Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Seen at Midway Airport

I am at my gate 2 hours early.  Hileman-time we call it, and it's a source of amusement to our family and friends.  We are never running through airports, a la O J Simpson.  Instead, we stroll and snack and observe......

....the lady two chairs down who is checking the Lotto numbers with her phone on speaker.  "The winning numbers for the game you have chosen are:.."  Her tickets are strewn on the armrest of the chair.  She played several games and I heard all the numbers.  I tried to type to you but it was just too distracting.

....the gentleman in the row behind me whose customer support team is not meeting their quota and "it's my bad because I should have done it myself."   He's sharing sales figures and company names and I wonder if his supervisor would be pleased to know that I am following his dealings so closely.  He's got his hand in front of his mouth the way football coaches cover their play calls on the sidelines, but I'm hearing every word.  I am sure his suppliers will be thrilled to know that they, at least, are on time and appropriate.  I could list the employees who are disappointing him, but that would just be compounding the problem.

....the Asian girl across the way who's wearing huge headphones which she attaches serially to a tablet , a phone, and a lap top.  Her Hello Kitty shopping bag is overflowing and her fingers are flying over the keys as quickly as her teeth are chomping her gum.  I don't think I'll be choosing the seat next to her on this Southwest flight. No indeed.

....the young man next to me, reading a large print copy of Assholes Finish First, which, given the profanities sprinkled on the page he's turned over to face me is probably not a book I'll be picking up anytime soon.

Then, there was the kerfuffle at the security line.  There were two streams of passengers once we passed the ID checkpoint, and I chose the shorter and (I thought) faster lane.  I was third, behind the sandal-footed 50 year old and the pushed-in-a-wheel-chair octogenarian.  It was she who gave the TSA people all the trouble.  Her tiny little dog couldn't be touched by anyone who was going through the back-scatter screening booth, and the pooch was not amused.  The wheel-chair-pusher had no interest - and I mean absolutely no interest - in holding the beast.  The passenger was worried, the screeners were giving orders, and no one was moving,  Finally, the chair and the dog went one way, the passenger went another, and the rest of us stood there shaking our heads as we were shuffled rather uncermoniously through a swinging-door and a regular scanner.  Five minutes had turned into fifteen in the blink of an eye,

It's not that hard to make travel more pleasant.  A smile, a "take your time," a quick answer to an obvious question, a recognition that you are not alone in the universe - these are the things that smooth the way.  Today I've been treated to "Huh?" and blank stares and a moving walkway that I swear to you sped up as it was ending and nearly sent me sprawling onto the solid ground.

RIC convinced me that I'm making progress.  Limping through Midway put that proposition to the test.  I am exhausted but unbowed.  Now, if everyone would stop sneezing........


  1. I think airports are the most fascinating places to watch people and just think...I hope you arrived home safely!

  2. I agree with Tracy, airports are fun places to people watch. Here's something I always do when I'm going through the security line. I always look the security people in the eye and say, "How are you doing today?". I really try to be pleasant. You would be amazed at how nice they can be if you are friendly with them. Even in Heathrow the guys were joking with me about forgetting my iPhone in my back pocket. I truly think it was 'cause I was so pleasant to them. I adopted this tactic after hearing so many business men do a big sigh and give me horrible faces for daring to go through security with three children and a stroller. We always give ourselves plenty of time too.

    Hope you had a great trip.

    Megan xxx

  3. Loved it. There's no people-watching like airport people-watching. We make our now semi-annual trip to SoCal next week for Liam's fifth birthday and I am not looking forward to the flight. There should be a website devoted to Live Blogging My Flight. And I'm sure those walkways speed up toward the end. And the super-steep escalators at Hartsfield in Atlanta have steps at the top that are slanted forward an extra few degrees.


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