I WAS THE ASSHOLE AT THE AIRPORT…..
I can blame holiday travel, I can blame exhausting holiday with family, I can blame US Airways (who DOES suck BTW)
But, I WAS that person. After rushing through long lines at ticketing, subjected to gate changes, charged way too much for bags-I found myself at a full sprint (in fur boots) headed for my gate. I was told at ticketing that I was OK so long as I made the cut-off of 10 minutes before take-off. With 2 very heavy bags in tow, I rushed to the gate 12 minutes before take off. SUCCESS I thought!!
The doors shut right in front of me as the woman manning the gate smugly explained “You’ve missed your flight!” then explained I would have to wait at least another DAY to get back to San Francisco. When I explained what I was told at ticketing (there was a 10 minute window) she simply referred to the clock which now read “3:21”-(my flight was 3:30). Meanwhile, we’d easily wasted 3+ minutes talking. Ack!!!
As she laid out my options- Stand-by flights, delayed for days, overnight at the airport-I found myself getting more and more pissed. And, I acted like it. I bitched, whined and complained despite the fact that the plane was clearly gone.
Finally, I got a phone call and backed away. As I did that-I took off my jacket-not knowing that I was exposing my T-shirt from a yoga studio in San Luis Obispo which said:
When I went back to the desk, the woman’s demeanor totally changed. She said “I overheard you talking about having to get back to work and teach yoga-do you teach yoga???”
I wanted to crawl into my overpacked luggage. HOW could I tell this woman who I acted like a spoiled child in front of that I’m a yoga teacher??
She said “I read your shirt and I realized I need to do something about managing my job better. I’ve been here since 5 am and I used to go to yoga down the street and I wonder if it would help me handle stressed out people like you better.”
We spent the next 20 minutes talking about the studio she used to go to (ironically one that I attended when I was new to yoga) and she explained that when she read my shirt it reminded her of how much better she felt when she went to yoga on a regular basis. I found my YogaJournal in my bag and gave it to her to read.
She then introduced me to the ticket agent at the gate where I was to go standby on my next flight to help me out and gave me a Christmas cookie and a hug.
When we parted-she said “I’m so glad I read your T-shirt and got to really KNOW you”
I explained to her- “Thank you for reminding me of who I need to be”
When I went into the ladies’ room to brush my teeth before my flight, I looked at my shirt in the mirror and thought how lucky I was to run into someone who could see past the jerk I was being-past the asshole at the airport and bring out the yogini that I aspire to be.
And, once again, I’m thankful for my yoga and the constant lessons it gives me in life and in humility and to give me the karmic smack-down that I need to remind me of who I am.
I’m considering getting “BE YOGA” tattooed on my wrist as a reminder 😉