Sorry I haven’t been very good about blogging lately. It’s mostly because I’m really busy with the new job and partially because I can’t run right now and therefore apparently don’t have that much to say. My job requires a lot of travel, which is mostly fun but sometimes annoying, given the nature of people in general.
So far, my job has taken me to Boulder, Denver, Colorado Springs, Boston, Baltimore, and Washington D.C. over the past 3 weeks. I’ve flown on airplanes, ridden subways, taken taxis, braved public buses (I KNOW), and driven my own truck around to get my research done. Without further adieu, here’s a list of the things I detest most about traveling:
1. People who don’t understand how to properly load an overhead bin.
I used to hate people who brought the roller suitcases as carryon items on the plane. Why? Because those people take up all the space in the overhead bin. I have always brought a duffle bag, and I can pretty much fit the duffle bag into any space necessary. I consider myself a considerate traveler, so I liked to think I was saving space for others. Now that I travel for considerable lengths of time, I have crossed over to the dark side and purchased a roller suitcase. I have not, however, become an idiot in the process, which I was expecting since it appears that no one who owns one of the roller bags knows how to actually put it in the overhead bin properly. WHEELS IN FIRST, people. Unless the plane is half full, don’t be the asshole who puts your bag in sideways and takes up the entire bin. There are more than 0 other people who have to load their luggage after you, so be as efficient as possible maximize the amount of space for everyone else’s crap. This is not complicated.
2. Children who don’t have indoor voices.
I’m going to go ahead and let the babies/toddlers crying on airplanes thing go, because despite the fact that it sends waves of hate through my system on my frequent early morning flights, I get it. Those kids aren’t old enough to understand what’s happening and their parents have only so much ability to comfort them when their tiny ears are popping. Fine. What I will not let go is the unnecessary screaming and shrieking on airplanes from children old enough to know better and parents who don’t seem to have a problem allowing it. I was on a 6:30 am flight recently on which a 4-5 year old child in the row behind me was SO EXCITED to be flying that he screamed and shrieked with joy the entire time. I’d like to tell you an excited child is cute (and sometimes they are), but they’re not cute at 6:30 am when I’ve been up since 3, and they’re not cute when they shriek continuously for 2 straight hours. The parents never so much as thought to tell their kid to keep it down a little. I know because I was right in front of them. That’s not cool. I’m really trying to be patient and not be super judgmental of kids’ behavior since I know absolutely nothing about parenting them, but come on. At least try to keep them quiet for the sake of everyone else on the plane who is trying to sleep. Ok, fine. I don’t care about everyone else on the plane. Keep them quiet for me.
3. Parking in cities
Admittedly, I own basically the worst possible vehicle to drive in a city. I have a full size pickup truck, and this is my own fault. I like it because it promotes a rough-and-tumble image that I, despite my hatred of camping and being dirty, like to think I present. I drove up to DC and Baltimore for a business trip this week to save on flight and rental car costs, and while it was very convenient, it was also very terrifying. Have you ever tried to parallel park a full size truck in downtown Baltimore on a one way street on your left side during rush hour traffic? No? Good. Don’t. It’s terrifying. I’m actually a pretty good parallel parker, but it’s not very often I have to do it on the left side in a very unforgiving space. Parallel parking was nothing compared to the complete and utter terror I felt when I tried to park my truck in my friend’s parking garage, though. My friend Scott had generously offered to let me park my truck in his parking spot while I was in DC so that I wouldn’t have to pay for parking or find a space on the street. He told me that “other trucks” park in the garage too, so it “couldn’t be that hard” to park mine. Um, no. Turns out that what he meant by “other trucks” was actually one very small truck that mine could have physically run over.
When I got there, mercifully there were very few cars in the garage. Thank God, because there is no physical way I could have parked my truck in there otherwise. Each space is bordered at the corners by concrete poles that are surrounded by thick foam, which is great in theory but cuts down on the already very limited space. I maneuvered my way in, pulled my mirrors in and backed up at the very conservative speed of about 6 inches per hour and literally held my breath and prayed not to feel my truck hit anything. I am not exaggerating when I say that as I backed into the space, I had exactly ONE INCH of space between the folded-in mirrors and the poles on either side of the space. I was seconds from a panic attack but managed to get into the space and get all my stuff out without hitting anyone or anything. Needless to say, if I ever move to a city, I need to get a different vehicle. City people, you are very brave.
4. Airline boarding policies
What the actual hell is up with all of the different airline boarding policies? How is it possible that they are all different and they somehow still ALL SUCK? Can someone please explain to me how “Zones” are determined? I know that for Southwest, you basically board in the order that you check in, and I appreciate their straightforwardness. Of course, if you check in more than 5 minutes after the check in window opens, you’re totally screwed, but whatever. But how are “zones” determined? It’s not your row. It’s not your check in order. Is it completely random? Do they just like screwing with people? And you know if you get anything after Zone 2, you’re not getting overhead baggage space thanks to all the jerks who can’t put their roller bags in the right way. Just seeing Zone 3 on my boarding pass fills me with dread. I have an actual physical reaction. I actually think the only airline who has their shit figured out is JetBlue. They board you in the order of your row. It’s easy. It makes sense. People take the overhead bin space that is, wait for it, overhead. Anyway, the whole system is horrible and drives me to drink.
5. Premature enterers (giggity!)
Recently, I have come to detest people who lack patience when boarding or exiting planes, subways, buses, etc. You know the type – as soon as the plane stops, they IMMEDIATELY jump out of their seat and stand in the aisles and possibly try to push you out of the way so they can get to the front of the line. Now, if the flight has been significantly delayed and connections might be missed, this could be understandable, but I’ve found it happens on every flight. Common courtesy is to let the people in the rows in front of you grab their bags and leave. Not to mention, you look like an idiot when you’re standing in the aisle heavy-sighing for 10 minutes while you wait for the flight attendants to open the door.
This same contempt extends to the people who refuse to wait for people to exit the subway before they try to get on. This causes a traffic jam around the doors and makes everyone’s life difficult. We all want to get on the subway. We all want to get off the plane. Can’t we just do this in an orderly fashion? I promise, it will be a lot faster.
In general, the new job is pretty fun. I get to see new places and I’m often fortunate enough to be able to visit my friends, which is wonderful. I’ve been able to go to a couple baseball games; it should come as no surprise to any of you that one of my other life goals is to go to a baseball game in every stadium.
Besides the whole broken leg thing, life is pretty good right now. I wish I could run in all of these great places that I’m going, but what can you do? In the mean time, the lack of running just gives me more pent up rage to rant about – like I need that!
LEAVE A COMMENT: What bugs you the most about travel?