I fly a lot. I typically do close to 100,000 miles in a year.
Anyone that frequently flies goes into what I call Airport Mode. This mode essentially means you zone out other people. You ignore crying babies. You are indifferent to people that talk loudly. You tolerate idiots that cannot squeeze their tuba-sized suitcase into the overhead bins.
The hardest thing to ignore is a bruised shoulder. This happens when an inconsiderate person insists on wearing their book bag on the plane and then smashes it against your shoulder while they are walking down the aisle.
Your book bag doesn’t make you rude when you are walking in a straight line. However, when you turn it is quite likely that you don’t realize that you are now quite deep.
You typically turn on your spine. All of your life, you have learned that you have no trunk behind you and you don’t have to make wide turns. But with that book bag, you are now like a semi-truck. You are now a vehicle that makes wide turns.
So when you are walking down the aisle of a plane, you are quite good when you are going straight. As soon you start to rotate though, remember you are pulling a trailer! That book bag and you simply do not fit sideways in the aisle. So when you rotate your body, that massive book bag is swinging like a wide-load. It’s destination is my shoulder.
I probably won’t tell you that you just walloped me with your bag. I will keep silent because I am in Airport Mode. I don’t want to interact with you. I don’t want to be your friend. I am never going to see you again and I don’t want to spend the energy to fix your rudeness. It is much easier for me to wince, try to avoid you hitting me again, and go back to reading my email on my phone before I am told to stop.
Frankly, I just wish you would read this article and leave my shoulder alone. It is still sore from yesterday’s flight.