The Virtues of Situational Awareness


As I was traveling this weekend for SpouseBUZZ LIVE Hampton Roads, I had a V-8 moment. Airports are not hell to maneuver because there are mobs of people. No, it's because there are mobs of people with no situational awareness. The people in the security lines who do not have their stuff in order so they can get through the line as painlessly as possible (therefore making it as painless on us as possible). Then, there are the ones who forget to take the change out of their pockets and set off the magnetometer.

Then there are the families or groups of people who are traveling together and insist on fanning out, side-by-side and "strolling" through the airport, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they have caused a huge pile-up of people behind them who are uninterested in a leisurely stroll. Then there are the people who decide to stop mid-walk and text their friends, causing human crashes. On and on it goes. You see, if everyone had situational awareness, airports would run efficiently.

As I deplaned the first plane and walked out into the concourse to find my connecting flight, a dozen or so high school girls were walking in front of me. One of them received some sort of interesting text, photo or email on her blackberry from "Derrick." This caused her to squeal in delight. Quite loudly. This caused the other 11 or so girls to abruptly stop, crowd around her and wait for the device to be passed around. Right in the middle of the walkway. Those of us behind the giddy gals had to slam on the brakes and figure out a way to get around them without disturbing the oncoming traffic pattern. Ugh....

So there I was, happy with myself for figuring out it's the situational awareness thing, and not the volume of people thing, that causes all kinds of problems and makes air travel sheer hell. I was still shaking my head as I walked into the restroom.

The men's restroom.

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