BRENT STOLLER

Writer. Advice giver. Peanut butter and chocolate enthusiast.

Please Wait Your Turn

Everywhere you look, everyone’s moving at warp speed.

On the road, in the office, even on the golf course.

While I think people need to slow down, I also get their desire to go fast. Admittedly, I’m guilty of this impatient mindset at times as well.

When I’m trying to get somewhere, I want to be there. Now. And I view whomever is in my way as a denier of that dream.

But I realize how ridiculous that is, and I keep those irrational musings to myself, all the while adhering to proper etiquette.

I don’t cut in line at Chick-fil-a or across lanes of traffic to the front of a backed-up exit ramp.

And I certainly don’t get off an airplane before it’s my turn.

It’s this last one that drives me nuts, because the protocol couldn’t be clearer:

One side of a row zippers in after the other until the full row is empty, at which point the process repeats with the row behind.

When you’re selecting your seat, you’re simultaneously agreeing to the hierarchy of exiting. The only ambiguity that’s figured out in the moment is which side of your row deplanes first.

Yet nearly every time that bell sounds signifying the plane’s parked at the gate, somebody jumps up and forces themselves as far up the aisle as they can.

(People trying to make a connection are obviously exempt from this criticism.)

Why? So they can get to baggage claim 17 seconds quicker?

Is that really worth disregarding all manners of decorum for?

Of course, now that I think about it, you could make a parallel case against me. (And maybe you are.)

Here I am criticizing my fellow passengers for trying to save 17 seconds, yet I’m so bothered by having to sacrifice the same.

Granted, it’s not the time cost that gets me but the lack of common courtesy. Without civility, there is no society.

Still, when you step back and assess the big picture, all their actions are costing me is that slight delay. I’m the one who’s applying the emotional tax — meaning I’m being as inconsiderate of myself as they are to others.

Which is absolutely absurd.

If these people want to go through life this way, that’s their problem. It’d be foolish to make it mine.

*****

This article originally appeared on 100 Naked Words.

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