Dear Disappointing Don,
Don’t deny it. I’m with you all the time and I remember your latest debacle in vivid detail. You were at the Denver International Airport, and tight on time to catch your flight back home. It was all your fault. You knew that it was snowing, that the ride to the airport would be slow and that the Avis transport bus is about as reliable as our Uncle Felix. Yet, there you were, pushing to get through the long security line, asking fellow passengers if you could skip ahead of them and glaring at the TSA officer who was being so thorough and polite to each traveler ahead of you.
“I’m running tight,” you said, as if one of the busiest airport hubs in America would move into high gear to make certain you boarded on time. I watched you attempt to stare down the attendant who stopped the conveyor belt to check the inside of your carry-on. Then, to your amazement, she took it out of line to re-run it through the X-ray machine a second time. Your inner self-talk became real-talk when a uniformed officer took your bag and asked you to follow him to a stainless steel table. Your grunts of dissatisfaction may have made the young man move more deliberately, and check more thoroughly.
In the end, you missed your plane by minutes. Disgruntled and still blaming others, you pouted in a corner of the airport for hours, feeling sorry for yourself and recreating all the scenarios whereby, if one person had moved quicker on your behalf, you’d be halfway home.
I know you, Disappointing Don. You are the same guy who thinks the self-checkout line at the grocery store will move faster if you inch up closer to the shopper just ahead of you, invade his space and check your watch one more time as if you’re late for a date with the governor.
And, yes, it’s you who automatically figures your car should go first at all ties at a four-way stop sign, and you who thinks the driver ahead of you, making a right-hand turn, slows down way too much before leaving the flow of traffic.
What’s so disappointing about you, Don, is that you can be such a nice guy at times, so relaxed and sociable, not at all like the nervous twit you can turn into. You act as if you’re on some vital international mission, when the last real deadline you had was over three years ago.
At times, for me to be you can be a real embarrassment. Why don’t you do more meditating or at least learn how to take deep breaths and count to ten? Why don’t you try writing out your thoughts and feelings from time to time? Maybe put them in a letter.