Warnings till we’re blue in the face

I’m sitting at the airport waiting for my flight. It’s almost impossible to focus because there is so much activity, but I needed to stop everything and write this down while I remember. The announcements, so many announcements … they’ve got me in a state of wonder. I’m wondering why do people wait so long before they show up at the airport? Why do they cut their time so close? Why are people programmed this way?

I’m always talking about cutting corners and the last 2 flights have had 3 people that were on their last warning before the flight left. These people had their names said over the speakers at least 3 times before that final warning. They got the benefit of:
Now pre boarding flight 233 at Gate 27 to Edmonton for people requiring assistance
Now boarding flight 233 at Gate 27 to Edmonton for preferred passengers
Now boarding flight 233 at Gate 27 to Edmonton for passengers in the last 10 rows of the airplane
Now boarding flight 233 at Gate 27 to Edmonton for all remaining passengers
Final call for boarding flight 233 at Gate 27 to Edmonton
Once again final boarding call for flight 233 at Gate 27 to Edmonton would passengers Ian McCall, Jennifer Tremblay & Donald Cerrone please report to gate 27 for boarding flight 233 to Edmonton.
Would passenger Ian McCall please report to gate 27 for boarding flight 233 to Edmonton. The plane is ready to go.
Final call for Ian McCall at gate 27 for boarding flight 233 to Edmonton.
… Finally I see someone rushing to gate 27 … now I know who Ian McCall is (Don’t bother googling Ian I’ve altered his name to conceal his real identity).

That’s 8 times Ian was called, 3 times by name. What up? This sounds a little ludicrous, but trust me it is real. What causes people to do this? What causes people not to heed warnings? Somehow their own agenda simply trumps the agenda of the person issuing the warning. They aren’t tuned in, they’re oblivious. This is similar to the odd urinal scenario. These people comprise the 20% of the people that cause 80% of the effort for the airlines.

Oddly enough we continue to cater to the Ian’s and they just don’t seem to learn. We reaffirm that they are that important, that they have the privilege of making the entire plane wait, that they can ignore warnings. We need to continue to try to convince the Ian’s that they need to pay attention, but perhaps it’s time to get their attention in a different manner. Offering positive rewards to the rest of the passengers causes issues when airlines are making small margins on each flight. Negative incentives can also have a financial impact, especially if Ian is a frequent flyer and travels first class, but this may be the only option left. Of course the occasional missed flight brings about it’s own consequence.

When it comes to warnings are there times you’ve been like Ian? Consider the warnings in road construction zones … there’s been a huge increase in the profile Saskatchewan construction zones have been given. Fines have tripled this year, but there still seems to be a lot of people just like Ian ignoring the warnings. These people are stuck in their own agenda … gotta get to where they’re goin’ no time for construction zones. The safety professionals grow weary of this type of disrespect for the warnings. Is there a way you can help people to get the message? Well … I gotta go, my flight is boarding …

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