Midway to Secure

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Anyone who travels as much as I do knows the drill to get through security quickly. Laptop and IPad out of bag. Baggie of liquids out of the bag. Snacks out of the bag. Shoes off. Jacket and hat off. Put everything in about 30 bins and walk into the scanner of shame.

Hopefully they don’t pull your bag out to leaf through the 12 books I decided I could not live without.

Then, this morning at Midway in Chicago I was flummoxed.

Shoes stay on. Nothing comes out of the bags. Remove your jacket and cram it all in one bin. Walk through the metal detector.

It all felt too easy. Is this a trap? And why the hell was I not allowed to pet the TSA dog sniffing everyone’s butt? This is unfair. He needed some pats. He was a good boy.

While the rest of the airports in the country are becoming more and more ridiculous about screening bags, this felt cursory and honestly just fine by me.

I would like to point out my disappointment when I find the slip tucked into my luggage that they searched it, and neglected to fold and organize the bag as well as it should be if I were a conscientious packer. Apparently TSA dudes are no better at folding than I am.

I’m not complaining; I just suppose it’s okay to be midway to secure if you are flying out of The Windy City.

History

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I love Maryland. I am on the Eastern Shore and it feels like I have been transported to a place time is trying to forget. Apparently the chain stores and restaurants are relatively new. They seem out of place when they are so near the places I only knew about from history books. 

Easton was established in 1711 when the courthouse was built in Talbot County. 

I imagine the young people move across the bay to chase excitement and fortune in the big city, leaving their families safe in the past. I would. 

Well, maybe I wouldn’t. I am drawn to both the rural and urban lifestyle. My fantasies flip-flop seamlessly from one to the other. 

For now, I am just going to enjoy soaking up the history while I marvel at my good luck. 

Life is good today. 

A Million Passengers

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Yesterday I was sitting in the airport waiting for my plane to arrive. The airline representative came on the loud speaker to let us know the incoming pilot was coming in for his last flight before his retirement and they were welcoming him with… something I did not hear. Turns out it was three fire trucks spraying the plane as it taxied to the gate. She did not want us to be alarmed by the spectacle surrounding the aircraft we were about to board. Smart, Southwest Airlines. I would have been very concerned. Is my plane on fire? What’s the problem? Is it safe? Nevermind, I’ll drive. 

Once the plane made it to the gate, the passengers deplaned, and the pilot finally exited the tunnel greeted by cheers and hugs from his family and friends. It was nice. 

The guy behind me in line must have known more about aviation than I do because he was very curious about the number of trips the pilot had completed. He asked several members of the flight crew, and one of them was not sure of the trip number however he reported the pilot had exceeded one million passengers. 

Let’s think about that for a moment. One million passengers were under this man’s care while he assumed responsibility for their safety from gate to gate. That’s a big deal. This pilot had willingly spent every day of his career with lives depending on his ability and skills to maneuver his aircraft safely. 

I felt a sense of pride in my career choice when I realized we had similarities in our professional lives. We both assume life and death responsibility every time we go to work. 

It’s no wonder these jobs are well-known to have high rates of burnout. Not only are we responsible for not making a mistake, we are also responsible for outcomes of things that are completely out of our control.

Despite the occasional overwhelming fear associated with my career, I am proud of what I do. I was more than a little proud of the airline captain who had safely transported over a million passengers too. 

Elevator Chats

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It’s time to check out and drop my dry cleaning off so I can leave Tulsa for Denver. I am dragging my suitcase, carrying a bag of laundry, and juggling my big floppy hat. I feel a little annoyed that my hands are full and I can’t pull my phone out of my purse to pass the 15 seconds until the elevator arrives. I am reasonably certain I have not left anything behind in the room. As I wait for the elevator a fellow traveler joins me for the wait. 

“You here on business?” 

What? Business? I am wearing my favorite Misfits T-shirt and my hair is crammed up in a messy ponytail. What about that says business? Oh. It does sound rather grownup though. Hehe. “Yes, you?” 

He kinda cute in a nerdy, slightly too bright shirt and tie way. Remember to smile. Don’t giggle and sound silly. 

“Yeah.” 

I am still distracted by my fantasy of being “here on business” and I forget to say anything else. It’s too bad really. I would have liked to talk to him for a few more moments. 

Here on business. That’s hysterical. I never thought of myself as a business traveler. Sure, I travel for work. I spend more time in airports than I ever thought I would. I drop off dry cleaning and make arrangements for my return. Huh. Does this mean I have finally crossed some magic threshold into a grownup, mature professional? 

I look down at my attire and realize I may not be all that mature. No fear on that front. Geez. When will I finally feel like an adult? What does that even feel like? 

What is my purpose? Am I living the life I am supposed to lead? What are my goals? Did I remember to grab my flatiron? Yes. I think I did. 

Damn. I should have said something charming to that kinda cute in a nerdy way guy. Ha! Here on business…