the wheel of the cart and the cart just runs over it. The third one would be going up a conveyor belt up into the bin and just about at the top of that bin it will fall off all the way to the ground. That’s a pretty good height there, etc. You’ll get damaged bag in that area. So, I think those are probably the main areas where I have seen a damaged bag.

Anne: I am on your site right now. It is really quite interesting and I also have to say quite colorful. So, do you have some favorite stories that have been submitted?

Caller #3: I do have some stories. One of the new friends that I made while I was putting this whole blog together was a fellow named Dave Carroll. Dave is a musician who travels around the country. We talked about accountability earlier. I listened to you talk about that. If you think about it from the standpoint of the passenger, when you get your damaged luggage, it comes up out of a hole in the ground and you’ll never really know what happened. The people down below at least to the passenger don’t have any accountability as to why that happened. That is usually the case, but in Dave Carroll’s case he happened to be sitting on his plane watching his very expensive guitar be thrown around the tarmac as it was loaded onto the plane. He got so frustrated that he put together a video that he put on YouTube called “United Breaks Guitars”. He wanted to strike back because United wouldn’t give him any satisfaction. He has had over a million hits on that video.

Dr. Williams: Wow.

Anne: Wow. Did United pay attention then?

Caller #3: Well they eventually took $3000 and donated it to a charity of his choice to make up for it, but it took him over a year to get that. Since then he has published two more videos about it. So, he has a set of three. We have a link to that on our website.

Anne: Well, Bryan, that is pretty horrifying. In a moment I am going to ask Dr. Williams, because it sounds like your friend just saw blatant abuse of his luggage which happened to be his guitar which was his livelihood. It didn’t even seem like it was an accident like it just fell off the cart or something. You are saying that he saw them manhandling the guitar?

Caller #3: Just throwing it around. Back in the day, when American Tourister selected the gorilla as its trademark, and I used to be their legal counsel, it was picked because that was the epitome of the image of how luggage is handled. It is thrown around by a gorilla. That kind of stuck.

Dr. Williams: You are going to get some certain percentage of people that will do that. There is no question about that, but you know since I worked with them for eight years I also saw just the opposite. I’ve seen some people that gee whiz I treat my bag the same way that I want my bag to treated. That’s the attitude I took. I said gee whiz, when I lose a bag I put myself in that feeling. Gee whiz what would I do if someone were to lose my bag? So, I am going to put my 100 percent focus of trying to do two things number one, make sure that I don’t damage the bag. Secondly, I make sure I put it on the right plane so it doesn’t get lost, those kinds of things. But, what is happening today though in human behavior, it’s beginning to shift more toward the irresponsible part of behavior than the responsible behavior. Today you may have to hire five people to do maybe what two people can probably do what five people can do today, simply because they are distracted. They are not focused. They are not responsible, people responsible enough to the point of doing their job. Then, on top of that we give them a raise.

Anne: It’s just like school. Isn’t it? I’m sorry to butt in, but it is just like school where we still promote the kids right up even if they don’t pass the tests, because that is just how it is. Sorry to interject, but we are actually.

Dr. Williams: No, please do, please do.

Anne: We are running short of time. Brian, thank you so much for the call. Your BlogSpot blog is thegorillaatemyluggage.blogspot.com. Is alright if when we post this show if we link to it?

Caller #3: Please do.

Dr. Williams: Definitely I am going to look at that one myself too. I like that one.

Anne: Well, Brian, thank you so much for joining us. We have Detracy back as well. The way this hour is flying I am not even sure that we are even going to get to the rest of my questions, but we definitely want to get her back on because she got cut off. Detracy, are you there?

Caller #2: Yes, I think I am.

Anne: Stay with us this time.

Dr. Williams: Good.

Caller #2: I’m nervous. I’m going to try. My luggage was lost. I’d rather not get lost from the radio too.

Anne: I understand that you actually are something of an authority. You write about how to pack.

