Tag Archives: lack of patience

Airline Rodeo

I don’t get it.

We’ve all been there.

Yet it’s mind boggling.  It makes no sense.

None.

Airplane boarding.

Airplane de-boarding.

Let’s reflect, here at gate D-47.

There’s 15 minutes until boarding time, plenty of time to grab a coffee, visit the restroom, buy a newspaper, down a few shots of Jagermeister, make a phone call, snag a sandwich and some snacks for the flight but no.

Already passengers are lining up at the start of the catwalk entrance for the airplane.

Seriously.

The airline representative at the gate announces over the loudspeaker:

In a few minutes, we will begin the boarding process.  Please take note of your seat assignment and board when your row is called.

****

Right.  Like this actually matters.

Watch out, you’re about to get trampled!  Everyone and their brother pushes forward towards the gate.

Bags are hefted on to shoulders.

Pulley suitcases are squared up behind,  wheels double checked for quick launch and shoes scuffed against flooring, like bulls in tauromachia,  to ensure successful dodging of all slow pokes ahead.

Also remember at this time, your carryon bag must fit in the overhead compartment.  If it doesn’t fit in the overhead compartment, we are happy to gate check it for you.  (Side note: or just try and ram it into the overhead compartment while everyone watches while silently cursing you….as you are delaying the flight.. and see who wins, you or the Boeing 747)

****

Ladies and gentleman thank you for flying with Vexatious Airlines.  We are now going to begin boarding.

So begins the litany of prequalified fliers who are oh so savvy and much more dignified than you to actually BEGIN the boarding process:

First Class passengers.

Global Platinum Card Members  / Vexatious Advantage Shakers and Movers Members

Global Silver Card Members / Vexatious Advantage Unique Personality Members

Global Business Card Members / Vexatious Advantage Mediocre Members

*****

At this point you look around and a third of the gate has boarded the airplane.

Thank you for your patience.  We would like to continue boarding with our Vexatious Advantage Members who have reached Movie Star Status.

Those fliers who have reached Vexatious Advantage Soap Star Status, please board the plane now.

Thank you for your patience, our guests who have reached Vexatious Advantage Aim for the Stars Coupon Book Status please come down the catwalk.

*****

Another third have disappeared towards the plane.  Huh.

Welcome aboard to our Cat Lover Club

Welcome aboard to our Dog Lover Club

At this time, thank you for waiting, we would like to welcome aboard those guests who had tickets to the original Woodstock.  Those of you who had tickets to a Farm Aid concert, your time to board will be coming up, please wait for your announcement. 

Members of the press, we would like to offer you this time to board.

Families traveling with small children, or those who need extra assistance when boarding, you may board at this time.  If you need extra assistance, we hope you brought someone with you for that assistance.  If you are traveling with an emotional support pet please wait until you are called for boarding. 

Uniformed military personal, you can board at this time.  We thank you for your service.

Thank you for your patience, those who are too attached to their electronic devices to pay any attention to these announcements, we invite you to board at this time.   You aren’t listening anyway.

Prima donnas please board at this time and anyone who thinks they are all that, but aren’t even the pickle on the plate, please board at this time because you aren’t listening to any directions anyway because you think it’s all about you anyway.  

Our guests who are traveling with emotional support pets, including but not limited to: Golden Retrievers, teacup chihuahuas  himalayan cats, ferrets, ducks, teacup pigs, pygmy donkeys, ferrets, camels, spider monkeys, albino lizards, wallabies, hamsters, turkeys, porcupines, rabbits.

Farm Aid ticket holders, you are welcome to board at this time.

****

You look around and only a handful of people remain.

At this time we would like to begin general boarding beginning with the back of the plane. For those guests in row 35 – 20 please board now.  Oh, forget it.  There’s only 6 of you left, please figure it out and board now.  

 

****

Everyone is so anxious to get on the plane, they can’t hardly stand it.  It’s all about pushing and shoving. And for what exactly?

To be cramped in a tiny seat, with no leg room, shared armrests, crawling with bacteria and if you are damn lucky….your seat mates won’t be chatty. The toilets smell, unless bless the hearts of your flight crew (Who, by the way, have one of the hardest and least appreciated jobs in the entire world.  I thank them for all they do to make our journeys the easiest and most enjoyable they can.) have put a bag of coffee in the tiny little lavatory to absorb the piss-o-roma fragrance.

P.S.  Note, I don’t care about your kids, grandkids, your job, where you live or what book you’re reading or where you’re going. I don’t like to fly.  I only do it because it’s the quickest way to get there and I’m a little claustrophobic so please, leave me alone. I simply get into my seat, wipe everything down with my Clorox wipes, put in my earplugs and do my best to tune everything out.

As the fliers race down the gate catwalk,  waving their boarding pass in hand to be scanned, their magical entrance to the airplane granted and approved…quickly scurry beyond the doorway down the jetway.

Only. To. Be. Halted. 40 people back on the jetway.

Que the evil laugh.

They can’t wait to get out of the boarding area.  One of the privileged few.  Look at me.  See you suckers.  I’m outta here.  Yeah, well….guess what.

