Hurry up and wait

I wrote this on Thursday evening while waiting to board my flight to Vancouver:

“I’m fascinated by the “hurry up and wait” phenomenon. I just witnessed it now in the airport. They announced that our flight was boarding, and everyone leapt out of their seats to line up and board. Ten minutes later, I’m still sitting down, and the line is just as long. Heck, I’ve got my notebook out and I’m typing a scatterthought.

I could understand if there were a first-come-first-serve aspect to boarding. In that case, getting on sooner means better choice of seating or whatever, or may be the difference between boarding and being left behind. But hey, I checked in long ago and they assigned me a seat already. No one’s going to take it. So I’m just gonna wait here until that line is a little more reasonable.

The same thing will happen when we deplane, as well. As soon as the plane starts to taxi (even before the seatbelt light goes off), people will be up jamming the aisles, trying to be the first ones out of the plane. Meanwhile, I’ll be waiting patiently. Because it doesn’t really matter how long I stand…everyone in the seats in front of me needs to get off as well.

At the conveyor, we’ll repeat the phenomenon again. People rush out there, then wait for their luggage to appear on the belt. In this case, I will take up a decent position by the belt, but not because I care about getting my luggage. Rather, I like to help other people get their luggage. Until mine appears on that belt, I do everything I can to help out those around me. It just keeps things moving, and in the end I just like helping. Hopefully it makes people’s days as much as it makes mine.”

Patience. It’s a virtue.

I may not get another chance to write a scatterthought before Christmas strikes, so I’ll take the opportunity now to wish all of my visitors a wonderfully merry Christmas. May you bring joy to those around you, and find joy in return.