I was returning home from Chicago today. Ominous skies were threatening our return. Weather reports from home are gloomy – thunderstorms and heavy rains are pounding the NYC region. The flight is full. The mood among the passengers is surly…no one is up for an extended delay, or worse, a cancelation heading into the weekend. Yet, the flight is off, and on time and largely uneventful. We circle for 15 minutes over NYC as air traffic is backed up. We land. A few minutes late but the relief in the cabin is palpable.
We’re on the tarmac. An elderly lady three rows back is on her cell phone calling a family member. In a voice that is heard 8-10 rows in each direction, she let them know “THAT I’LL BE A BIT LATE AND THERE IS NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT.” She carries on her phone conversation on her stay in Chicago and her plans for the weekend. Then, there’s a moment of silence. And, she’s back on the phone. This time with her car service. Her piercing voice is echoing up and down the tube. ”GIVE ME YOUR NUMBER! I’LL NEED TO CALL YOU FROM BAGGAGE CLAIM. NO I NEED YOUR NUMBER. 212-656-. WHAT WAS THAT AGAIN? 212-65X? SPEAK LOUDER.” This goes back and forth several times until she manages to get the number. Then, there’s another moment of silence and she’s back on the phone with another family member. ”I SHOULDN’T BE TOO LATE.” The conversation continues for several minutes at a raised decibel level. There’s another moment of silence and she’s back on the phone again.
As the calls continued, there’s a perceptible shift in the mood among the passengers who pivot from understanding (“how sweet“) to humor (“is this an SNL skit“) to a sharp wicked turn to impatience (“grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr“) – as one by one they glance over their seats to see the offender – whose voice is LARGE vis a vis her physical presence.
We finally get towed into the gate and a good samaritan in the seat behind me offers to grab her bag from the overhead bin. Then he kindly offers to show her how to find her cell phone call log for future reference. (“My thoughts turn inward. Would I have done that? I have Gandhi sitting behind me.)
The lady asks him to repeat his question. He does. And she snaps back at him saying “THERE’S NO NEED. I KNOW THAT!”
Related Post: Think Small…
Image Source: Ilovecharts