I’m getting too old for this crap! Have you ever said that? Thought it?
As I sat in the Portland airport, some guy in a dress shirt sans tie -- after all, it was a Sunday -- paced by. The dress shirt elevated him to business traveler. His cell phone to his ear -- truly old school, no blue tooth -- he uttered his frustration. “I’m getting too old for this crap!” Whether he was saying that for the benefit of the person with whom he was speaking or the packed waiting area was not entirely clear. My impression was that a multimillion dollar deal was being negotiated. Maybe he was trying to impress us plebeians in the waiting area.
Back in the day -- as I get older, that gets more use -- the packed waiting area would not have been forced to overhear his telephone conversation. Pay phones provided some semblance of privacy. Now you can search the airport high and low to find a pay phone. Actually, if you say “pay phone” in a room full of 20 something year olds, you most likely would see blank looks and draw a collective “huh?”
Pay phones are a relic of the past. Now, everybody seems to have a mobile phone -- or a smart phone. Many people care little for private conversations. They are on their phones while walking through the airport. At restaurants. In the line at Starbucks. They are perfectly willing to share their intimate thoughts with strangers.
Into the phone, “Hey, I think that you need to talk to Joe about his drinking. Should we do an intervention?”
To the barista, “I’ll have a white mocha latte with soy, a double pump of vanilla, and one pump of mint. No whip.”
Back to the phone, “If we cannot do an intervention, maybe we should get a psychiatrist. What, you don’t think that Joe has a drinking problem? The evidence is overwhelming” Blah. Blah. Blah.
To the barista, “I said a double pump of vanilla!”
When folks are not talking, they are texting. Back in the day -- whoops, I wrote that again -- “text” was not a verb. Now, people text, or check their texts, while walking through the airport. At restaurants. In the line at Starbucks. While driving. Used to be when somebody was looking in their lap while driving, you had questions about what they were doing. Folks text while walking on crowded sidewalks or crossing the street. During meetings.
In the middle of a face-to-face conversation, a phone beeps, and a text must be read. Some message from somebody somewhere else on earth is more important than what is going on right before their eyes. Do you ever think that that is just plain rude? Or that it shows where you fit in the scheme of things? Have you ever thought of saying, "Text me when I can have your undivided attention?"
Ding! Excuse me . . . . Alaska Airlines just sent a text that my flight is on time.
Oh, where was I? All together now, "maybe, I am getting too old for this [fill in the blank for PG, PG-17, or R]!"