It’s Time To unPlug and Plug Back In

I am sitting here at the Atlanta airport, waiting to board my flight (that has been delayed for about 2 hours), and I can’t help but notice the different types of people walking through the airport, sitting in pre-board areas or just leaning against poles. I am amazed at how busy everyone seems to be but yet also seem to oblivious to those around them. In the span of just an hour I saw…..

– Young black girl talking on her phone, with it on speaker, talking about paying her bills, making plans for the weekend and talking about her latest conquest. She was talking so loud that quite a few people were leaning closer to her just so they could follow her PG-13 conversation.

– The middle age businessman headed home from a trip, talking to a coworker as they compare flights, the number of frequent flyer miles and hotel points they have, arguing about the best hotel to use points to go to Vegas and which hotel has the loosest slots, prettiest showgirls, best buffets.

– Young mother and young child (about three years of age), obviously on her last nerve, answering all the questions from her daughter, that is just learning to talk and has tons of questions, waiting for her husband to bring them food from Chick-fil-A. I hear “Stop, don’t touch that, get your fingers out of your mouth, stand up, help mommy, let’s take a walk. ” She stands up and I see that she is pregnant, probably wondering “am I ready for this next one?”

– Fast food workers pushing trash carts talking loudly (very loud, make that extremely loud), about how much they hate their jobs and can’t wait to get out in the real world and do something. I would love to stop them and explain how they are “in” the real world, performing a much needed task otherwise we would be up to our necks in filth!

– Flight crews hurrying to their next flight or rushing to leave the airport. I can’t tell if that’s frustration or elation on their faces.

– Senior senior citizens (no, that’s not a typo, they are in their mid 80’s) about whether they packed everything they needed. This is the first time the wife has flown and she is definitely nervous and grouchy. They are arguing with each other and neither one is listening to the other.

– A group of five friends, walking abreast and taking up half the hallway, making people go around them, oblivious to others as they walk and text and laugh and text and take selfies and text and text and… you get the idea.

– Mr. Muscles in his tank top, sweat pants, tattoos and attitude. If he went through a regular doorway he would have to turn sideways. I don’t think that he could even reach back and scratch is backing he had in itch.

– Ms. I can’t be anywhere on time! Running down the concourse talking to herself saying, “I’m late, I’m late, I’m late”. Dodging people left and right, trying to keep her spinner luggage from tumbling over, rushing to the gate just as they start to close the door and begging them to let her board.

– The wannabe gangsta, pants down to his knees, cap on sideways, huge earphones around his neck, oversized t-shirt, shoelaces dragging from his tennis shoes, if he sneezed I think all his clothes would fall off and he’d be naked.

– The movie star with her long painted nails, fur coat, huge sunglasses, tight leggings, costume jewelry and oversized phone with a vocabulary limited to “like we did this, like you know, like do you know what I’m sayin, like…”

There are several things I notice that appear to be part of our reality now. Everyone has cellphones, headphones, spinners, iPads, iPods, etc. No one gets dressed up anymore to travel, some people don’t even seem to get dressed! When did leggings become everyday wear? There seems to be a competition to see who can wear the tightest ones.

When did we become so wrapped up in our own reality that we stopped being respectful to others? Is it really necessary for everyone within a 30 foot radius to hear about our lives – real or imaginary? Maybe it’s time to unplug our electronics and plug back in to people. I watched a couple of teenagers sitting back to back arguing with each other by texting back and forth!

Yep, it’s definitely time to unplug.

– ,

Author: Ken W

Operations management professional with 20+ years experience in building customer -focused, enthusiastic teams in nationally ranked businesses.

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