Somebody’s Gonna Pay!

I'm on another flight last week, waiting to get off the plane. At the moment when you can remove your seat belts and get your stuff, the flight attendant makes a hurried announcement telling us to evacuate the plane immediately. She told us not to even grab our stuff, but to immediately disembark the plane. I could smell the smoke as we all rushed off.

We stood there in the terminal, many of us twitching from cell phone withdrawal, and waiting to find out what was going on. They're bringing in dogs. Fire trucks are screaming up to the terminal. And the flight attendants are doing their best to get everybody off that plane immediately.

Thank God we were already on the ground when it happened.

Anyway….we're all standing there speculating and seeing who could come up with the best story. Some were videotaping, moving wildly back and forth to try to find something more news worthy than the old lady asking about the magazine she had tucked into the seat pocket in front of her. Apparently she didnt' finish reading it.

We weren't standing there five minutes when a man walked up to the gate agent and said loudly, "What are you going to do to make up for this?"

I was stunned. It had only been five minutes. We had not been inconvenienced in the least. We waited longer than this to get on the plane. And here he was looking for someone to pay.

That's one of the things wrong with this world today. Many people live in a constant state of expecting someone to pay for their inconvenience. I'm guilty of it myself. The plane is late – someone should accept blame. The streets weren't cleared fast enough after the snow – who's job was that?  Something is missing in my house and I immediately start to blame.

I wonder what would happen if we didn't blame so much. If we didn't expect for someone to pay every time we were inconvenienced. If we accepted accidents as just that. Maybe, just maybe, we would live a more peaceful life.

Who knows.


Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson - called one of North Carolina's funniest women by Our State Magazine. Kelly lifts the spirits of audiences from coast-to-coast using humor, storytelling, and lives of the characters from Prides Hollow - Kelly's make believe small town. This unique approach to motivational speaking allows Kelly to break through communications barriers and connect directly to the audience's imagination.
Her powerful stories and wacky wit will make you laugh, remind you that you matter, show you how to see beyond your obstacles, and teach you how to stand up and stick out in a crowded market.
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  1. My friends were stuck in an elevator for over an hour, missing a Las Vegas show.  The hotel wanted to detain two guys who were also stuck, for $3200 because their jumping up and down caused the problem.  Wild, huh?  My friends were not re-imbursed for the show because they didn't ask.  Of course the tickets were comped, so that may be why they didn't make a big deal out of it. But it did get me thinking, what if it were a couple who saved for 10 years to fly to Vegas to sit in the front-row of Celine Dion and they were stuck in the elevator and missed the show.  I bet there are a million situations like this out there – some people say nothing others are like the guy in your post who want payment.  Very situational – but I think your point is a good one.  Stop blaming and be at peace!

  2. Those "blamers" are a hair away from being an "I could sue you!" kind of person and both are held in very low esteem with me.  I'm voting YES that we can live a more peaceful life if we don't expect life to have its little bumps in the road!

  3. I noodled on this before responding as my first thought is to agree 100% with you, Kelly, and just have people accept that life isn't always going to go their way. Yet, I wonder how patient I would be if I knew I was standing there missing a connection – the last one out that night – and was expected to deliver a morning keynote that had been booked months before. Although in that case I would be frantically on my smart phone looking into choices rather than loudly demanding "something" for the inconvenience. Being loud is the last way to gain empathy and support anyway. If I was at my final destination, I could handle waiting and look forward to another story! So, you left us hanging. What had happened?

  4. True, indeed. So many people look for the person to blame rather than try to solve the problem. I've seen it so many times. And I'm sure I've been guilty of doing it myself. Bottom line is – it's very unattractive!

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