Tuesday, September 11, 2007
But the Day Was Not Wasted
There was a time when being delayed in an airport would cause you to feel like you wasted a day. Those were the days before laptops and cell phones and wireless broadband.
It doesn’t always work out but I try to get to the airport about two hours before my flight just in case there are long lines at security and so I want have to rush around. Because I didn’t check the time of my flight today I got there 3 hours early. And my flight was delayed another hour and a half. So you can do the math. I was in Atlanta Hartsfield – Jackson airport for 4 ½ hours today.
That is way too long but my day was not wasted.
I spent most of the time on my laptop working on a project for work I had started at my office this morning. With high speed internet service throughout the airport these days it’s just like being at the office. And I was able to get done there what I would have had to finish late tonight at the hotel if I had not been delayed.
After what I read about what happens in the Men’s Room at airports these days, I spent absolutely as little time as possible in that particular room. The few times I did make a visit I made sure not to tap my foot which seems to be the universal sign you want a stall companion. I don’t want one of those.
But just for your information, outside of the Men’s Room in any of the concourses you can meet some interesting folks at the Atlanta Airport. They all have a story and they all are going somewhere. I had a lengthy conversation with a former NFL football player. I met an elderly couple who had just come off a cruise and were changing planes to head home. I spoke to a shoeshine man who once shined the shoes of Martin Luther King, Jr. I spoke to a couple who was heading to Hawaii for a vacation. I couldn’t help but listen to a businessman talk on his cell phone to somebody about an incompetent employee.
I have learned that it is a good thing to leave your comfort zone and engage other human beings. The comfort zone for most folks in an airport would be to sit by themselves and never say a word to anyone. I choose to be different. I ask questions and if they seem to enjoy answering them I keep asking and I keep listening. And the conversations we have can really be amazing.
Some folks hand over a business card after meeting a new friend. I have something better. I hand over a book I wrote. I sign it to them and leave my email address. And many times I get an email. And sometimes I have a new friend who wished they had grown up in Reynolds, GA.
I did spend the afternoon at the airport today. But the day was not wasted.