Here we all are.

Waiting.

In the jetway.

Aren’t you precious?

Let me grab my eyeballs before they roll out onto the tarmac.

Jackass.

You go from one waiting area to the next.  Why the rush?

Everyone gets on the plane.  No need to shove and sigh and huff and puff.

Bags stowed and we get into the air.

Eureka!

*****

For as absurdly impatient everyone was to get on the damn plane, it’s as if they had no idea everyone was expected to actually get off the plane upon arrival at the destination.

The plane lands, sometimes to the sound of applause…and arrives at the gate.

Passengers excitedly leap out of seats and annoyingly tap fingers and roll their eyes….annoyed we aren’t moving faster to get off the silver bullet.

Somewhere from the time we left the last departure lounge, to the time we arrived at the new gate…..the hundreds of passengers on this plane have had a mind fart.  Where has all the urgency gone?

Suddenly nobody can find their bags.  Where’s my glasses?  Where’s my book?  Where’s my chapstick?  Did I have a jacket?  Did I bring a water bottle?  What about the cell phone?  What gate are we going to?  I can’t find my shoes!  Is this my suitcase?  This isn’t my bag!  Where’s my husband?  What city is this?  Oh I’m not getting off here.  Can you help me close this zipper?

The circulating air has made everyone slow and stupid.  People who couldn’t get on the plane fast enough suddenly have spent the last 10 minutes, or longer taxinging from the runway to the gate picking their nose and pondering how daises grow rather than gathering their shit up from their seat and organizing their departure!

Fuck people – if you would pull yourselves together we could all get off the damn plane faster.  You idiots were so concerned about getting on first.  It’s all about me. ME. ME. ME FIRST. FIRST. FIRST.  However when we land, it’s like you’ve lost your mind.

Snap out of it and focus.  You are holding the rest of us up.  From the time the pilot said we have begun the 20 minute decent for landing, the smart ones started packing up.  Plan ahead folks….for arrival….not just the departure.  It works both ways.

Be smart.  Travel smart. Get out of my way.

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s Either This or That.

Most people, on their days off, prefer to escape and relax by enjoying the outdoors, shopping, being creative, cheering on their favorite sports team or who knows what.  It offers a break from reality and a chance to let go and be yourself.

If you want to dress up like a Storm Trooper and pretend your fighting the Empire – knock yourself out.

If you want to dress up like a Forest Fairy and save the dying Elm Trees – have at it.

If you want to pretend you are the next James Bond, looking for the drop at your local Starbucks – why not.

I, however, enjoy something completely different.  On Wednesdays this summer, instead of doing the obligatory household chores and warding off the evil empire of dust bunnies…I chose to work at Tracy’s King Crab Shack in Juneau, Alaska.

Located right on the docks, next to the parking garage and library…Tracy’s little crab shack  services thousands from May thru September.  Having known Tracy for years, I thought it would be fun to work one day a week for her.  I wasn’t wrong.  This is my second year as the beer wench…..and I love it!

There are two shacks….I’m in shack one.  I’ll take your order, your money and provide your beverages…beer, wine or soda.  Shack two cooks up your crab and brings it out to you.

 

How do I describe Alaskan King Crab?  Nom, nom, nom…..that pretty much covers it.

What’s on the menu?  King crab of course!  Her award winning crab bisque….

Yes, I did say award winning.  Her bisque won third place in the Rhode Island Chowder Cook Off and is the People’s Choice of Seattle and Anchorage.  HA!  Take that Food Network Iron Chefs!  I am of the mindset that you could just cover me in the bisque…I’d be content to lick it off myself.  It’s amazingly good.

There’s also silver dollar sized crab cakes.  Regular or coconut.  You could have Snow Crab, Dungeness (when in season), Alaskan prawns or scallops.  Each and every item is delicious.  You can’t go wrong.

What’s great about The Shack is the reputation.  People come from all over.  “Friends of ours from Belgium said we had to come here.”  Or “The Captain of the ship said this was a must have lunch.”  It’s fantastic.  Of course, you also never know what to expect…

I found it’s best to show up to work each Wednesday as frisky as a feline on premium catnip.  It came in especially handy when the husband, with his camera in hand, couldn’t stop looking at me while his wife was ordering.  Finally, he broke down and said:

“Do you mind if I take a picture of your chest?”

Sure!  I thrust my oranges out there and he snaps a photo of me.  Why?  Well, duh.  My shirt says, “Best Legs in Town!”  Of course, he wasn’t taking a picture of my legs was he?  Hummmm, weird.  Chalk that up to the strangest moment yet in life.

Tracy’s is so popular, we get HUGE lines.  I am talking enormous.  You would think the latest Tickle Me Elmo was being released at the shack – that’s how big the lines are.  If you don’t believe me, check out my photo below.   Yes, it’s definitely worth the wait. Someone could offer fortune telling services while folks wait in line to get to me….they could make a coke dealer’s bank roll in 30 minutes of searching the tourists’ future.

