10/17/12

Plane Ride


It seems like I hardly sit down to write about my world anymore unless I’m either A) someplace new or B) stuck with nothing else to do.  I am sitting in a chair in the sky en route to Chicago for my employer’s annual Culture Survey meeting.  Every leader in the company flies up to learn how we’re doing and what our game plan is for the next year.  It’s a great time to reconnect with people I don’t see that often.

I thrive in a social environment.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  I can feel very alone and isolated in a crowd, but if I know at least one person I am usually able to use that to catapult myself to a level of comfort and outgoingness and I have a wonderful time.  An event like this is highly enjoyable for me.  I have no problem approaching someone like the CEO of our company and talking for a few minutes.  Even on this flight, Senator Tom Coburn is sitting two seats in front of me.  If I wasn’t surrounded by coworkers (and a few folks above me) I’d really enjoy talking to him and gaining a greater understanding of the political system from his perspective, knowing how vastly different he views many social policies.  But, rather than stir up anything, I just sit quietly and type.

It’s places like this I’m once again struck by the American idea that mass transit means not talking.  One of the little cultural things I picked up on when I returned home from traveling was that people on planes, trains, and buses rarely talk to one another here.  Even on this flight, where the vast majority of the passengers are U.S. Cellular peers, people aren’t talking.  Silence is contagious.
Although I don’t think I’m going to have the time to see downtown, it’ll be nice to be traveling again.  Even on business, I am always excited to board a plane and set down in a new place.  This will be my second time in Chicago for this event and I expect it to be no less exciting than last year.  Though I did catch myself saying ‘at the Con’ when referring to this trip to a friend.  It won’t be nearly THAT exciting.

The drink cart is coming; time for my ritualistic ginger ale.  Maybe I’ll try to strike up a conversation with my neighbor again.  The airline magazine can’t be THAT interesting, after all…
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