Caller #2: Yes, I do. I write on travel to Greece for About.com. I’m afraid that I am hoping that Dr. Williams, I realize he is not a medical doctor, but I’m still hoping he might help cure me. I think I am one of the biggest luggage hypocrites that are on the planet right now because I advocate packing very lightly, and then I almost always completely fail to do so myself. I don’t know if you can help me, Dr. Williams, but I am hoping so.

Dr. Williams: Are you asking me to help you on, I think what I call that is, do what I say not what I do type of a mess involved? Have you heard that one now?

Caller #2: I think that is it.

Dr. Williams: That has been around for thousands and thousands of years, right?

Caller #2: Yes.

Dr. Williams: My mother used to tell me, “Well I am doing this because I love you.” I said, “But, I also love you. Don’t you love yourself? I love you and I want you to be around to see my grandkids and all that kind of stuff. I would like for you to just lead by example. Show me how to do it, and I’ll see that everyday. Then I will go ahead and do it.” The Human CABLE System, my book is “Who do you see in the Mirror?” It has the Human CABLE System, and you have never heard of that in your life, because I am the developer of it. That one there will cure…I think it is a structure to help you cure it. You have to actually make the decision once you go through the structure. If you are not on board with wanting to cure yourself, it sounds like you are, then the Human CABLE System will certainly provide you with the structure to do that. Again, it was my first reader of the book, and let me give you what that person wrote, and they are from a very conservative group. They said that this book is so profoundly accurate that it ought to be mandatory reading for all high school students, all college students, everyone in the workplace from the file cabinet to the person who is filing to the CEO and anybody who is inspiring to go into public office ought to be mandatory that they read this book. So, that was a pretty good review after they were able to read the Human CABLE System. The Human CABLE System seems to be exciting a lot of people. Soon I will be going across the United States and offering a workshop in that very thing.

Anne: So this is a perfect example, what does this say, I certainly am not asking you to diagnose Detracy with her as having “luggagosis hypocritis” or such, but what does in general in terms of your views of human behavior and your behavioral science background, someone who takes everything with them on a trip, just way over packs the kitchen sink, everything is in there. What does that say about them?

Caller #2: I do want to say in my defense that I am the person that people ask for the aspirin, the extra sweater, and the book to read that they forgot to bring. So, there are some benefits to my condition it’s just that I hate advocating it and then finding myself incapable of living up to my own advice.

Dr. Williams: Normally when you have a situation where they try to take quite a bit when they go on a trip, they are coming out of a comfort zone. If you are in the comforts of your home, you can be a person who changes three times a day, but then when we take you out of that comfort zone, what happens is that some of that comfort zone spills over into the packing. You begin to say, “I am used to it and I’m conditioned to it, and even though I am going to go from city A to city B I still want to have that comfort zone of being able to change three times a day.” That is not realistic if you are traveling. You want to do two things. You want to reduce that amount that you are taking and take nothing but the essential things that you need in order to take the trip unless you are going for a month or two or something like that, maybe then you can take a little bit more. Because it reduces the stress, you have to come back. When you come back you have to think about all of those things you put in your bag when you went there you have to see whether or not you brought them all back. How many times have we seen people, “Oh by the way I have to call back and say I left this there and I left this there. Would you ship this?” You really have to begin to kind of look at the difference between those five elements I told you, your attitude towards packing and the consequences and connect all of those things to make some really good responsible decisions. Think about the three S’s. Think small when you travel, that is carry your own bags. Think smart, which means that the fees are here to stay so with this economic conditions that we are at you are going to want to pick airlines that don’t charge for the first bag. Some airlines, or at least one airline that doesn’t charge for the second bag, which is Southwest, but Jet Blue doesn’t charge for the first bag, but they will charge for the second bag.

Caller #2: I am a big fan of Southwest for my domestic trips because they don’t charge.

Dr. Williams: Absolutely.

Caller #2: Unfortunately that enables me.

