A Few Thoughts On Control

Recently I took a trip to visit some of my friends in Philadelphia. I couldn’t have asked for a better trip. The weather was amazing, the food was fantastic and the people were splendid.

However, all good things must come to an end.

This good thing just happened to come to an end a little sooner than I preferred.

As I was sitting at my gate waiting to board my flight back to Chicago, they made the announcement everyone dreads. “This flight is being canceled. Please see one of our customer service representatives to rebook your travel plans.”

Let me tell you what happened next. Chaos.

Lots of crying, swearing and sprinting to the nearest customer service desks to ensure that they ruined the day of the sweet customer service representative just trying to do their job.

What I noticed is that people are not okay with losing control.

The thing about losing control is that people tend to react in two very different ways: they either become a drama student or a pushover.

The drama student makes a scene. They cry. They swear. They scream. In their mind, the world has just ended, and they won’t hush up until someone fixes it. These are the people who demand justice and won’t leave until they are refunded, with a hotel room, a meal stipend and a first-class upgrade on their next fight. I’m not one of these people.

In these situations, I’m a pushover. I’m the type of person who rebooked my flight on the app and then stood in a service line only to confirm that it was booked. I didn’t try and get on a better flight or ask for any sort of accommodations. I spend the night in the airport because I don’t like causing issues for other people, and most of all, I fear standing up for myself.

What I know, though, is that my time is valuable, and it needs to be respected.

So I’m not going to become a drama student, but I did decide to make my stand. I sent customer service a calm and kind email asking for some compensation regarding my inconveniences.

What I’m learning is that the older I get the number of people willing to fight my battles diminishes. It’s my responsibility to fight for myself.

I’m not suggesting you become a drama student but instead a tactful human who can stand up for themselves without freaking out. I’m on a journey to become a level headed self-advocate. I’m becoming someone who can stand up for myself without losing my marbles and scrambling frantically to the information desk.

What I’m asking of you is that you join me on this journey.

I know, it’s hard. It’s difficult to ask for things that make you uncomfortable. It’s hard to not lose your marbles. It’s especially hard to ensure that you are being treated fairly.

At the end of the day if you aren’t holding other people accountable for the way they treat you, who will?

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