How To Survive A Horrible Seat Assignment

Tonight on the flight out to SF I found myself sitting in the last row in coach. My seat did not recline but of course the seat in front reclined all the way to my lap

And to make matters worse a husband and wife were occupying the other two seats of the row and the husband was quite large and sitting and sleeping in the middle seat.

I could not sit comfortably facing forward because the man to my right was taking over half of my seat

I could not use a laptop because one would literally not fit between my body and the seat back in front of me

So here’s what I did:

I turned my body to face the aisle, knees sticking into the aisle, and sometimes my legs were too

I put on headphones and turned on my ipod. I listened to relaxing music like sigur ros, thao, and bon iver. Gotta keep the heart rate low and a chilled out vibe

I put on a neck pillow and tried to sleep. I got some nodding off but no real sleep. People kept bumping into me and slamming the door to the rest rooms

I read quite a bit even though the reading light to my seat did not work

And I worked on my blackberry, a form factor optimized for the 4 sq ft work space. In fact I am writing this post on the plane on my blackberry

Every time the big guy leans on me, I gently push back towards his wife

And I spent a good amount of time hanging in the back with the flight attendants

I could have watched the movie, a cute funny film called Son Of Rambow. But I’d seen it in the theaters. Its good but not good enough for a second viewing

Mostly I tried to feel as small as a little kid and to relax and tune out my surroundings

It worked out pretty well.

I am passing this advice to all of you because I don’t plan to need it again. The next time this happens to me, I’m walking right back off the plane

This is no way to spend six hours. Anyway, I think the Obama adminstration is going to outlaw it in their review of gov’t interregation techniques