Sticky situation

Sticky situation

Over the weekend I was traveling to Lake Tahoe for a customer event with a connection through Denver. The plane was packed, with not a single seat open. A man and his wife were squeezed next to me, with the husband occupying the middle seat. Fortunately, I had an aisle location.

The husband was very busy the entire flight, trying to multi-task between completing a crossword puzzle, reading the newspaper and playing on his iPad. I could almost foresee trouble coming when he ordered a Sprite and asked for the full can. He was not talented enough to organize all his “toys” on the tray table and bumped his entire can of sticky soda onto me. Meanwhile, I was simply minding my business with a single bottle of water (which had a cap!!) and my laptop. When the soda landed on my pants, my computer and my backpack, he didn’t even apologize, offering only an “oops.”

At this point I was extremely frustrated, and my anger was enhanced by his lack of care and consideration. Additionally, when I landed, I would be seeing customers and colleagues immediately.

The flight attendants were helpful, changing out the seat cushion for a dry one and giving me a cloth napkin to drench my pants with water. In the rear of the plane, the crew told me stories about people’s general lack of courtesies toward one another. With the plane being full, I had no option but to return to the seat. 

The man finally said “sorry” without making eye contact and threw two twenties and a ten in my open backpack to pay for the dry cleaning bill and said that he hoped that my computer wasn’t ruined.

What would you do?