Sunday, January 6, 2008

"You'll see the good in everyone"

“You'll see the good in everyone”
-- Sloan

Right now I sit on a flight from St. Marteen to Charlotte, en route to finding my way back home after a fantastic Caribbean adventure, where I was apparently too busy having fun to pay any attention to this little nerdy space in my life. Here at 34,000 feet I find myself reminded of one of life's little lessons.

As I boarded my flight to leave, we taxied out on the runway, and sat there waiting for fuelling. The muffled voice of the pilot told us that there had been problems earlier in the day with the fuel truck and flights were delayed all day. He apologized for the inconvenience and asked us to be patient.

I adjusted my seat, grabbed the magazine I bought for the flight, and nervously checked my watch, I only had an hour and 15 minute lay over in Charlotte before my flight was scheduled to leave for Buffalo. “Ah well” I thought “Not much that I can do about it”.

I read a few articles, I waited.
I listened to my iPod for a while, I waited.
I cracked open a new book for a bit, I waited.
I stared out the window, I waited.
I waited, I waited.

Finally, after a solid 2 hours of waiting the fuel truck arrived and started doing its job. Upon refuelling, we appeared ready to take off. Ever the optimist, I thought that maybe, just maybe I might be able to make my flight to Buffalo if they were able to make up enough time and there were some delays. Then, I heard something that made my jaw drop.

“Ladies and gentlemen” the captain muffled over the speakers, “While we have finally refuelled, there are some passengers who are demanding to get off the aircraft, and in order to accommodate them, we need to taxi back over to the terminal and unload them.”

Yes, you read that one right, after two hours of waiting, people decided at the last possible moment that they were going to get off of the plane.

Needless to say a chorus of “boo”'s, “Oh my God”'s, and “What the hell?”'s followed.

As the plane got back, a couple, perhaps in their 50s got up, and began collecting their belongings. The remaining passengers all turned towards these two, and mustered up every ounce of glowering that we could. As they finished collecting their things, a round of applause broke out. I really never thought that it was possible to clap with biting sarcasm, but now I know better.

After the people got off the air, I heard the now very familiar voice of the captain say “We can't believe this any more than you can, and unfortunately according to safety regulations we have to get these bastards luggage off of the aircraft.”

Yeah, the captain said “bastards” over the intercom, that almost made it worth it to me.

We waiting for another half an hour or so to find the luggage of these people before finally taking off, thus making it seem impossible for me to get to Buffalo, and therefore home, on time.

Now in my 25 years on this planet, I have seen, and done some pretty selfish things, but this really has to rank up there with most despicably low in my mind. I understand being angry about the delay, and anxious about the possibility of missing a connecting flight, but there really is no excuse for that sort of behaviour. They made every passenger even more delayed on their trip, and also gave the flight crew and even longer day, and they really don't deserve it.

So while the Bible, and a great band tell us to find “the good in everyone”, there are situations like this when I remember one of the most important lessons I have ever learned in my life, some people really are just assholes.

Until next time,