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Trip type: Business

Airline: Delta

Route: MSP-ORD / ORD-MSP

I’ve referenced it in previous posts, but it never ceases to amaze me how every air traveler seems to think he is the first, last, and only person to ever fly. The sense of entitlement, selfishness, and poorly mannered meltdowns should probably not even phase me at this point, yet I cannot help to be surprised and baffled by it. Behold the wonders of my quick trip last week:

  1. Right off the bat I was cutoff by a guy for the scanner at security. Frankly, I expect better from the Pre Check lane but I was proven wrong. With two lanes merging, I was about to get behind the woman from the opposite line when an enormous man stepped right in front of me. He knew he cut me off and didn’t make eye contact as he literally threw his weight around to get one body length ahead of me. When he was randomly chosen for a pat-down five seconds later, I gave him the biggest, sweetest smile and told him to have a nice day.
  2. At the Surdyk’s check-out, the woman in front of me loudly demanded to know if the crackers in her snack box were gluten free. Now, the box actually said the crackers were indeed gluten free (as pointed out to her by the cashier), but she “just wanted to check”. Then, “just to be sure”, she made the cashier re-pack the box anyway. She turned to me and said, “Sorry, I just really can’t tolerate gluten, you know?” “No, I’m pro-gluten,” I replied.
  3. At the gate, there was the typical salesman wrapping up a deal as we waited to board. These guys absolutely kill me. While I usually assume they’re faking a call to sound important, the gentleman I had the pleasure of over-hearing actually seemed to have real business…and a preoccupation with someone named Julie:

“Hey, bro–” (yes, he called his colleague ‘bro’. I’d like to paint the picture that this is a combed-over, short/stout 50-something man talking into a BlueTooth that he’s cupping around his ear and toward his mouth) “–so just make sure you copy Julie…”

“…”

“Yeah, so get that done, add the 10% discount and then send a note to Julie and copy me.”

“…”

“So send it to me and Julie and then we’ll get it done. Yeah, bro…”

Seriously, shoot me.

4. My favorite implosion of manners came at O’Hare on Friday morning, where I watched an epic meltdown between a middle-aged man and a barista. I was at a tea place (where, incidentally, I ate the worst muffin of my life) when I heard loud cursing as a cup fell from the barista ledge onto the floor. And then this exchange ensued:

Man: @#*&$ @#$&! And now I’ve scalded my hand! Can I get some ice for my hand?!

[Scrambling, ice handed over, someone comes out to clean up the floor]

Man: (As the barista is making the new tea) And why isn’t there any milk out here?

Barista: I’m sorry, we don’t keep milk out.

Man: Who would want tea without milk?! Can you make me a chamomile with milk, please?

Barista: Is 2% ok?

Man: Do you have whole?

Barista: No.

Man: Well then I guess that will have to be ok then, won’t it?

Yikes. Granted, I wouldn’t be very charming if I had just scalded my hand either but he was rapidly deteriorating and I could not look away. He then went on to list all the things wrong with their tea setup (the honey was nearly out, again there was no milk, there were no extra lids). He did glance over at one point and we locked eyes for a second. I’m pretty sure the look on my face was something akin to “Sorry you hurt yourself but you have got to get a grip and stop yelling at the 19 year-old making you tea with milk”. He looked away and then stormed off when his tea with second-rate milk was ready.

Looks like another magical year of air travel is ahead of me!

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