What does the world owe us? Does the purchase of a ticket or membership to a club allow us special privileges? By definition yes, but in travelling cross country this week I've observed that many people believe it entitles them to say and do anything they please. According to this theory I should sell my kids tickets to allow for their fits of rudeness and attitude. Or maybe they could buy a punch card, ten sassy comments and the eleventh one is free.
I was amazed at the liberties passengers took in criticizing the airline, flight attendants, coffee shops and other passengers. One pair was disgusted with the amount of carry-on luggage another couple brought on the plane, a small suitcase, two duffel bags and a back pack. The holier than thou twosome didn't bother to keep their voices down about how ridiculously excessive that amount of baggage was and really the stewardesses should do something about it. Obviously they were just trying to avoid paying fees to check their luggage. What I should clarify at this point is that the couple with all the luggage had an infant with them. An infant that they kept content and entertained through an entire five hour flight, to the delight of the rest of the passengers.
Yet another duo took issue with how all the "fun" had been taken out of flying. They missed the days when you were free to roam around the plane smoking and drinking in the lounge and not chained to their seats. You know, by those pesky seat belts. Flight attendants had apparently lost their charm as well. Why did they give up the white gloved luxury service of the past? I had to bite my tongue to keep from suggesting they upgrade to first class if they wanted to be spoiled. In our lawsuit happy society and post 9/11 flight attendants are there for our safety, because there is a segment of the population that can't follow the rules and have to be babysat. If we get a beverage I say goody for us.
It wasn't just the passengers that showed an attitude of entitlement. While waiting in the security line at LAX a group of pilots used their I.D's to move to the front of the line. Which no one begrudged them, after all we all want our crew to be on time. What the crowd minded was the pilots' complete disregard of the rules that held up the line for an extra ten minutes. One pilot set off the metal detector four times because he refused to take off his shoes. Another crew member became very annoyed when the security agent insisted he remove his watch. The flight attendants came through with no issue, as you would expect seasoned fliers too. I realize they were dressed like pilots and had the correct identification, but they should be the last ones that want security to be lax.
Rudeness and entitlement runs rampant in the world I realize that, but it just seamed very condensed while I was travelling. Is a five hour flight fun? It depends on how you look at it and where you're going I suppose, but the whole experience is pretty exhausting. Does buying that ticket entitle me to criticize everything and everyone around me as rudely as I possible can? That's certainly not what I want to teach my children.
If you can purchase the right to be rude, what's the cost of kindness?
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