“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.” -Peter F. Drucker
I’d like to tell you a story. Throughout these previous months, I have been flying back and forth from NYC to Oklahoma City. Almost every flight has been accompanied by delays, cancellations, and general DRAMA. I won’t go into all of them, but one of these flights brought me a certain clarity concerning a topic that is often brought up regarding the Millennial generation: respect and commitments. For our purposes, respect related to commitments.
After multiple flight changes and cancellations due to weather and other issues, I was finally on a plane to Chicago from NYC. I had only bought a ticket to Dallas this time, mostly because of the difference in price. I thought, I should easily be able to find my way back to OKC from Dallas, no problem. I had a friend that was willing to drive to Dallas to pick me up, but with all the cancellations and delays, she was unable to make it so much later in the evening that initially planned. At this point, I had planned to stay the night at a family member’s home and get a ride from my brother in the morning. Here’s where things get interesting.
I’m sitting in the bulkhead middle seat (possibly the worst?) between an excessively self-announced film hand working DEEP in the Hollywood film industry and a burnt-out attorney eagerly asking everyone around him to download a new app he has invested interest in (It’s called Ribbon, feel free to check it out for yourself). In between the celebrity name dropping and general self-interest on my left and the desperation and self-loathing on my right, my exhausting story of unfortunate events is laid out. A woman my age seated behind me then taps my shoulder and states that she was on the same unfortunate itinerary as me and will also end in Dallas late into the evening. She then goes on to offer me a seat in her car, which she will be driving up through Oklahoma City once we land. I eagerly accept, wanting nothing more than to be home as soon as possible.
During our layover in Chicago, I help her and her wheelchair-bound grandmother with their things and get seated at the gate. Here, she begins her vetting process to decide whether or not I am a safe and trustworthy travel companion. Fast forward two hours: we have become friends on Facebook, followed each other on Instagram, and I’ve even spoken indirectly with her husband. I wait until the last second before the plane takes off, making sure that she is 100% committed to our plan, and text my family member to say I no longer need a place to stay for the night. I have now respectfully declined a familial offer of hospitality, and will allow them to go to bed without further word from me.
Fast forward a few more hours, our plane lands, and this woman finds me to take back her generous offer. She states that she now realizes she’s too tired to make the drive and will be staying in Dallas with her grandmother for the night. ***I’M SORRY..WHAT?***
Literally, I was so excited to be able to turn this into a post about how millennials are wonderful and generous and open, willing to help a complete stranger get home for Christmas. Instead, I am forced to write a post about how all those people who bash on us were right in this situation. This 20-something woman lacked respect for the commitment she had made to me, one in which I had altered other plans that were contingent on her following through. Everything worked out, I got a hotel at 1130pm and hitched a ride in the morning, but that’s not my point. I also understand that people get tired and these things happen, she prematurely agreed to something that she wasn’t able to follow through with. I’m upset because I feel like this has become a part of Millennial culture. Everyone follows the mantra of “I must do what’s right for me in this moment, regardless of how it affects anyone around me”. It makes us seem immature and unreliable and I am not a fan.
Honor your commitments people. It matters. **Rant over, thanks for hanging in there everyone**