26 May Gotta Get It Together
Got to the airport this morning ~ on my way to see a client in Richmond ~ and there were people everywhere. Don’t remember when the Atlanta airport was so full. Yesterday was the last day of school and tomorrow starts the long Memorial Day weekend. So a packed house should have come as no surprise.
I didn’t plan for any extra time this morning. Both late, my partner and I nervously trudged through a long security line, pushed our way up the escalator, and got to Popeye’s just in time for a spicy chicken biscuit. I was not about to board that plane without a spicy chicken biscuit.
I had been smart this morning and consolidated all my stuff (computer, presentation notebooks, ticket, credit cards, phone, lipstick, etc) all in one big portfolio case. No purse, no computer bag. Just one big 2 foot by 3 foot carry-on box.
So I swung into Popeye’s. It was jammed packed of course, the waitress snapping orders right and left, people anxiously pushing, and a tad impatient. That’s ok, I could handle that energy. In fact I could have stayed there all morning just taking in the smells of fried chicken and watching people come and go. I love airports.
I nudged my way up the line, placed my order, ‘a spicy chicken biscuit and a cup of coffee, please.’ Two seconds flat I had my order in hand. Juggling my food and my portfolio, I slid toward the cash register, handed the cashier my card, ready to dash to my gate and enjoy my breakfast. Unfortunately, the card I gave her was my AirTran frequent flyer card. Apparently they don’t take those at Popeye’s.
My credit card was inside my big portfolio case. So go ahead, visualize the next scene.
I politely asked people to step aside to make room for this big ‘ol case. I slung it up on the counter, opened it up, shuffled through the mints, the keys, and the papers to locate my credit card. Brushing off a little embarrassment, I kept my professional composure in check . . .
. . . that is until I saw the receipt: $7 and change. ‘A chicken biscuit and coffee? I believe you’ve overcharged me by $2.00!‘ I mentioned a refund to the cashier and you could hear all twenty-five people behind me moan in perfect harmony. But folks, this sister wasn’t leaving that counter without her $2.
That’s where I lost all credibility.
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It occurred to me that this little scene just wouldn’t do in New York. One thing I’ve noticed the times I’ve been in NYC is how hoards of people move in the most beautiful synchronicity. Jammed shoulder-to-shoulder, they walk fast, all at the same pace. They look ahead, they know where they are going – there’s no lolly-gollying around. No stopping traffic, no holding up lunch counters. No stopping the rhythm of life for a measly $2.
Yep, I gotta get it together if I’m going to live in New York City. Betcha $2 they would have run right over my little chicken biscuit had I held up their lunch line like that.