Strangers on a plane

Strangers On A Plane

On a flight back home the other day (which was full), a young man sat down beside me, and eventually, we engaged in some conversation over shared backgrounds. He had heard me dictating a message to my mother in Polish and commented on it as he too, was born in Poland. 

Our conversation inevitably turned to work and he described his current travel schedule (overwhelming), his wife and her work (super stressful), and his son (6).  Thinking out loud, with some gentle prodding, he acknowledged that he could return to more of a desk job, cutting out travel and actually being home every day, but was reluctant to return to a fixed 9 to 5 life, and a lower salary.

After kicking it around some more, we came up with a compromise solution: he was traveling so extensively because his employer doesn’t have enough people with his skills so, if he were to return to another position, even for a year or two, he can pretty much expect to be rehired as the skills shortage won’t be going away any time soon.

This whole discussion is a microcosm of what is happening all over the world.  We are reassessing our life choices and priorities and so is everyone else, worldwide. Probably the first time something like this is a completely shared experience. World wars affected great numbers but not everyone and today we are all tied together by the same challenge to our survival, collective and individual.

Joanna Piros