I get to travel a bit in my position with Broadbean and, actually, since I have worked in recruiting, work travel has been a part of my job. I have probably sat through at least fifty pre-flight sessions of safety instructions as delivered by flight attendants. I decided a while ago, that I would always listen and while I consider myself a seasoned flyer, I have responsibilities - I have children, I have a job, I have friends, extended family. Over the years, this has become even more important to me as others consider it less than important or are inconceiveably rude during the flight attendant's schpeel.
Sadly, my latest flight was no different. A gentleman - most definitely a seasoned flyer and obviously, self-important - sat two rows across the aisle behind me. He proceeded to talk very loudly on his cell phone long after the "Shut 'em Down" announcement and the cabin doors were closed. I sat there, unfortunately, hearing his unimportant conversation as many of us strained to listen to the safety announcement. Various thoughts ran through my head... "Are you God? Because if you are God, I am pretty sure this flight will be safe and neither I nor my fellow passengers need to watch the safety dance."
SInce he didn't answer me telepathically, I assumed he was NOT God.
I wadded up my napkin and threw it back at him, just missing him, but he definitely saw
the paper fly ball. Then I simply said, louder than his booming voice, "Hey, SHUT that phone down. Now." He quickly snapped his phone shut and for a second, I thought there was going to be applause break out. Apparently
, I struggle with being meek. Anyway, I got my point across. As I turned back to listen to the remaining instructions, the flight attendant shot me a knowing smile and continued his announcement. The elderly woman next to me leaned over and thanked me while I gave the loud-talker a new title under my breath.
Some days, we can afford to sit in silence while an egregious breach is committed or an error in judgment crosses our path. Other days present opportunities to speak up and facilitate a change. I couldn't sit by while most of us on the flight were uncomfortable. I couldn't refrain because I had a voice. I didn't want to hear any more of his dribble because it was only important to little ol' him.
There were those around me that couldn't speak up, it wasn't in their nature, but their appreciation was evident immediately following my scolding.
During my post-mortem of the incident, I was still satisfied with my action. I would have been disappointed with myself had I not managed it, even though it was not really my responsibility. I guess the take-away is to be mindful of your surroundings, whether you are the receiver or the provider of the annoyance, And watch out for peri-menopausal women that have no problem taking charge, namely me.