The Counsel of Trent

writing is thinking

Friday, February 17, 2006

Stranded!

I'm writing from O'Hare airport...

I was headed to the Society of Christian Philosophers meeting in San Diego to comment on a paper and got stuck in O'Hare. All told I spend 3 hours in line and a total of 15 hours in airports. They couldn't get me to San Diego until Monday after the conference, so I'm just going back to Rochester tonight.



It was interesting how people's true selves come out under pressure: everyone was pretty much irate and making everyone's life Hell or acting like Angels helping one another out. The obvious examples of the former were travelers yelling at staff who were not at fault and staff snubbing and totally screwing travelers who were in a bad spot (like flat out *lying* to them on a few occasions as well as the usual "it's not my problem, I'm off in five minutes (when it would take her 10 to re-route a family back home rather than leave them stranded for a weekend).

Examples of the latter included a bagel ferry, people buying food for others, sharing food, letting people get in line ahead of them, and letting people use their phones. It's hard to express in print what utter chaos it was in the airport: thousands and thousands of stranded travelers packed in and *no* visible security or non-desk staff, with most gates completely unmanned: thousands of people completely in the dark about their status for hours. It was in general a credit to humanity that things went as smoothly as they did.

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