Thursday, May 29, 2008

people & community spaces

there isn't a single thing i enjoy about airports. parking is normally a hassle, check-in lines are often long & painful, bathrooms are messy, food options blow, & the costs for anything you may buy is outrageously out of control (almost as bad as hotels)!

granted... air travel has become a necessity for many folks & businesses. i for one love the fact that in less than 24-hours i can be in any part of the world.

no matter how much air travel has become a way of life, airports in my opinion are gross places & i don’t enjoy hanging out for hours waiting for flights in them! i don’t blame the cities for the grossness of their airports. in fact i’m sure the dollars spent to spruce up airports & daily costs associated with janitorial costs are outrageous.

so who’s to blame? simple, the folks that visit airports daily & don’t know how to pick up after themselves! as i've suggested before, community spaces are treated like wastelands by the average joe (see office kitchens for example). most people simply aren't accountable for their actions & as a result they don't clean up after themselves when they make a mess.

while passing through terminal 1 in the cincinnati/north kentucky airport this morning i was stopped dead in my tracks at what i saw. next to a row of chairs was someone’s clipped fingernails (let's hope it they were fingernails & toenails) all over the floor. as if it isn't gross enough that someone would sit & clip their fingernails in public! the fact that this person left their fingernails all over the floor just makes me sick.

question: if you were to see a person cutting his/her fingernails in an airport & then begin to walk away leaving the fingernails all over the floor would you say something to this person? i'd like to think that i would. the airport staff can’t control everyone so it’s time we pitch in & defend our community spaces.


Trevor Bača said...

Good points. Definitely got similar feelings on my part.

Question: people treat airports like crap. But people treat coffeeshops with considerably more respect (at least I think). Why?

Brian Kirk said...

"considerably more respect" is a stretch in my opinion. of course i've never seen fingernail clippings in a coffee shop so i'll give you "considerably more respect." why do i think people give coffee shops more respect than they give airports? a number of reasons.

1. people often feel connected to their coffee shop. especially if it's a local coffee shop such as pacha & it's blocks from your house :). even as commercial as starbucks is, we can still feel in touch with our neighborhood starbucks - especially if starbucks is the only coffee shop nearby or for many small cities/towns it's the only coffee shop.

2. coffee shops are often referred to as a "3rd place." people spend the bulk of their time at home & work. wherever they spend the next largest chunk of their time is called their 3rd place. for many, coffee shops are this place so it would make sense that people treat their 3rd place with more respect.

3. a coffee shop is significantly smaller than an airport & therefore those dirty people are less likely to get "caught" making a mess in an airport versus a small coffee shop. so it’s not that these people are cleaner in coffee shops because they want to be, but because they don’t want to get caught making/leaving a mess behind. maybe a bit scared that someone will call them out.

Jeremy said...

I would also say that a good majority of the people in a major airport are just passing through they aren't locals they have no connection to the space.

I came to the conclusion on the way home from my last trip that air travel is miserable. The seats are tiny, there's no leg room.... They barely even give you a drink and pretzels.

Airports are crowded... security checks are miserable (Take off your shoes, pull out your laptop, empty your pockets, remove your liquids bag, etc bye the time I am done I have 3 trays and a bag)... not to mention the delays and gate changes.

PLUS it's expensive.

Brian Kirk said...

so what's the alternative? i'm not driving 25 hours to san francisco & i'm sure as heck not taking a boat to london.

the answer. ditch the laptop, wear slippers, throw away anything you have in your pockets, & pay the damn $15 so you don't have to worry about your expensive hair gel being thrown away because the size of the container exceeds the limit.

Trevor Bača said...

Or: don't fly.

The sad truth is that the biggest single component of the carbon footprint that any of the three of us leave behind isn't from our cars but from our driving. (Actually I don't know that for certain about Jeremy; but it's certainly the case for me and Brian.)

"But I can't not fly; it's part of business!"

Yes, and that's the problem. How can the business culture both encourage commerce and keep travel in check?

Brian Kirk said...

conference calls, blogs, etc. are all good approaches for businesses to take. hell, checkout for example!