I’ve never hit a woman and I never would, but I swear I have come close on this day. It’s February 15, 2012 and I am traveling Boston to San Francisco for a speaking engagement tomorrow at Redwood High School.
Allow me to introduce myself:
I am a teen motivational speaker, youth motivational speaker, teen expert, and teen life coach. I make my living speaking in high school assemblies, middle school assemblies, and to youth leadership conferences. I am proud of my record of responsibility and being a good upstanding human being. That record could have been shattered today, but I maintained my “Take Time To Think” motto that I share with teens all over the country.
I am flying a US Airways flight and because I fly US Airways so much, I usually ride First Class. Riding First Class usually means that I am sitting with other business travelers and there are very few issues we deal with. Pretty boring actually.
This flight is a little different. Once we get on the plane and take our seats, the flight attendant offers us drinks. I am not a drinker, so I order a coke. The lady next to me orders two vodka cranberries. I mind my business. Maybe she is afraid to fly and wants to get a buzz to make things easier. Up in the air, she orders two more vodka and cranberry drinks. That is four drinks within about 1 hour. Then with the meal, she orders another round of two more vodka and cranberry drinks.
I didn’t really notice too much until she spilled the water all over her lap. Then she asked the flight attendant for another round. The flight attendant denied her request.
At this point, I am taking notice as she keeps dropping stuff. She stands up and it looks like she pee’d her pants. Her pants are soaking wet. She is slurring her speech. She gets up and uses the lavatory on board.
When she sits down she offers me a $20 bill to order two vodka cranberries. Now, I am a little concerned. I am not a drinker. I shrug off her request.
She keeps asking. What do I do? I finally say to her, “Miss, I don’t drink!” She said, “So, they’re for me!” I have a choice here and all I keep thinking is about my Student Leadership Workshop with teens. I can either walk the walk as a teen motivational speaker or I can talk the talk of a teen motivational speaker. What am I going to do? I pride myself being the person I am on stage the same person I am off stage. I ignore her . . .
All of a sudden, she gets up and uses the bathroom again when I call for the flight attendant and express my displeasure for her continuing to serve a lady that has been drinking in excess. I wasn’t rude or mean. I just kindly shared with the flight attendant what was happening. The flight attendant was actually in on it all and aware of everything that was going on. The captain knew. There are two federal air marshal’s on board, including one sitting in front of me, that were aware too. I am all set and feeling a little better.
However, throughout the whole flight, the lady keeps asking the flight attendant for more vodka, or other alcoholic drinks such as wine. The flight attendant did get stern with her.
This lady was really making me feel uncomfortable as she was fidgety and moving all over the plane and lavatory. I was aware and ready to act at any second. I tried as hard as I could to ignore her.
The moral of this story is simply that I could have bought the drinks for her and shut her up or I could of easily not enabled her behaviors. Had I bought her the drinks, I would have gone against my own integrity and also could have been in trouble for enabling a drunk woman when the airline already shut her off. I went with my gut feelings and ignored her and told her I don’t drink. The final point I want to make is simply this:
DON’T COMPROMISE YOUR CHARACTER FOR THAT OF ANYONE ELSE. In the end, does this woman care who I am or anything about me or my family? Absolutely not! Always do the right thing and TAKE TIME TO THINK.
** Jeff Yalden is a youth motivational speaker and teen expert that talks to high school assemblies and middle school assemblies about character, leadership, and doing the right thing. Jeff is the most sought after teen speaker in the world for the past 20 years and the one youth speaker your teens want to hear. He is real, upbeat, and speaks their language. Visit Jeff today at www.JeffYalden.com.