That said, there is a line between where others must serve us and where we must roll up our shirt sleeves and make some things happen. For instance, the airport this morning:
Flustered Man, running up to gate: I'm not sure where I need to go, I'm flying to Chicago.
Gate agent: Well, what's your flight number?
Flustered: Umm... (gets boarding pass) I... oh no! I gave them the Chicago boarding pass when I got on my first plane this morning! How could she have missed that?!
Agent: Well, what's your reservation number?
Flustered: I don't know, you figure it out (shoves boarding pass to her).
Agent: Oh, you're leaving from gate C17. You need to go back up the stairs and down the C concourse.
Flustered: Oh I can't make that... I don't have time to get over there...
The problem was, see, he had plenty of time. In fact, he had 30 minutes. To get himself a distance of no more than a quarter mile.
So, the gate agent, in her ever-so-polite method, tells him she'll call for a cart. And this guy... this guy, goes "Oh they won't take me because they see me and don't think I am handicapped and they tell me to walk."
Yes, I'm sure they do since they're not allowed to do that. In fact, if you want a ride, and they have room, they have to give you one.
In the meantime, Flustered Guy is moaning about how if he doesn't "make this flight I'm so screwed." This, friends, is where I went from annoyed by the guy to flat out angry at him.
I'm sitting there thinking, "well, buddy, if you're so screwed, get on your horse and get to your gate. Don't sit at my gate all day whining that you cannot possibly make a flight that leaves in 30 minutes from a gate a couple hundred yards away."
And especially don't lay your problems at the feet of another gate agent who is trying to do her job, at her gate. Not serve as your personal assistant and whipping post.
Eventually the man was on his way... wasting 10 minutes with bellyaching. And those of us about to board? We all gave this gate agent our sympathies.