I rarely fly business class anymore. I moved to the non-profit sector a couple years ago, and with that switch came a much-lightened sense of guilt and a move to the back of the plane. Me, the students, the families and the other do-gooders in feel-good jobs trying to save the world. While the corporate fat cats sit up front. But I’m not bitter… and anyway, I am digressing.
A couple weeks ago I was attending an even for a corporate funder and, as per their corporate policy, was flying business class (I asked if I could fly economy and have them donate the difference to our organization, but no go).
So I was back. Up in the front of the plane. It was early afternoon and I found it fascinating to watch how people behave – these corporate and government leaders – when they are away from their families and have 4 hours of time to kill on a Tuesday afternoon.
Do they get to that reading they have been putting off at the office? Maybe do some writing or strategic thinking – the stuff you know you need to get to at the office but never get time for? Or maybe read a good book?
Nope. Every one of these men and women were quaffing down the free booze, eating Hagen Daaz ice cream and watching a Hollywood movie.
I am fascinated by what people do when no one (or no one they know) is watching. I know these folks work hard and I am, honestly, not begrudging them their indulgence. But I had kind of forgotten the lure of free booze and passive entertainment and the draw it has on everyone… even those who, in their 9-5, would appear to be above it.
In that cabin, are they kind of freed from the social contract that defines their time at work or home with colleagues and family keeping a watchful eye. Was I seeing the 2014 version of Lord Of The Flies? I am probably over-reaching here. But what I was seeing was a base level indulgence. And it fascinated me.
Me… ever the paragon of balance. I flipped between writing our new five year plan for my organization, doing a few blogs to have in the can… always with a scotch at my side. But I passed on the Hagen Daaz.