Get Your Backpack Out of My Face

Get Your Backpack Out of My Face

Like many of the readers, I’m out and about traveling regularly again. The holidays are well behind us, and the Q-1 sprint is on. Yearly goals only come to pass if we make movement in weekly and sometimes daily steps toward them. Sometimes, it requires literal movement to another city. 

A New Year, New Travels, and the Old Backpack Problem

I appreciate that travel is part of business success; video meetings can bring about only so much efficiency. But please, if you carry a backpack on the plane, stop schwacking others with it as you meander about looking for your seat, stow your bag, or turn to a colleague to ask a question.

I recently conducted another LinkedIn poll wondering how many others harbor similar feelings toward backpacks in the aisles that strike the heads and shoulders of innocent people who boarded before. As far as I can tell, it occurs on all airlines because the common link is a passenger thinking about themselves and lacking spatial awareness. I’ve flown most major domestic airlines and can spot the offender and the behavior instantly.

Tight Connections Reign, But Backpack Swings Deserve a Mention

The LinkedIn poll was a simple multiple-choice question, “What’s your biggest airline travel gripe?” The choices were backpacks while boarding, too-tight connections, food choices at airports, or other.

Not a single person selected backpacks while boarding. The majority winner was too-tight connections. Extrapolating from that majority response, I presume nobody likes the stress of feeling they are late or will soon become late due to a missed connection. I can relate. I would suggest that connection choices are often highlighted when selecting a flight but travelers don’t look too closely when selecting departure time, and prices tend to sway buyers more. Other times, the aviation system cascades as flight delays contribute to additional delays of follow-on flights.

From Eye Pokes to Backaches

The backpack assault, on the other hand, comes out of nowhere. If you’re like me and wear glasses, peripheral vision is sometimes an additional challenge. Now, it’s not just that the backpack swings across my face or shoulder—it’s the cinder blocks the backpack contains that make the assault sting that much more.

Lifting A Stranger’s Life Collections? No Thanks, My Spine Says Ouch!

Since I brought up the weight of the backpack, I’ll pile on and talk about the overstuffed heavy “carry-on” that’s become too heavy for the passenger to lift overhead. I don’t mind assisting somebody in genuine need of help, but I no longer offer to deadlift someone’s life collections. I reached the age where I strained my back once, and it can jump up and bite me just as quickly as a backpack can jump me. I’ve learned prevention is the key and don’t undertake lifting things of unknown weight.

Ok, this was intended to be humorous, not to point out that I can be a humorless jerk. But since we’re all flying in the same plane to the same place, let’s not make it any more challenging than it needs to be.  

Wishing you safe travels throughout 2024. 

Go Get ‘Em–and go ahead and check your bag—the odds favor it arriving on time as well.

For a copy of my book, Pitching the Big Top: How to Master the 3-Ring® Circus of Federal Sales, and more information on federal sales, visit Capitol Integration.

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