A Sense of Entitlement….Even on Christmas Day? Really?


We all know now stressful the holiday season can be. Did you get the right present? Will the recipient love it? Is the menu going to satisfy the taste buds of everyone involved ? Even with that and more, most people are grateful for their families and their friends. It’s wonderful to be sharing this season with everyone…even a smile to a stranger can change their day.

Last night I celebrated my first Christmas Eve dinner and gathering with my husband’s  (The Colonel’s) family. It was wonderful to see everyone sharing hugs and stories and laughter….of course the food was amazing as well. We missed our children that couldn’t be there but again grateful for those we spent the evening with.

This morning we headed to the airport and greeted everyone with a smile and wished even total strangers, a joyous holiday season.  When we checked in, we already knew that since our seats were not together, we hoped that some wonderful stranger would swap seats so that we could sit together on the 3+hour flight. When we got on the plane The Colonel went to his seat and I went to mine waiting to see who our seat mates were and kindly ask for swapping rights.

A woman walked on with a daughter and grandson in tow. When she sat next to The Colonel, I asked if she would be willing to move back one row so that we could sit together. She glanced to the row next to her where her daughter and grandson were sitting. I saw that they were family and even told her that was no problem as we would wait until my seat mate arrived. No problem at all…..

Until a man walked on the plane and stopped at her daughter’s seat and explained that the seat she was sitting in was his. She said “hmmmm well you can sit over there, (pointing to her actual assigned seat) I’m siting here”. She never asked to change seats, she just assumed it would be ok.  The man went to the seat she abandoned and sat there.  But oh no, it didn’t end there.

A couple walked on and went to the seat that her son was siting in and said that he was sitting in one of their seats.  His mom said ” hmmm well you can sit over there”. It was like a repeat performance.  Not once did she ask if anyone would change seats with her and not once did she feel bad at all. In fact she pretended to be asleep when the game of musical chairs was going on and batted her eyelashes at the flight attendant just in case she needed an ally.

I have to say I was more than annoyed. The colonel and I never assumed someone would change seats with us. When we saw that the woman next to him was with her family we backed off and not once did either one of them apologize for just sitting wherever they wanted even thought his was not the cattle car airline.

I thought the season brought out the best in many people.  There have been more random acts of kindness reported this holiday season than in many prior. We unfortunately witnessed the reverse….the sense of entitlement that too many people use and abuse. How hard would it have been to just wait and see who would swap seats with whom.  I’ve been on flights where rows of people swap seats just to get two people seats together.  It becomes a game of sorts.  That was not what happened here and I was disappointed that the spreading of goodwill towards each other was lost on Ms. Entitlement and company.

The only thing that changed my mood was when a young woman who wasgrabbing the seat next to me kindly changed seats with the a colonel so that we could sit with each other.  She was more than happy to do that and all we did was ask. If she had said no, we would have survived.

It wasn’t a lot but it meant so much!

It’s all about building relationships….short and long term.  Who knows when that woman’s path might cross again with anyone of us that met her this morning!

Happy Selling!

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