April 29, 2010

Going with the "kindness and karma" theme...

I've been getting caught up on Grumbles and Grunts's "Kindness and Karma" posts, and it made me remember a brief anecdote from my travels last weekend.

Scene: Airport check-in counter

Harried Mother in Pink Shirt: I'd like to check this bag please.

Bored Airline Staffer: (weighing the bag) This is one pound overweight.

HMiPS: Uh, OK, what do I need to do about that?

BAS: I'll have to charge you extra for it. Or, you can remove one pound of stuff.

HMiPS: (with kids hanging off of her as she tries to remain upright) Huh? How am I supposed to know how much a pound is? And where am I supposed to put it?

BAS: (staring vacantly off into the distance) Uh, whatever. You just need to fix it.

HMiPS: (kids now starting to cry, starting to get death glares from other travelers) Is an extra pound really that big of a deal? Can't you just put it through? I can't...

BAS: (getting combative) Look, the alternative is, I could just not check the bag at all, hand it back to you and let you figure it out somewhere else. But you need to figure it out and then move along, because people are waiting.

And, scene.

The reality is, we WERE waiting. And probably HMiPS should have just moved some stuff to her purse and moved on.

But BAS could see that she was harried, that her children were losing it, and that HMiPS was about to lose it herself, and could have (at the very least) been a little nicer. I'm sure BAS has 500 of these kinds of encounters per day, but still: Would it have killed her to be a little more understanding?


(Full disclosure: My siding with HMiPS may or may not be related to the fact that BAS shortly thereafter messed up our boarding passes, delaying us to the point where we had to hustle to make our plane. So maybe she was just an idiot. :) How's that for kindness and karma?)

1 backtalk:

Iris Took said...

I feel like on any given day, I could side with either. Being in line I would be irritated that hmips was not prepared like the rest of us. I mean, everyone knows that 50lbs is the limit right? If it's iffy, you should have room in your carry on.

On the other side, BAS could be nicer. This is what she does for a living and this may be hmips's first flight ever or first flight with her kids, or they are going to a funeral, etc...

I can very easily see both sides. Good lesson in kindness and PATIENCE. I find myself getting rather impatient in airports which is why I show up superearly so I don't have to be uptight.

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