"At this time, make sure your seat back and tray tables are in their full upright and locked position."
Just do it?
And WHAT would that be, you might ask?
Adjusting your seat on a plane!
I fly A LOT for business and for pleasure.
I find airline travel today to be amusing and annoying.
I imagine I am not in the minority.
Here is a little ditty for you to ponder when it comes to airline travel:
Do you ask the person behind you if it’s ok to recline your seat?
Do you just tell them you are moving your seat back, giving them advanced notice?
Do you just move your seat back and the hell with the
Tick off the person behind you?
Spill their drink in their lap?
Give them a fat lip in the process because they are leaning over fishing into their carry-on for their ear buds when you moved your seat back?
You know how it goes...
...your head is still up but your hands are fumbling down under the seat in front of you. Both your head and arms don’t quite fit down over your thighs under the seat (that is unless you have been doing a ton of yoga).
How do I know all of this?
I haven’t given anyone a fat lip OR spilled their drink on them.
I’ve had it all done to me.
I’ve also asked the person behind me if it’s ok to recline my seat back and been met with a dirty look OR a reluctant, guilt-inducing “TSK” with their tongue against the roof of the mouth, followed by an indignant “go ahead”.
I’ve also been told with a smile, “No problem, move your seat back”.
A few times I've told the person behind me that I’m moving my seat back with negligible responses.
And a few times, I'll admit, I just did it.
That was before the seats were crammed one on top of the other and leaning back did not put you in someone’s lap.
(Case in point: the very large gentleman sitting in my lap RIGHT NOW!!)
Yes, I’m on a plane to California.
I’m really fortunate that way.
No, I’m not making a zillion dollars writing.
Although I do welcome what flows in and “the kindness of strangers.”
I have a wonderful husband who is retired and wants to travel while the travelin’s good.
Translation: do it as long as we are ready, willing and ABLE. (I highly recommend it if at all possible.)
I digress - back to the whole airplane seat analogy.
I’m not sure it IS an analogy, because I'm staring at the screen on the back of my neighbor's seat inches away from my face, SOOOO I’m thinking it’s real life.
Admittedly, real life is funnier, more outrageous, scarier, kinder, nastier, and more interesting to write about than anything I can concoct in my head.
And I can concoct in my head with the best of them!
Today, in front of me, I got a seat in the face and behind me I got a scowl and attitude.
I didn’t say anything to the gentleman who shoved his seat back.
Maybe I needed to.
Like: "it would be great if you could have given me some warning before you catapulted your seat back." From the looks of it I would have gotten a scowl and attitude.
Nonetheless, I did what I thought was the more considerate thing to the person behind me and STILL got a scowl and attitude.
(Honestly, put a crying child near me. I can make silly faces and play peekaboo and more often than not get them to stop crying; both the child and the parent. Yes, I hear the nods of agreement out there.)
You might say damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
But I’m not going to.
I’m going to take a screen in the face and still ask the person behind me if I can tilt my seat back.
Someone, at some point, is going to say no, and I’m going to keep my seat upright.
...today’s not that day.
(Insert Cheshire Cat grin here.)
As always, thanks for reading.
See you again next week!
,*This is an excerpt of a discussion I had with a BBC reporter immediately after Anthony Bourdain passed away. I have extended this post because my site was down for a few days and I feel it is really worth reading and extending its emphasis.
"I have co-owned two restaurants in Canada.
More like they owned me.
What I found out about owning restaurants is that I was no good at owning restaurants.
The first restaurant we simply invested money. (Yep, I've yet to see a return on my investment. Total newbie F-up.)
The second restaurant, we were all in.
My partner and I were the investors. He hosted, dealt with paperwork, ordering as per the chef's instructions, upkeep, et al.
I hosted, designed menus, picked out the organic wine (I DID have some knowledge there) and hired the entertainment. Pretty basic stuff because I was a pretty basic restaurant owner.
Our partners were chefs and former restaurant owners. We entrusted them as the experts. (Another flippin' mistake, but that was because I didn't know enough to see the signs of a doomed partnership.)
I was a wet behind the ears, green, newbie, riding by the seat of my pants owner with what appeared to be money to burn (and burn it we did). I take full responsibility for my choices.
Our chef, who was immensely talented and a total what-you-see-is-what-you-get person, handed me a book one day.
I will never forget what he said to me:
"KaZ, if you want to know and understand me, and what goes on in a restaurant, you need to read this book."
He handed me "Kitchen Confidential" by Anthony Bourdain.
I said "Thank you?"
It's not that I wasn't up to being schooled by my chef, I just had NO idea what I had gotten myself into and he knew it.
It was the one of the kindest things ANYONE has ever done for me.
I read the book from cover to cover. Some chapters and paragraphs I read more than once or twice.
Some passages I just could NOT believe and some made complete sense to me.
After I "studied" the book it changed how I looked at my chef and at the restaurant business.
It helped me to look for the signs of theft of money and goods from the restaurant (there was both).
It helped me regard my chef as an artist, a humble but proud creator and a master of his art.
The book gave me insight into what I needed to do in the back and front of the house to insure my staff had what they needed.
I also learned the times to tighten the reins when things got out of hand.
Pointing out financial and operational issues did not make me popular with my staff or my partners, BUT it DID make me savvy.
Were any of my staff on drugs, stealing from me or f'ing off? You bet they were.
Were any of them busting their butts? You bet they were.
Was my chef an adept and more than capable craftsperson? YOU BET HE WAS.
Would I have recognized ANY of this without the book?
Probably, but it would have taken SO MUCH LONGER.
My son bussed tables at 8, 9 and 10 years old. He loved it. He loved being in the restaurant. The staff treated him like a valuable person, not just the owner's son.
His dream was to be a chef and as he pursued that dream Anthony was his hero and still is.
Why Anthony and not other notable chefs? I don't know, but I'll ask him.
We both cried when we heard of his death.
I owned a small bistro that was a blip on the world map, but it WAS a blip, nonetheless.
My point is that Anthony did more for me and my son than he will ever know."
If you or someone you know and love is suffering from mental health challenges, seek assistance.
National Suicide Prevention Line
Available 24 hours everyday
Crisis Text Line Text “home” to 741741
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Help Line: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
As always, thanks for reading!
See you next week.