Rule Breaking

6 minutes


Some people say that rules are meant to be broken, but actually, they are meant to be followed. Rules are set up to maintain organization and processes, it’s necessary to make sure that everything is going smoothly. On the other hand, there are some people who try to defy these rules while hoping for a positive outcome. Sure, there’s no harm in trying, but rules are rules. Today, I’m going to share with you a story about rule-breaking and how they are treated for it.

Hello, and welcome to The Traveling Introvert. Today I want to talk about something that happened recently, to me, that made me happy. Unjustifiably happy. It was about rule following. When you're catching a flight these days, on most airlines, there is some sort of order given to who gets to get on the place first, what order you get on, etc. A lot of the time it's priority, or people who've paid more get to get on first, and then it's, sort of, the next person, the next person, the next person, depending on what group, or number, or zone you're in.

Recently I was taking a flight from Mexico City. It had been delayed for about four hours, they were very bad at communicating with us. In fact, to the point where, on the screen, it still said my flight was on time, well after the flight was supposed to leave. I had to go find their offices and be like, "Is the flight leaving?" They give me a different time, they give me a gate. I go to the gate, I sit down, I got that gate information before most other people, so there were actually seats. It started filling up, and then we got told there was a 40-minute wait after the time that they said the flight was going to leave, and everyone was not happy about that. They said they were waiting for the First Officer, that's fine, can't fly the plane without the First Officer.

Then, after that, they communicated again that, "Oh, you know what, we're going to give out vouchers." Great, food vouchers. I go, I'm second in line for the vouchers, and they are hand-writing these vouchers, which is fine, but it's long-form handwriting. So, they had to put in my name, anyone who was flying with me name, the flight, the flight number. There was apparently only one place that we could go and get the reimbursement for this food, and then they had to figure out how much to give, because it was a certain amount per person. Then they had to do the math to add it up. Scary enough the fact that they were using their calculators on their phone to add up two numbers.

I finally got it, it took about ten minutes just to do my one. I go, and there's one place that they've given this voucher for. So, this place right now is overwhelmed with everyone on a big flight of at least 25 times three seats. So, like 100 people. Let's call, like, 80 people, because it wasn't full, all trying to A, get reimbursement, and then B, going to get food at this one poor little vendor. To the point where the vendor was just like, "Here's some sandwiches and a drink, please go away."

I was lucky, I was, like I said, second in line. So, I went, got my voucher, and then I was third or fourth in line to get my food. All the other people who were behind me still had to get their voucher. I got back from getting my food, only for there to be an announcement that they are boarding, and I was second in line. So, some people were out still, trying to get their food. They didn't realize there was a boarding announcement. Other people were still trying to get their vouchers, that was a no-go.

So, they start boarding, and they normally board by number, this particular airline. So they let, you know, disabled on first, children on first, and then they kind of call a zone, and a number, sorry, and people are looking round and going, "So, do we all just board?" Because normally, you know, we're just trying to board as quickly as possible so we can leave as quickly as possible, but they were very specific. They said, "We're boarding this number."

So, we thought about joining the line but we didn't, and other people were like, "I'm going to give it a go and see if I get on." Only for the first time ever in all my travel experience, for those who were not in that boarding number, to get kicked out of the line and sent to a different, and I'm going to call it the Bad Child line. Because so many people did it that there was a separate line created by all these people who tried to jump the queue.

Then I get to board, and I was, like, the second-to-last boarding zone, and I board, and I'm sitting, and we're waiting, and people who were still getting food, they came on. Because we were worried we were going to just leave people behind who didn't know that we were boarding. They came on, and actually it was a full 20 minutes later that those who tried to skip the line were allowed on the plane. It was amazing. Mainly because they were rule-breaking, and they knew they were rule-breaking, and they got punished for it.

I've never seen that happen, and it was really interesting, because then they had to try and find a place to put their luggage. So that was an issue, and the flight attendants helped them to a degree, but it was just fascinating to see, for once, that people were held accountable for their actions. You know, they thought they could slip in and break the rules, and get in first, and they were held accountable, and that is not often seen in the airline industry, and it warmed the cockles of my heart, so to speak.

Thank you for listening. This is Janice from The Career Introvert, I'm helping amplify voices through podcasting, publishing, and public speaking. Please email me at should you have any questions.

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