I’m more important than you!

I must put down my towel for the morning !

Will I move their towels I wonder?

A few years ago we were holidaying in Sorrento on the Amalfi Coast in Italy and had treated ourselves to a really nice boutique hotel spectacularly located looking out to sea.

The hotel had a small private swimming pool that was surrounded by a number of comfortable sun loungers. While this was great the problem was that there was never enough sun loungers and you had to be quite sharp about securing your space.

On our first day we realised that if we wanted a space by the pool then we would have to get there early – first come, first served , which was fair enough , in particular if you wanted a good spot.

With some relaxation in mind we made sure we got to the poolside early the next morning to discover we were one of first there but the best sun loungers already had towels on them, clearly reserved by some hotel guests who no doubt would be down in a minute.

We took two of the remaining loungers and started to relax and I was shocked to see the “pre-bookers” only arriving two hours later to take their spots by the pool. That’s not very fair I thought and we weren’t the only ones to notice as others seemed to look up disapprovingly from under their sunglasses.

Amalfi CoastThe following day exactly the same thing happened with exactly the same people and everyone just put up with it allowing this couple to get away with thinking they were effectively better than the rest of us.

Not only were they taking an advantage for themselves but they were taking an entitlement away from everyone else … I was really cross but yet did nothing. Who was going to be the one to have a word or merely just shift their towels onto the ground risking an unwanted argument with a stranger when you on holidays trying to relax?

I’m writing this from a KLM 10 hour flight on route to Cuba with a very stiff backside and I just had a similar scenario with seat space. At 6 ft tall it’s hard to get comfortable and it gets a little worse when the person in front of you pushes their chair back to relax. They are well entitled but it does squeeze up your own space.

This time as I struggled to get comfortable I decided I would recline my seat a little … No sooner than I did this, I felt someone from behind hitting the back of my seat. At first I thought maybe my seat went back too fast and it ended up spilling a drink over the guy behind. I looked behind and made an “apology” gesture and thought that would have looked after it.

No such luck …. this wasn’t enough for my new friend who kept aggressively hitting the back of my seat. I thought quickly about getting into one and decided in the end that it was cramped for everyone and I would give him a break and pull my seat back up!

There was no way this guy was going to let someone invade his space. I thought about my friend and his “no messing” and yes, very aggressive way of dealing with a situation …. It’s a pity he wasn’t in Sorrento I thought !

Why do some people feel that they are just better than the rest of us, and why do the rest of us put up with it?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

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4 Responses to “I’m more important than you!”

  1. John Delea Says:

    Sounds like the people of Ireland. The section who sit back (majority) & take what’s thrown at them and say nothing & the section who speak out (minority) who stand up for their beliefs.

  2. Paul McMenamy Says:

    As someone who does challenge these types of scenarios quite regularly (they happen around us all every day, just not with towels on loungers!), I have concluded that many people are just not prepared to take the discomfort that goes with it. Some of the offenders can be quite aggressive – they’re not used to being challenged – and sometimes the witnessing crowd, for some unknown reason, can get very annoyed with the complainer (it’s like they resent them for doing what they’re afraid to do themselves). Finally, I’ve heard people excuse their cowardice with: “ah sure, we were supressed for so long in this country..etc. etc. that we’re all afraid to be seen as a complainer. Ireland needs more complainers. Despite the economic downturn there are still many businesses and people behaving in the most inexcusable ways!

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