I’m pretty sure that I travel enough to qualify me for frequent flyer status. Flying can be quite stressful if you’re not careful and you can learn a lot of life lessons in airports if you look for them. Emotional composure is definitely one of them and when I’m flying, I pride myself in not overreacting to things out of my control, such as late flights, broken planes, lost luggage and middle seats. I often find myself watching in amazement as someone chews out a gate agent because the plane is canceled, or yells at the flight attendant because the plane is delayed. When I observe one of these emotional outbursts, I usually pat myself on the back because I’m so “above” that. Or so I thought.
A while back I was waiting in line to board a plane when the lady ahead of me was asked to condense her three pieces of luggage down to two, as is the law. The lady stormed off, completely indignant, mumbling something inappropriate under her breath. I thought to myself, “There is another outburst. Doesn’t she know that the gate agent is just doing her job? She sure does look silly losing her temper. I would never do something like that.”
When it was my turn to show my ticket, the gate agent looked down at my bag and said, “That looks little big. Do you mind checking to see if it will fit in the container over there before you board?” Before I knew it, I found myself storming off in the general direction of the plane, saying to no one in particular that “I travel all the time. I know what I’m doing. Can’t she see that? Of course it will fit. The nerve of some people!!” Then it hit me……”Wow, I just did the same thing that I was passing judgment on just seconds ago. It looks like I have a bit more work to do than I thought. I guess I have a way to go on the emotional composure front after all.”
For me, this minor incident was a major reminder to not pass judgment on others but instead use that same energy to improve myself. And by the way, my bag didn’t fit in the container after all. “That darn gate agent. Doesn’t she know that…” Oops, there I go again.