The beauty of a line, is it gives you ages to decide what you want to eat.  Would you like:

A King Crab leg?

Half a Snow Crab?

Dungeness – if in season?

Bucket of King Crab?

Bisque?

Crab cakes?

Scallops?

Prawns?

The menu, is very easy.  However, I’ll be damned if people don’t wait until they get up to me before they even look at the menu.  One of three things occurs when they reach the front of the line:

1.  They know exactly what they want and rattle it off like a Drill Sargent.

2.  They want to know what I recommend.

3.  They haven’t looked at anything and can’t make up their mind.

Those who are in the first group are fabulous.  Ring them in, get their beverage and off they go.  If ordering their meal was an Olympic event, they’d get gold.  No messing around.  Straight to the point.

Those who need recommendations come in two groups.  Those who, after hearing your recommendation say, “Perfect!  We’ll go with that.”  And the doubters.  You make your recommendation, based on their group size, how hungry they are and your gut instinct.

Their response?

“Is it good?”

Okay. Seriously?  I mean really?

I’m looking at you now out of the corner of my eye.  Did you just ask me for a recommendation and then ask if it was good?  No, I’m suggesting you eat crap. Are you kidding me?  Why ask for a recommendation and then doubt what I recommend?

Let’s take a moment here and ponder which one of us is the professional?

Uh, right.

I am…so listen up.

However, it is the third group of people that absolutely, positively, without a doubt, drive me insane.  I’m talking like crazy Norman from The Bates Motel….nuts.  These are the ones that cause me to drink, chew my nails, roll my eyes and curse silently under my breath.

“We just don’t know what to order.”

Alright.  Let’s do this.

You’ve been waiting in line for 15 minutes and you still don’t know what to order?  It’s a one page menu for crying out loud!  There’s fewer items on our menu than on a McDonald’s lunch special.

Well, I hope you’re hungry for crab, cause that’s what we’ve got!  (Note: It’s helpful when you can flip a little bit of shit their way as part of the ambiance.)  This declaration only leads to one question:

What kind of crab do you have?

We have King, Snow and Dungeness – explaining the differences between the three along the way.

Huh.  (Imagine far off gaze, as if I suggested marshmallows tasted like motor oil….really?)

I don’t know what to get.  What do you suggest?

And there’s a big speech I could bore you with about Combo Number 1 and Combo Number 2 – but I won’t do that.  Most people decide the Combo 1 is perfect for what they’re looking for and we’re off and running….god bless them.

Still, there’s others that are completely in a stupor.  These folks tend to travel in groups.  Which is probably smart as I don’t know how they’d survive otherwise.  The conversation usually goes something like this ….when dealing with a gaggle of clueless and bewildered diners:

“What do you recommend?”

Well, it depends on how hungry you are.  The number 1 combo is very popular, it’s like a sampler.  You get a King Crab leg, some bisque and 4 crab cakes.

“Does anything come with it?”

No, but you can order a side of rice or cole slaw.

“You have french fries?”

No, just rice or cole slaw.

“What about the bisque.  Anything come with that?”

A roll and butter.

“What kind of roll?”

A dinner roll.

“Anything else?”

No.  But you can order a side of rice or cole slaw.

“Ah huh.”

>> silence <<

“I can order a single King Crab Leg.  Is that the same as the King Crab Leg in the number 1 combo?”

Yep!  Same kind of leg.

“You just get extra stuff in the combo?”

Yep.

“Do you have chicken burgers?”

No.

“Anything other than crab?”

Well we have prawns and scallops.

“I don’t like seafood.”

Okay, well there’s a few other food options along the pier here that may interest you then.

A few weeks ago I had a group of four little ladies who were traveling together.  OMG.  Just shoot me.  This isn’t rocket science – it’s crab.  There’s like 12 options on the menu.  PICK ONE!

“What does the bisque come with?”

It comes with a roll.

“Nothing else?”

No.

“What about the crab cakes.  What do they come with?”

Just the cakes.  You can order rice or slaw on the side.

“Well if I get the crab leg, what comes with that?”

A roll.

“No fries or anything?”

No.

“But the combo comes with 1 King leg, bisque and cakes.  Does it come with anything else?”

No.

“Fries? Or anything?”

Still no.

“Well, if I order the bisque and the crab roll sandwich, what comes with that?”

A dinner roll.

“Oh.  Nothing else?”

No.

At this point I am taking a pencil and slowly carving out my third eyeball.  JUST PICK SOMETHING PEOPLE!  This isn’t rocket science.  It’s crab. What don’t you get?

Tracy’s

King

Crab

Shack

Then the topper are the ones that run you through the 1001 questions and then say,

“You know, I’ll just get a burger and fries.”

We don’t serve those.

“WHAT? You don’t sell burgers and fries?”

No.  It’s a crab shack.

“You mean you only serve seafood?  I don’t like seafood.”

Okay.

That’s it.

Put a fork in me.  I’m done.

I patiently ask  if they see a rock on the counter where they’re standing.  Of course, they don’t.  Oh, damn.  I’ve lost the rock I like to beat my head against.

NEXT!