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Insults, Airlines, and our need to Conform. In other words: A rambling post about nothing in particular.

So, I’m waiting on a ‘gentleman’ and one of his coupons vanishes into thin air. He tells me it was for the eggs so I grab an ad to find the coupon. I don’t see it right away because I’m looking at the strip on the edge of the ad where the coupons usually are, but this one was in the middle.

The crusty old geezer, er, I mean gentleman, spots it first and says to me, “you should read more.”

Now, I’m pretty sure this was meant to be an insult. It’s not the worst I’ve heard, as far as customer insults go. Not by a long shot. I pretended not to hear him and kept on scanning because I am a professional. I do not respond to rude comments with other rude comments. I only think about it. I think real loud sometimes, willing them to hear my thoughts, but I don’t say it.

This is what I wish I’d said, “Sir, you are absolutely right, I’m going home right now to read the suspense novel I’m in the middle of.”

I would then tear off my apron, and throw it at him on my way out.

I am reading a good book. It’s by Sophie Hannah, a  new author for me. I had to buy a new book yesterday because the only thing worse than being stuck in an airport for half a day longer than expected is being stuck in an airport with nothing to read. Or in this case, nothing fun to read. The book I brought along turned out to be too depressing. After a very fun weekend with my daughter, meeting her friends and seeing the sites in beautiful Colorado, I did not want a sad story bringing me down. I also didn’t want to be in the Denver airport for an extra five hours. It would have been closer to eight hours if we hadn’t been on stand-by and gotten lucky. And all because a certain airline, whose name I will not mention (United) can’t seem to keep to their schedule, which makes the whole connecting flight thing a bit difficult. The only flights they got right were the two that I ran, full speed, huffing and puffing, through the airport to catch, only to find a closed gate. I am proud to say I did not scream obscenities at the gatekeeper. I only muttered them, and politely complained to customer service. Actually, I might not have been real polite the second time it happened, but seriously? Twice in one trip?

I know the United employees are just doing what they are told to do because they need a paycheck and health insurance, like everyone else. I know what it’s like to be the one dealing with angry or annoyed customers over one thing or another, things that ultimately are the fault of higher ups. (Maybe not my inability to spot a coupon, but, um, other things). It’s the big guys who should be on the receiving end of our wrath, but they hide in their offices behind big desks and leave their employees to deal with the crap. It is the way of big business everywhere.

It’s enough to make me dream of escaping the rat-race altogether. It isn’t just Alaskan Bush people who choose to live off grid, and do things their own way. I don’t know about all of Colorado but in the county where my daughter lives there are few restrictions on the kind of house you can build.  Tiny houses, teepees, tents, or even one of these:

My daughter’s friend built this. It’s a Hogan, modeled after the kind the Navaho lived in. I think it’s pretty cool. While I may not be ready to live without electricity, or indoor plumbing, I get why some people choose to escape the daily grind and live by their own rules. I think, as a society, we accept too much, and think too little. We believe we have to live a certain way, simply because it’s what everyone else is doing. Most people never get beyond middle school mentality. Must fit in at all costs! There are other ways of doing things.

We don’t have to conform.


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