while sitting on a plane that is boarding to take me home from a bit of vacation i had the pleasure of seeing an example of a person i never want to be. yes, it was an early flight, 6:35am. yes, everyone was tired, who wouldn’t be when you know everyone had to get up around 5am. yes, the plane was crowded and people like to be by there bags…i’m bearing all of this in mind. as the flight attendant was doing a bit reshuffling of the bags on a totally booked flight, she was shifted small bags and turning big bags to maximize the room…this is what she does for a living, right? right. so she takes a small brown bag and is about to move it across the aisle when a passenger enters into a very rude exchange with her regarding “what are you doing with my bag”, i’m guessing you know how the rest goes. in the end he took his bag and put it at his feet but the whole section of the plane was watching to see how this was going to end up. there is no way to defend this guy, from the moment he asked the question he had entered into a power play and nobody likes a bully. to the flight attendant’s credit she was calm and was probably going to yield to whatever the guy wanted in the end. who wants to be “that guy”? not necessarily the specific individual but i’m talking about the person who puffs out their chest and challenges people from the word go. i can’t imagine anyone sitting in the area thought this guy was in the right to take the stance he did over such a silly issue of moving a bag. i work with adults all the time and in many ways i play the role of the flight attendant, although i’ll file that comparison under ‘blog ideas’ for now. in any case, if a teacher chooses to assume a challenging posture during a training i’m asked/forced/required/duty bound to put on my best customer service face and do what needs to be done. on the plan the attendant would have never thrown the guy’s bag at him and gotten in his face; probably wouldn’t even have made a snide remark and neither would i, but why is that? am i being the bigger person? is it a customer service issue? does it just have to do with being the one with the cooler head? the flight attendant was just doing her job to the best of her ability and trying to meet the needs of all the passengers on the plane just like professional development folks do their best to work the room and provide what everyone needs. this isn’t about me wanting to give someone a piece of my mind and not being able to, i grew out of that years ago. perhaps one of us on the plane should have spoken up? would i want a fellow participant to defuse an angry teacher during a training? on the plane there was nothing the attendant could have to done differently, she had no idea this guy would react this way to what is a very common occurrence on a full flight and when leading a session the same applies for me. i guess i’ll continue to tread lightly.
don’t be THAT guy