Memo to Business Travelers: Be Kind

I am a Business Traveler.

I’m one of those guys who shows up with bag in hand, has status to blast through security and waltz on the plane early. I know when to board, where to put my bag and how to get out of the way so others can board. I wear those silly noise-canceling head phones on the plane (although I usually don’t have music playing in them). I know many of the FAs on the planes. You can spot me with a single glance.

I’m happen to be a good guy: I help with bags. I’m willing to exchange seats when circumstances warrant (that said: I really, really like the aisle). I know to allow enough time for all the airport activities (drop off the rental car, pass through security, visit the airport lounge and get to my gate). I allow enough time for meetings, just in case the plane is late. I never need to push, shove, bitch about lines or about other people. When things go awry, I always have a Plan B .. usually the phone or LiveMeeting.

As I’m on a business trip right now (rescheduled due to Seattle weather last week), I’m seeing lots of folks who aren’t business travelers. Some haven’t traveled in years, others with children, others returning home from visiting their grown children. I get this: it’s the holidaze.

There’s a smattering of business travelers mixed among them, acting generally pissed-off at the rabble. Folks: Get over yourselves. You know who you are.

Forty-nine weeks out of the year, we have the skies to ourselves .. you can shove, rant and bitch. We know who you are:

  • The Gate Agents know you.
  • The FAs know you.
  • I know you. I’ll let you in front of me, if you must. I’ll get to where I need to go.

But, folks who are going to, or returning from a visit to family, or a vacation to some warm (or cold .. some folks like snow) spot may not know you. Why ruin their trips because you feel inconvenienced?

Some day, they may tell a tale of "a man" (or "a woman") who sputtered and fumed, who yelled "come on" or "let’s go" at security .. someone who muttered at you under their breath as they let you pass. Someone who made them feel bad or stupid.

There is simply, no need. We’ll all get to where we need to go. If you’re not allowing enough time to navigate life, you’d best find another.

Buck up, buttercup: Life is messy, and for us, it includes travel. No reason to ruin another’s trip because you have placed yourself in a mode where you feel you can misbehave.

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About Michael Coates
I am a pragmatic evangelist. The products, services and solutions I write about fulfill real-world expectations and use cases. I stay up-to-date on real products I use and review, and share my thoughts here. I apply the same lens when designing an architecture, product or when writing papers. I am always looking for ways that technology can create or enhance a business opportunity .. not just technology for technology's sake. My CV says: Seasoned technology executive, leveraging years of experience with enterprise and integration architectural patterns, executed with healthy doses of business acumen and pragmatism. That's me. My web site says: Technology innovations provide a myriad of opportunities for businesses. That said, having the "latest and greatest" for its own sake isn't always a recipe for success. Business successes gained through exploiting innovation relies on analysis of how the new features will enhance your business followed by effective implementation. Goals vary far and wide: streamlining operations, improving customer experience, extending brand, and many more. In all cases, you must identify and collect the metrics you can apply to measure your success. Analysis must be holistic and balanced: business and operational needs must be considered when capitalizing on a new technology asset or opportunity.

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