Anne: Yeah, it’s probably pretty hard to get to Greece by Southwest.

Caller #2: Yes, it is, but I keep hoping. Actually on international travel you usually do have an allowance, which is a little bit more generous. I do take advantage of it. Often I am on the road for even five and six weeks at a stretch. I also tend to accumulate an extra bag when I am traveling. I actually will buy a bag where I have gone to. That will bring home all of my little goodies my little Greek ceramics and all of those souvenirs that even after 20 trips to Greece I can’t seem to give up.

Dr. Williams: With your travel then, if you travel that much you should be an elite classification. Are you aware that they don’t charge for bags when you reach that elite status? That’s free.

Caller #2: I’m not so much worried about the charges as I am just the sheer bulk. I have to confess on certain things, I do a lot of kayaking in Greece and I adventure traveling has an attitude towards baggage. I’ve actually been reduced to hiding my baggage from the people I travel with. I’ve gotten quite good at it.

Anne: Detracy, we have to go, but can you tell us where we can find your writing? Also, has anyone who has taken your advice on packing light ever complained to you that it didn’t work for them?

Caller #2: No, I had one viscous letter from a man who said that I referred to sweaters and that no self-respecting would wear a sweater. He would wear a hoodie. I said ok. You can read my advice and perhaps even take it at gogreece.about.com. I am the Greece travel writer at About.com. I would love to hear from you if you want to scold me about my packing tips. I am ready to take it.

Dr. Williams: I want to ask one question to her.

Anne: Oh, ok.

Dr. Williams: Do you do bundle packing?

Caller #2: Do you mean squish it into the plastic bags and squeeze out all of the air?

Dr. Williams: Yeah, that type of stuff. You want to wrap it around and then put the core stuff in the center. They call that bundle packing. What it does is it keeps the creases and the wrinkles all out.

Caller #2: It definitely helps.

Dr. Williams: All you have to do is put bundle packing on Google and it will tell you how to do that.

Anne: That’s bundle packing. We are going to read all about how to pack light and even lighter at your site. Is it ok if we post a link to that site, Detracy?

Caller #2: Absolutely, I would love it. Thanks so much.

Anne: Alright. Thank you so much for joining us and also for calling back. Dr. Williams, we have just plum run out of time.

Dr. Williams: Let me just give you my website so I can get that. Drjawcsms.com I also just released my eBook just about three or four weeks ago. It is the third highest rated eBook, and it has only been out there for three weeks.

Anne: That’s awesome. Congratulations.

Dr. Williams: I’m thinking great things are going to happen to that book.

Anne: We certainly hope so, because you certainly deserve it. That website again drjawcsms.com. We will have a link to that up on our site. Dr. Williams, thank you so much for joining us. Thank you again for being so patient at the top of the show.

Dr. Williams: Thank you, because I enjoyed it.

Anne: I’m glad. Maybe we can have you back and we can talk a bit more about behavioral science.

Dr. Williams: Please do.

Anne: Have a wonderful week, Dr. Williams.

Dr. Williams: Ok, same to you. Bye.

Anne: Be sure to join us next week when our guest is Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald star of Animal Planet’s “Emergency Vets” and “E-vets”. He will be talking about all kinds of things having to do with holiday safety for your pets, poisonous Christmas plants, hypothermia and frostbite, food poisoning, new household poisons that are introduced for the holidays, holiday related behavior problems. There is just no end to the things that can just be a menace to your pet during the holidays. So, you will definitely want to tune in and find out how you can keep your pet very safe from the star of “Emergency Vets”. That is Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald next week. Thank you so much for joining us on Monday Night Radio and have a great week.

[Page no longer available – we have linked to the archive.org version instead]

[Page no longer available – we have linked to the archive.org version instead]

Links to our listeners’ books and websites:

[Page no longer available – we have linked to the archive.org version instead]

deTraci Regula’s writings on Greece travel

Brian Leitten’s blog, “The Gorilla Ate My Luggage”

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