First World Reflections


I was waiting in line to talk to the concierge in the hotel yesterday (I’m currently in New York as I write this).

I was third in line, and the line was starting to grow behind me.

Up ahead in first place, hijacking the concierge was a father and his daughter. I’d guess she was 11 or 12, but I was behind them so couldn’t really tell.

I couldn’t hear the conversation with the concierge but from what I could make out it involved discussing some activities they wanted to plan in the city during their stay.

The father was explaining the options to his daughter and then conferring with the concierge, and then again with his daughter.

And it was taking ages. And by ages I mean well past 10 minutes, perhaps even heading towards 15. You know, ludicrous.

What the hell is he doing? In my mind I was getting pretty angry with this guy, starting to frown, roll my eyes, staring daggers, that kind of thing. I mean, it’s just so inconsiderate. Right?

Finally they were finishing up and had sorted out their agenda. A last quick confirmation with his daughter, the father thanked the concierge, they turned to leave, and started heading off, walking back down the queue and past me.

And then we all noticed that the daughter was severely handicapped. As she trudged past us dragging her left leg and tightly holding her father’s hand, her eyes enormous as they peered through the huge corrective lenses in her glasses, her face was beaming with a massive smile that couldn’t wait to start the day’s now planned adventures…

I felt the hot flush of shame and the angel of self realisation cupped his hands around my right ear and gently whispered ‘you’re an asshole – you know that right?’

But then the arch-angel of self reflection perched on my left shoulder and whispered in my other ear ‘but it’s even worse that you only felt that shame because she’s like that‘.

15 minutes of waiting. In a luxury hotel. On a business junket. Such a first world problem.

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By Craig Bailey