• Don’t be this guy

    Patrick Coleman
    This guy. Don't be this guy.

    Maybe it’s not absolutely necessary to share your meeting notes with the entire cabin.

    Sometimes the random person you’re sitting next to can be the best person on the planet, like the “Daddy” in seat 16C who so sweetly entertained the 3-year-old with autism seated next to him earlier this month. (If you haven’t read that story, which went viral a little over a week ago, it is worth reading.)

    Sometimes that person can be a valuable contact, such as the person I was seated next to on a December flight who grew up in the same area as I did, is also a former print journalist and shares some of my off-the-clock activities as well. That person is now a key LinkedIn contact.

    And sometimes that person is, well, neither of those things, such as the person in this photo, provided to me by one of my frequently flying colleagues. Not sure where he stands on the list of most annoying travelers to sit next to, but perhaps that’s not the most efficient and considerate way to work on your PowerPoint deck.

    But I didn’t want you to take just my word for it, so I asked some other travelers for their take:

    “If he asked the other people in his row if they’d mind if he put up his huge paper for a minute to type up the notes, and then he took it down before long, then OK, it’s not too bad. But without checking in, kind of presumptuous to just take all that space as his own.”

    “I would definitely be ordering a double if I were sitting next to this guy for more than an hour.”

    “Why didn’t he think to take a picture of the paper so he didn’t need to wallpaper the plane with it?”

    “Clearly someone who needs a suggestion for a whiteboard app.”

    Yes, when in doubt, take your smartphone — you know, the one you have CWT To Go and your airline’s app installed on — and take a photo of your notes. Take several if you need to. Just don’t share your notes with the whole cabin.

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