Paean to the Baggage Handler

I was just thinking of all the young men affected by the Virgin Atlantic’s shutdown. You see them working the forklifts, pushing luggage dollies, making sure the tarmac is safe and accessible. I am so grateful to them. They keep my luggage with me as I travel, and embarkments kind of fun!

Now, 40% of them are laid-off. And with the fall in air travel everywhere, I know it’s all around. Every major airport in the world has the equivalent fall in travel, some worse than others unfortunately.

These men, the vast majority industrious with avid (even sucking) interest in working and being successful, are now at home. How can they be employed to help us with them, create a better world?

As baggage mechanic Beebo (RIP), whose eyes I saw in my binoculars during his last moments flying toward my home- before he looped and crashed off Steilacoom, felt so stuck in his dead end job. And he was white; let’s not forget that.

Talking to anyone of these workers opens my eyes to a different life’s rhythm. Reminds to keep my humility. Without them my trip feels a bit lost.

And then all the wives, mothers, and girlfriends, truly dedicated people who are working all kinds of crazy shifts so their kiosk stands are always clean and ready. I bless them for their work! I miss seeing you. Not only do I need you to make my flight a bit more comfortable, but also your patience reminds me of a pillar amidst busyness.

We need you to stay here, when we get away!

And there’s the rub.

Each and every day we pretend we need to get away, while you go no-where. [1]It seems unfair. And yet it is. I don’t understand how you do it?!

I wonder are you now living 5 to a room (hopefully in a mansion by the sea)? [2]Or has life been unfavorable (so far), and you’re living among thieves?

Give these men (and women) a job, any job that uses their hands in a clean way, and see how eager they are to build for community. I hope Biden and our politic’s power can dream up a game plan for our infrastructure. It’s failing all around and needs to be replaced! We can recycle it somehow; use the old ways to restore us.[3]


[1]At least not without a big hassle because your name looks ‘different’.

[2]There was a house like this in my neighborhood about 6000 square feet. They moved in with single suitcases and you rarely saw anyone. Though occasionally there’d be 20 cars (!) Sometimes at night a single elder strides the street, wearing her burkha. 

[3]Don’t ask me wtf that means, I have no idea!

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