After getting my daughter on the plane to see her grandparents this morning, I have to say I know another job I hope to never have: baggage inspector. It joins the rest of my do-not-ever-hope-to-be list of occupations: garbage collector, sewer maintenance repairman, surgeon (needles I can handle, literal blood and guts, not so much), and mortician.
Dear Daughter already had her boarding pass pre-printed at home, and wasn't checking any luggage, but in order to guide her all the way to her gate, I had to obtain a parent's pass at the ticket counter. Not a problem. We grabbed a quick bite to eat at Burger King in the terminal, and headed upstairs to the security checkpoint. It was a rather long series of two lines since the first few flights of the morning were scheduled to leave in the next hour, but pilots mingled and chatted pleasantly with the passengers as everyone slipped off shoes, wrangled belts out of belt loops, with several young women wriggling out of tons of cheap jewelry and accessories that kept setting the alarm beeper thingies off.
After my daughter and I made it through the scanner beep and alarm-free, the only unpleasant, sour people we encountered informed my daughter her carry on would have to be searched. Yep, the baggage inspectors. Turns out her ziploc baggie carrying her toiletries was too large and that two of her three items surpassed the 3 ounce limit. Surprising, because the two items were a two-thirds used tube of toothpaste (and yes, it was obviously MORE than half used) and a half empty 4 ounce bottle (half would be TWO ounces) of sunscreen. Apparently the original container size itself determines whether or not the ever-deadly gingivitis fighter and its sidekick, anti-cancer cream make it on board. Dear Daughter said there wasn't a problem, she'd just ask Grandma and Grandpa to let her stop by the store once she landed to replace the toothpaste and sunscreen.
To which Grumpy, the baggage inspector replied:
"Fine. But YOU (meaning me) need to take this downstairs, to your car, and then you can come back up here."
I told Grumpy in a purposefully pleasant voice that if I took the toothpaste and sunscreen to my car, I'd have to go to the ticket counter, obtain another pass, then wait in another line to come through security, and therefore MISS getting my daughter to her gate. "Would it be possible to just dispose of those items here so I can make sure she doesn't miss her flight?" Smile, smile, pleasant pleasant...
Grumpy growled. Oh yes, she growled. "Fine." Then she slapped the lid down on Dear Daughter's carry on case, and shoved the case down the roller ramp.
I couldn't resist: "Thank you!" (smile, smile, smile) "Have a great day!" (beam, beam, beam)
Perhaps Grumpy was just ending a long, difficult shift. Maybe Grumpy had had a tough morning at home. Maybe Grumpy is just G-R-U-M-P-Y.
*Perhaps installing one of these Passive Aggressive Anger Release Machines would help... (I'm not kidding! Go take a look!)
*...or maybe a hug from a Softie made from scraps would better soothe the inner-Grump?