Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
There's a certain cruelty in having to walk past First Class to get to your Economy Class seat.
You look at those comfortable business types, drinks already in hand, and wonder whether you'll ever fly in that sort of comfort.
You might also wonder what these First Class people are like. Have they worked they way up to this status? Or were they born rich? And why do they keep looking away when you walk past them, as if you're not worthy of their gaze?
Isn't this one of the prime examples of income inequality in action?
Perhaps, though, these aren't all haughty types. Indeed, Kelsey Rae Zwick is sure they're not.
On Facebook, she recounted a tale of her American Airlines flight on Thursday:
To the man in 2D. Today you were traveling from Orlando to Philly. I don't know you, but I imagine you saw us somewhere. I was pushing a stroller, had a diaper bag on my arm and also lugging an oxygen machine for my daughter. We had smiles on our faces as we were headed to see her "friends" at CHOP (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia). We pre-boarded the plane, got cozy in our window seat and made jokes to those around us about having to sit by my yelling-but-happy baby.
It can't be easy traveling in such circumstances.
But, wait. What does this have to do with the man in 2D? Zwick explained:
The flight attendant came over and told me you were waiting to switch seats. You were giving up your comfortable, first class seat to us.
Who does that?
Zwick said she was so shocked that she began to cry and didn't even get to thank the First Class passenger properly. It wasn't, though, just the fact that he gave up his seat that moved her. Zwick explained:
Sooo... thank you. Not just for the seat itself but for noticing. For seeing us and realizing that maybe things are not always easy. For deciding you wanted to show a random act of kindness to US. It reminded me how much good there is in this world.
Noticing is one of the powerful and underrated talents in business, as well as in life.
Too many in our nose-to-the-screen digital world cheerily ignore everything and everyone around them, choosing to disappear into their highly curated life.
Here, though, a man noticed that a woman was struggling and offered -- without any benefit to himself -- to give something.
Recently, I wrote about a Starbucks customer who, for no obvious reason, decided to pay for the coffee ordered by the woman behind her at the drive-thru.
They ended up becoming friends. Random acts surely make everyone feel good, in one way or another.
Currently, it's unclear who the man in 2D is. He has, though, surely created a little trend for the Holidays.
Would it be so bad if more First Class passengers began to give up their seats for those in obvious need?
A couple of weeks ago, United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz gave up his First Class seat to an elderly Economy Class passenger. This even impressed a Delta loyalist on the flight.
So much is being said these days about the vast gulf between those who have (too much?) and those who have a lot less.
Perhaps this is a good time of year for the fortunate to quietly gift something to those less so.