Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
Sixteen-year-olds are generally popular only among other 16-year-olds.
Or, in a pinch, some 17-year-olds.
It's not easy for them, as all sorts of chemical reactions are occurring in their bodies and minds and their eyes and ears register adults as infernally stupid.
Some teens, though, are genuinely irritating beings.
Please decide what you think of this 16-year-old who described this experience at Los Angeles Airport on FlyerTalk.
In essence, this 16-year-old said he/she was a Cathay Pacific Diamond Member -- so very fancy -- yet staff at the LAX American Airlines Flagship Lounge explained that unaccompanied minors aren't allowed access.
Please, I don't understand airport lounges all that much. Yes, they're nice when they're empty.
Too often, though, they're full of irritable, stressed, or merely self-important businesspeople tapping away at laptops or phones.
Naturally, the 16-year-old said he/she was treated rudely and denied a voucher.
What would a Diamond Member be without a voucher?
I'm not moved to get into a discussion about too many aspects of this poor 16-year-old's flight plight.
Instead, this is one FlyerTalk contributor's brilliant response to the teenager, written by someone who calls herself QueenOfCoach:
You are 16 and I am 64. Permit me to give you a bit of Life Advice from the perspective of someone who hasn't seen 16 in decades.
Enjoy being 16. Seriously. Enjoy being 16 while you can.
If I could wave a magic wand and get my 16-year-old self back for a day and I had to spend some layover hours in LAX, sitting around a stuffy lounge with a bunch of old people would be the LAST thing I would want to do. Boooooooring.
I would go explore the airport as much as possible staying airside. I would go all over TBIT, checking out Umami Burger because at 16 I could eat like a pig and never gain weight. I'd browse through the shops, perhaps buying a little gift for parents and siblings. Once I saw everything there was to see in TBIT, I'd go through the connector to T4, visit the Homeboy Industries cafe (great food!) and see all I could in T4. Then the tunnel to T5, perhaps doing a little jog in the tunnel if possible and burn off some of those calories.
Explore T5, etc.
With luck, you might see a group of teenagers at a departure gate, sitting on the floor playing cards, waiting for a delayed flight. Join them for a few minutes, find out where they are from, where they are going and share your story with them.
Exploring the airport and meeting other teenagers sounds like MUCH MORE FUN than sitting in a lounge, even a very luxurious lounge, to my 16-year-old self. At that age, I would have hated having to just sit in one place for hours. Even in my 30s, connecting through DFW, I used to walk through the entire A-C concourses, especially enjoying the bouncy foot massage feeling of the moving sidewalks in the connector.
Now, at 64, sitting in one place in a comfy chair doing Sudoku is more attractive than walking around on creaky knees. Lounges were made for folks like me. The rest of the world is open to folks like you.
Doesn't that sound like some of the wisest and, frankly, most beautiful advice you've ever heard?
The 16-year-old was told by other flyers on FlyerTalk that the lounge has self-pouring wine facilities, so America's neurotic liquor laws likely play a part in the rules.
I contacted American for confirmation and will update, should I hear.
Mind you, the 16-year-old still thinks he/she deserved a voucher.
Ah, the joys of privilege.