And then ...
We were told to gather all our personal belongings and de-board. That's right! After all that, without going anywhere, we all got off the plane.
Let me tell ya: If there is anything mechanically or electronically malfunctioning on "my" airplane then by all means, invite me to de-board and I will absolutely wait while you fix the problem. Being an aeronautical statistic is not on my list of shit to do.
I will also tell ya: Not everyone is so quick to share my sentiment. The huge-ass, good looking ex-marine sitting next to me (thank you for your service) shared several unhappy "F*cks" and paced around for a good five minutes looking for a place to throw a punch before he finally simmered down.
A lady receiving wheelchair assistance was parked near my seat by the window and, as people who want to talk to someone but don't actually know anyone will do, said loudly "well there's nuthin' we can do about it" as she swiveled her head looking for some poor sap (me) to make the slightest eye contact or nod of assent so she can start sharing her life story.
The dark haired, younger-than-she-looked lady across from me was a nervous wreck. She hadn't wanted to get off the plane and now she wasn't sure she wanted to get back on. Nervous Nellie was traveling with a friend. That friend, possibly to get away from the repetitive ramblings of her crazy pal or perhaps because she really did want to stand in a line 50 people deep to book other passage home, left Nervous Nellie to find camaraderie in strangers. Nellie and Wheelchair Lady were the perfect pair for a bit - both spoke, neither listened - until they realized the incompatibility of their situation and moved on to another stranger who had been trying her damnedest to inconspicuously observe the chaos at the gate by pretending to play a game on her Ipad (again me).
Holy shit, people working for the airline do NOT get paid enough to put up with the crap that is slung at them when people are inconvenienced. As far as I'm concerned, the airline took into consideration my comfort (they let me off the plane didn't they?) and safety (I mean if not all systems are go for take off, then let's not take off!). I didn't get too close to the gate agent desk, I had a really good seat in the sun by the window and my backpack was crazy heavy to carry, but a third of the passengers were standing in line to ... I dunno what ... rebook? complain? chat? Whatever they were trying to do took each person in line 10 to 15 minutes to accomplish with their gate agent. If I was the 45th guy in line I would have cut my losses and sat the fuck back down. It must have been getting heated over there because a big burley fellow passenger standing near the desk like a guard dog announced (quite clearly considering he didn't even use the static-ey microphone the gate agents use to confuse us) that if you re-book your ticket you will not be able to get on this airplane when it takes off. (That's assuming of course that it is actually fixed, able to take off, fly and land in Cleveland sometime today.) It was entertaining to observe a coiffed regular-size business man have a conversation with Burley Fellow what with Burley Fellow standing his ground, looking down at Sir Coif just shaking his head and all.
Voyeurism is underrated!
So I got to thinking while I sat in my almost-too-hot chair by the window looking around at the other people waiting to get back on the airplane: (Well, the first thing I think is, "If the plane crashes these are the people I'm going to die with." But I always think that about my fellow passengers/victims. Dark? Yes but I like to think of it as pragmatic.) what I was thinking was: Each of these people MATTER to someone. It MATTERS that each of these people make it home to their children, spouses, nieces, nephews, parents, and pets. Someone loves her, him, them. It makes a difference whether they return home safely.
Stop and think about that: YOU MATTER! (Now never forget it.) Everyone MATTERS to someone ... or they should.
This gives me pause. I was thinking about the workplace of my 'Social Worker'. She works with kids who have had trauma caused by the people who are supposed to love and care for them first and foremost. (Abuse and mistreatment just pisses me off to no end I'll tell ya!) The responsibility of showing these kids they MATTER is on the psychologists, teachers, counselors and caregivers. They are not permanent people in these kids' lives but they can leave a permanent impression. These vulnerable kids MATTER. Kudos to all who make a difference in their lives.
Or in anyone's life for that matter!
YOU matter to me Friends!