At work this past Friday, I was meeting with a colleague and a business partner. We were sharing travel stories, and our business partner said how he believed there was a new etiquette being established on planes. He said it is the unspoken rule of not reclining, and in fact, when he does have the occasional person in front of him recline, he just passes up a nice note, explaining he would like to accomplish some work, and invariably the person puts their seat in the full and upright position. Huh.
It reminded me of a few years back when I needed to try and accomplish some work. As we were accelerating down the runway for take off, the brute in front of me smashed his seat back with great conviction. Looking around at my alternatives, I reached up and turned on all three air vents to ‘full blast’ mode, and pointed them as best as I could directly on his thinning pate. He tried to ignore the icy breeze, moving his head from side to side a bit. For a while, I thought he may succeed in just falling asleep. But eventually, he was compelled to action.
He leaned around the side of the seat to look back, a slight blue hue to his head now, and said “Can you turn those air vents off?”. He was not really asking in a nice way. I guess etiquette was completely out the window at this point. Having thought this through, I calmly replied “I would be happy to turn those air vents off, the moment you sit up and stop using my testicles for your earmuffs.” He blinked a couple of times, you know … you’ve seen the ‘blink blink’ of somebody slowly processing … and turned back, and raised his seat to the full and upright position.
Thank you very much, Mr. I-don’t-give-a-crap-about-the-guy-behind-me-trying-to-work. I had a very productive flight.