Flight of the Long Legged

In my job I have occasion to travel around the country.  One of the things I enjoy about a flight is the opportunity to observe human behavior…

…and then there was this guy.

This gentleman was particularly happy because he was able to capture one of the most coveted seats on the airplane that day.  It was the window seat one row behind the emergency exit row.

If you don’t know, the emergency exit row on some flights does not have a window seat in order to accommodate the emergency exit door.  That means the window seat on the next row back does not have a seat in front of it.

Leg room….lots of leg room.

This was one happy camper.  You could tell that he had looked forward to having that extra room.  He seemed quite smitten over it.  I was happy for him as I settled into the aisle seat on his row.

And that is when it got interesting…

She was tall with an athletic build.  Maybe “tall” doesn’t capture it.  I’d estimate she was 6’8” maybe.  She was mostly legs and dressed in athletic gear….an athlete she would later confirm.

As she came down the aisle everyone was watching her because the seats on this aircraft were not designed to accommodate that size human.  As she reached our aisle she looked down at me and pointed at the middle seat on our row.

Well, I knew what needed to happen of course.  We ALL knew what needed to happen.  And yet…

…it didn’t.

I offered her the aisle seat thinking she could stretch her legs during portions of the flight.  She declined.  He ignored.  We talked at length about her challenges with traveling.  He ignored.

She literally had her knees jammed against the back of the seat in front of her.  He ignored.

Where The Juice Lives

Is it possible he was blissfully unaware?  I don’t see how.

Is it possible he was just so excited about that rare treat of a seat that he couldn’t let go of it?  Possibly.

How did he maintain his position in an environment where EVERYBODY, and I mean everybody, around him knew he was being a jackass?

I’m curious about how he made that work in his head.  How did he overcome the shame of his choice and make it through that flight?  Did getting the special seat overcome the shame of depriving someone of it….who really needed it?

What is the lesson?  I don’t know.  Be self aware, maybe?  Don’t be a jackass, perhaps?

I just don’t know.  Humans….what are you going to do?

 

KenCatmull.com

 

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