The Bigger Picture

I like to think I’m a relatively calm guy, I like to think I hit the high percentage of looking at the big picture, or bigger picture of what’s going on… but what I like to think about myself isn’t always what happens.

The other day, I have an early flight, and being a well-weathered (and thought to be well self-informed) traveler, I get into the taxi line early… Almost EARLIEST… (one couple ahead of me… not bad!) And the line preceded (is that “postceded” since it’s after me) to soon stretch into infinity as folks lined up to finish their vacation and go back home by way of the airport… (at least that was my plan, sans the vacation… ‘cause I was workin’) The taxi dispatcher nicely grabbed the couple’s bags and helped them into the one cab that was there… Came over to myself (and a pal) and went to grab my bag (I pack light… carry on) and I said, “I got it…” and he moved over to my pal (the bags are all cabled together for easy transport and he said “I got it…” and I figured that was it…

Well naive me, it was a pay-for-play situation… you let him carry your bags, you tip him, he puts you in the next cab… I’ve traveled over 2 million miles on different airlines, have been in my share of cabs… and still learn stuff… And sometimes my learning comes in abrupt lessons… He moved to the group behind, grabbed their bags and moved them in front of us… “Hmmmm?!?” I thought… There was still no cab, and so I gave the benefit of the doubt, that what might be happening wasn’t happening… 5 minutes passed which can seem like a while when you’re getting an early flight to go home… and ONE cab came… ONE!!! And he waved it up to the couple who WERE originally behind us, and now up in front and he moved to put their bags in the cab’s trunk… as I walked over to put my bags in it…

I was never great at basketball, but he put a great pick on me, to stop me from putting my bag in… So I mentioned that WE were next in line, actually FIRST in line at this point… and he suggested that no we weren’t… Oh I hate injustice, especially if you have to pay for justice… I don’t argue with strangers well, so I just asked the beat cop to be judge and jury (and if necessary executioner of the taxi dispatcher…) and the officer smiled at the situation and said as wise as Solomon might’ve… “The bags are in that one, you get the next one…” The 2 minutes until the next cab came seemed like 10 times as long as the 5 minutes for the last one… (which was actually the second one remember?) and I was pretty mad at the taxi dispatcher…, and he was mad at me…

Now I’d had a good week, and how can someone let 5 minutes wreck so much good time… The lesson is DON’T! Big Picture it… Maybe I should’ve said: “I’d like the next one please…” or “is the next one mine?” The bottom line is that I’m gonna catch my flight, the world’s not gonna end, even if 5 minutes seems like eternity… it’s not… There were a zillion cabs coming, enough to draw the crowd down from infinity…

Tie it into comedy Bruner: Comics are sometimes heckled, it’s the same thing, the next joke is the next cab, it’s my turn, but someone else wants the spotlight… I do think sometimes, the limelight is big enough for everyone, it can be shared, or even given, like the cab to the dispatcher’s tipping folks, ‘cause more laughs and cabs are comin’. And as long as you get to your destination, with a calm and pleasant (hopefully funny) demeanor… all is well…

It’s easier for the ‘Big Picture’ to reduce the temper when you know the situation is just temporary…