Sunday, November 02, 2014

Random bullets of travel

I'm sitting in an airport and I can smell bread baking.  Who bakes bread in an airport? Subway? It doesn't matter. It smells great even though I am not hungry.

Did you know that some airlines won't check your luggage if you arrive more than 4 hours early for your flight? It's true.

I am on a streak of losing things and leaving things behind out of distraction and carelessness. Some of them  I find (keys) and some of them I don't.  This may mean something (stress? fatigue?). But I'm sure there's a better week ahead.

A completely hypothetical and in no way real situation: Let's say you know how to do something and have the equipment to do it and it's an essential feature of a conference--a Jenga-building machine, let's say.  The speakers are supposed to build with Jenga, but in the spirit of academics everywhere, the Jenga-building hall has not provided the right equipment and although most speakers are gracious, a very few speakers are too something (too proud? too lazy? too invested in their Jenga incompetence as a mark of their vast intellectual acumen? ) to bring their own equipment and make sure that the Jenga-building will proceed apace.

You hurl yourself into the breach just to be a decent person and, since you have the equipment, set it up and help them with Jenga-building during their presentations. Later, you hear complaints from a few audience members, not about your Jenga-building help but generalized griping that the Jenga-building should have been faster, smoother, and easier. If you had not helped the speakers, their presentations would have had no Jenga at all.

Two questions:  Would you (1) do it all over again if the same conditions came up because most speakers are decent and gracious or (2) "accidentally" leave your Jenga-building equipment behind the next time?

And to the person who said, "Someone ought to get in there and check out the Jenga-building equipment throughly and and in advance," what do you say?  (1) "I'm glad you volunteered to do that." (2) "As a random audience member who isn't any part of organizing the conference, I'll get right on that" (3) Other.


sophylou said...

Well, this is just me, but for the last question, I'd go with 3) Other: asking someone involved in organization who is responsible for making sure the Jenga-building-facilitating-stuff is in order.

Only because 1) is pretty much 100% how my workplace works, and it generally makes people learn to stop "noticing" things, since the lesson is if you notice it, *you're* responsible for it... not the people whose job it is/was who are falling down on the job and not being held accountable for it.

undine said...

sophylou--I didn't think of that before, but you're absolutely right: whoever notices is responsible. That's a good thing to know.