Last week I was on too many airplanes – understatement, I way on way too many airplanes. I flew across the country twice – was in every time zone at least once and most of them 2 or three times. New company, new products, selling hard and things are good on that front. The bad part is getting from point A to point B.
I was on one of my flights from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City and managed to have the “Murphy’s Law” of seat assignments – which seems to be the standard lately. “Murphy’s Law” says that if anything can go wrong, it probably will. Applying “M.L.” to airplane seating means that you are almost guaranteed to get the worst seat on the plane. That would be a center seat on a 4 hour flight and the plane is delayed – after you’ve already boarded. It could be a seat on the back row – next to the restroom that is absolutely going to run over in mid flight – nothing like blue water between your toes! It could be the incessant talker, or the gassy neighbor, the “two seater” squeezed into one seat and spilling over in to your space, or it could be some combination of any or all of these.
Anyway, last weeks example of “Murphy on a plane” was actually the passenger seated directly in front of me. My neighbor to the north was one of those special people that believe that the universe that God created was made especially for them – and nobody else. She was one of those wonderful souls that believe that there is only one person in the world that has value – and the rest of us are minions; made for the purpose of whatever she wants. I learned all of this (about my neighbor) on a short two hour flight. I can’t tell you her name and I learned all I know about her by her actions. (the saying that actions speak louder than words was never more true than in this experience) As soon as the plane backed away from the gate my neighbor SLAMMED her seat back into the recline position as far as it would go. This happened to be directly into my knees. (I can’t tell you why Delta makes the distance between rows for people that are shorter than the average Chinese dwarf – but, they are.) Whatever the case, every time I moved my pinned legs, my neighbors chair moved too. Every time her chair moved – she literally growled and attempted to slam her chair back into a “more” reclined position. All this went on for the entire 2 hours of flying. I even asked her to please move your chair up – even just a half inch so that we could both be a little more comfortable to which she reacted by growling and slamming it back again. Finally, the flight was over, my pinned legs began the road to recovery and Miss Universe was on her way to use and abuse other minions.
I’ve now had a week to ponder the still unbelievable actions of a person that never spoke – only growled at me. I have laughed about it and yet, am amazed that there are really people in the world that don’t care anything about the feelings of others around them Then I consider that there are really a lot of folks like this – maybe not as bold and blatant but still oblivious to the needs of the needy and the hurting world around them. Maybe I needed someone so rude to help me wake up to a better understanding of just who is sharing “my space”….. even if that “space “ is on the other side of the world.