Monday, December 16, 2013

The Worst People to Travel Around

I was able to fly into D.C. last week despite the dire snow storm warnings.  All D.C. federal offices were closed the day I flew in, which indicated to me that there was a real chance of snow and ice.  I am somewhat familiar with the area from my 2-3 annual office visits and I knew that the main problem with Metro-ing in was the block and a half of  icy sidewalks I would have to walk from the Metro stop to the hotel.  (The first winter we lived in Virginia, I slipped on ice and have been overly paranoid cautious about ice ever since.)  I decided to chance it, and behold: this is the snowy wonder that greeted me as I left the Metro station.

You can see how treacherous the conditions were (eye roll).  I was very glad to not have snow and ice to deal with, but I clearly worried about the weather for no reason.

On to the Worst People: Travel Edition.  This trip really solidified for me how awful people can be when traveling.  Many people are great and bring their common sense with them, but if you have traveled at all, ever, you have probably run into at least one of these annoying travelers.  I ran into at least one of each category just in the Atlanta airport.

1. The Goldfish- (Disclaimer- goldfish are used in this example because they allegedly have a very short memory, and I couldn't think of a really dumb animal.  I'm sure your goldfish is truly brilliant.) Despite the constant audio reminders and twelve signs we have just passed, Goldfish don't seem to realize they need to take off their shoes to get through security until it is their turn to go through the detectors. Goldfish almost always need to empty seven pockets, unpack a laptop and make it halfway to the detector before remembering they need to come back and remove their belt.  Nice goldfish will offer you to just go around them.  Truly evil goldfish will take an extra three minutes removing items they don't even need to, like their watch.

2. The Pigeons- these are the people that slowly meander through the terminal without any apparent direction or pep in their step.  They don't seem to be in a hurry to get to a gate, or restroom, or anywhere really.  If a Pigeon is walking in front of you, it is guaranteed he/she is walking no faster than half the speed you want to be walking.  Pigeons will occasionally wander to the right.  You will try to take advantage of the opportunity to pass on the left and BAM! Pigeon goes left every single time.  Your only hope is when a Pigeon is distracted by something shiny at an airport store and pauses slightly right of middle of the lane.  Then you may pass, but go quickly and never look back.

3. The Hyenas- Hyenas like to hold phone or in person conversations at a volume that allows everyone near the gate to enjoy said conversation.  For a Hyena, loud talking is good, but loud laughter is even better.  If nothing else, Hyenas can contribute to your education or entertainment.  On this trip, the Hyena sitting behind me carried on a long, loud conversation that started off discussing business issues, then veered into a discussion of a recent bachelor party.  Very interesting.  He also said that his "lawyer friend has been doing lawyer $&*@ for ten years".  I'm a lawyer, and I had no idea that I was supposed to be doing "lawyer $&*@".  See, educational.  The boldest Hyena I ever saw carried on a loud phone conversation in the middle of gate 21- on SPEAKERPHONE.  That dude Hyena'd like a boss.

4. The Salmon- This trip was my first sighting of the Salmon, and they may win most annoying traveler.  Most fliers wait patiently (well, that may be a stretch), but they do wait for people in the front of the plane to slowly disembark before stepping into the aisle.  Traffic flows from the back of the plane toward the front since that is where, you know, the door is located.  And yet, behold the mighty Salmon swimming against the stream.  Salmon sat in seat 10A, but had to stow his carry-on bag in the bin above seat 38C.  Instead of letting most rows clear out before retrieving his bag, Salmon decides it makes perfect sense to push his way back to row 38 to get his bag, then step over people to get back to row 10.  Salmon in seat 12B sees this, and decides that is a good idea for her as well.  Dear Salmon, this was not a good idea.

Have you encountered any of these on a trip?  Have I forgotten any other annoying travelers?

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