As I walked down the jetbridge dressed head to toe in black, I couldn’t help but think of Plane Answers (Kent’s post on April 18, 2008) that was posted on Gadling.com, which I have to say is a very cool travel website. I’m sorry, people, but that woman with the crew lounge question just rubbed me the wrong way, and because of that woman and her silly question, I shoved my airline ID into my totebag and walked to my seat, my first class seat, and glared at the teeny tiny woman looking out the window, MY window, the same woman who would soon be sitting next to me – ME! Poor thing. Having to sit next to an undercover airline employee. I mean sometimes life can be so difficult when traveling in First Class. Trust me when I tell you that we, the ones wearing navy blue polyester, don’t want to sit next to you either! Unless of course you’re nice. Which most of you are.
“Do you have a pen?” asked the teeny tiny woman sitting next to me.
I couldn’t help but notice she already had a pen, but I smiled my business and first class smile anyway, and said, as nicely as I could for an unloved airline employee. “I do, but it’s in my bag.” The bag I had just hoisted over her teeny tiny head. “After we take off I’ll get my bag down and grab it for you.” That’s when I noticed her bag on the floor against the bulkhead wall, and here we were minutes away from departure. “Would you like me to put your bag up for you?” I asked, eying the teeny tiny bag that belonged to a teeny tiny woman
She smiled. That’s it. And then went back to scribbling away like mad on a notepad. In another language. I really hoped she wasn’t writing about me in that other language, complaining about the undercover airline employee she got stuck sitting next to, god forbid, the one who wouldn’t give her a pen, the one who was obsessed with her bag. I actually thought about leaning over and whispering in her teeny tiny ear, Oh I know what you’re writing, Lady, I know exactly what you’re saying about me, because I speak…THAT language – channeling Larry David from Curb Your Enthusiasm. Man, I love that show. I also love sitting in First Class.
Now back to the first class show. As it turns out, the teeny tiny one sitting beside me was what I like to call The Helpless Passenger. The Helpless Passenger is the kind of passenger who sits in the bulkhead row, bags lying against the wall, just waiting for the flight attendant to stow them in the overheard bin. The Helpless Passenger is the kind of passenger who can’t move the newspaper, magazine, computer, ipod, Blackberry, or writing pad out of the way as the flight attendant tries to set a glass of Champagne down on the armrest table. Nor can The Helpless passenger move the newspaper, magazine, computer, ipod, Blackberry, or writing pad out of the way when the seatmate gets up to use the lavatory, causing the seatmate (that’d be me and my big ole butt!) to awkwardly climb over the damn newspaper, magazine, computer, ipod, Blackberry, or writing pad. The Helpless Passenger is the kind of passenger who won’t pull out the tray table when the flight attendant is standing there with a meal tray in hand. Oh I know I know…why pull out the meal tray table when the flight attendant holding the meal tray can do it for you? But when the flight attendant STILL holding the meal tray struggles to pull out the tray table, Helpless continues to write or read or type, and then takes a sip of Champagne. For real. When the flight attendant FINALLY sets the meal tray down on the tray table, there’s no thank you from Helpless. What there is, or was, was more scribbling. Sometimes it’s typing. Other times it’s reading. Which is why I found myself shocked when Helpless picked up the fork and dug into the salad. I mean Helpless actually didn’t expect the flight attendant to feed her? Seriously, the woman that sat next to me last night was that helpless. She was, as I stated above, The Helpless Passenger. And I was, as you all know, The Undercover Airline Employee. And here’s the view from my first class seat…