I started to add a daily coping tip to the SQLServerCentral newsletter and to the Community Circle, which is helping me deal with the issues in the world. I’m adding my responses for each day here. All my coping tips are under this tag.
Today’s tip is to notice 3 new things today.
I was trying to get ahead on a few tips before my trip to the UK this week, but I wanted to save this one for the journey. I’ve flown to London perhaps 50 times, but I made an effort to notice new things on this trip (I also set reminders in my calendar).
When I transit through Heathrow, I am always entranced by the size of the A380 planes there. Usually there are 2-3 at T2 that I walk past. I’m not a big plan fan, but these things are massive.
When I went through Monday, the Thai Airlines A380 was replaced by a “normal” plane.
The legendary Heathrow lines are back, at least I noticed them. I arrived at Heathrow at about 11am, well, that was the time after the long walk from the end of T2. When I got there, I saw this:
The back and forth lines here at the T2 border were longer than I expected. I’ve often tried to land after 10am, which used to be a quieter time. The 7-9am flights packed this space. However, today they were worse. I actually got directed to walk past down the hall to wrap around and walk right back. This was to manage the lines.
The line actually went back towards the flight connection area, wrapping back and forth and then through this spot to the e-gates and agents. My guess was that at the time I arrived and got into a line, there were 1,000 people here.
I noticed a couple things. First, lots of griping. Typically I’ve been able to get through in 10 minutes, or less with the Trusted Traveler program. I have heard people lightly complaining in the past about a line, but today quite a few people were expressing their displeasure. A couple people complained about having to walk down the hall and back to create a new orderly queue, and a few about the number of people and the few e-gates available.
My apologies as these were mostly ugly Americans. What’s crazy is I think the US lines in some places, like Chicago, are as bad or worse.
In any case, I was able to transit through in about 45 minutes, this despite a few people around me saying they’d been there an hour, which I don’t believe.
The second thing is that the line was almost always moving. I was trying to maneuver with a sprained wrist, get something out of my bag and take off a second shirt (it gets warm there). I had few chances to actually stop long enough to remove my shirt. People were processed very quickly through the border, fast enough to keep the line moving.
An annoying thing. I was (painfully) aware of how often people stop walking with their bags to look or check something, and how closely people stand in a queue (line).
Every time I quickly change directions, or someone bumps my roller while I’m holding it, my wrist flares with a little pain. I try not to use it for pulling my bag, but I needed to do it a few times.
I tried not to use that arm, but sometimes I needed to. The other shoulder was wearing out. In lines for planes, or border patrol, I was bumped numerous times. While trying to navigate airports, as someone that walks medium speed (not too fast or leisurely), I bet people stopped in the flow of walkers 10 times between Denver, Dulles, and Heathrow, forcing me to quickly swerve around them or stop.
I try to be conscious of others, and if I need to look, step out of the way. I had to do that when I got out of the plane and was dragging the bag with the bad hand. I waited until there was a space I could stop and switch without preventing anyone else from walking past.
I also realized I need a 4 wheel spinner. I have really liked my roller bag, but the weight of that and my laptop bag is getting a bit much. Or I’m getting old.