I recently visited London to attend a health and safety course, and in my many hours of sitting around and killing time I decided I would get to work on the very first “Journal” entry, that i have intended to start for sometime now. Below are just ramblings and random thoughts that passed through my mind in sitting in a busy pub in an even busier airport terminal, thinking back on the days events and the ironic and silly happenings of the average human day.
4th November 2014
I find a seat after 10 minutes of looking, pint of stella in hand. I drop the heavy bag that has been digging into my shoulder since getting on the Stanstead Airport train from Liverpool Street. I take my first sip and load up the macbook to re-connect with the world, as the iPhone has decided not to connect to internet or to connect to the network. Finally, I will be back in touch with the digital world….Unable to connect to the wifi .. Shit
So begins the long and boring wait for my flight to Glasgow, I’ve arrived three hours early. I’ve not been able to connect with home for the last 3 or 4 hours. Upon arrival on Gresham street, for some Health and Safety training, my phone decided to cut ties with the world. Upon leaving it decided to give up and the battery died, mid google maps guiding me to the train station. I was then lost ..
Thank god for the London police officer who was able to provide directions and with huge a sigh of relief set me on my way. No wifi connection on the train didn’t help matters. However, i was able to return some charge to my phone, which has no finally let me call home and update them that Im alive and well ( as I hadn’t been in touch since early that morning, I’m sure these thoughts would start to have surfaced as I am never out of reach when at home)
It is amazing what it feels like to to be in unknown territory, with no idea what is what or where is where. Panic sets in a little, but you are still reluctant to stop a stranger and ask for help. I wonder if that police officer hadn’t appeared, if I would still be wandering the rainy streets of London like a lost child in a supermarket. It is even more amazing, how not having any form of communication with home or social media, meaning no re-assurance or calming voice at the end of the phone.
Rewind thirty or forty years, and try again. Would you panic at not being able to speak to home then ? would you worry that you do not have a LED screen telling you where to go, would you look for someone in uniform for advice or would you simply ask a passerby, say thanks and be on your way.
Maybe it is true that the youth of today rely so heavily on technology, maybe to heavily. So heavily that we panic in situations that pose no real threat, where common sense and a little “real” social interaction would resolve the situation in seconds. The funny and slightly ironic thing is that I just sat in a room, for seven hours, with men and woman that I had never met, and will be unlikely ever to meet again. We performed groups tasks talked about work and personal issues, and then got up and said goodbye an went on with our lives. Surely this is a more challenging task than asking for directions for a few seconds.
There must be some interesting Psychology involved, when faced with the prospect of hours of potentially uncomfortable interaction you are prepared and there is little panic or nerves, but then a task that requires just a few quick words requires some effort and consideration.
Whilst we are on the subject, I am now experiencing and slightly intrigued in the social interactions of a busy airport where I sit just now. The restaurant that I sit in must currently host around 80-100 people, about 60% of which are alone. People place orders and turn with their drinks looking for spare tables. NOT spare seats, but tables. One person sits at a table of four, alone with their laptop or tablet, whilst other scurry for another. People keep their head down and eyes on their tech, whilst other look around frustrated. Why do we not offer, what we don’t need to another. A person who is currently in the position of frustration that we were only moments before. Interaction is not even a requirement, just a gesture would do it in am act of goodwill to help out another?
Maybe we just like to be alone with our thoughts, and to avoid un-needed interaction. How may opportunities does the average person have In their lifetime to do the right thing but refuse such as in this scenario.How many people pass up that opportunity, which could have ended up their opportunity to, meet ‘the one’, learn a life lesson or just benefit from the feeling of doing some good. What if the person you didn’t offer a seat, was the most interesting and insightful person that you would meet, would one day be famous or turn out to posses the potential of the best business or career move of your life…
Surely the odds re in our favour that the person we offer kindness to would turn out to be worth effort and even my have potential for interesting or time passing conversation.
Off the hundreds sitting in the departure lounge, why do we always draw the conclusion that we will end up with that one person that no one wants to interact with.
Maybe we need to lighten up, maybe we would all be a little happier if we done something different from everyone else, and just offered a random stranger an empty seat, put our technology on standby for a moment, and remembered how the past generation lived.