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You Might Want To Sit Down For This One

, , , , | Right | June 8, 2021

I am with a group of volunteers doing work in Ukraine. We have just landed at Boryspil Airport and gone through customs after a long flight from San Francisco, with two transfers along the way, so we are all tired, and we are trying to make our way to catch a train for the next leg of our journey to the southern coast of the country.

Several of us have packed extra suitcases full of supplies for the organization we are working with. My suitcase with my personal items arrives at the baggage claim, but my extra suitcase does not, so the group leader and I make our way to the baggage office. There is a long line there and we spend about an hour until we are able to speak about the issue to a harried-looking woman at a desk somewhere in the middle of a large room. There is a single chair across the desk from the woman, and I offer it to the group leader so she can sit down, while I, a generally large man, stand. I am not sure if my standing feels imposing to her, or if the woman senses that I am tired and wants to let me rest. Either way, she gestures over to a wall against which are parked a few chairs and says, “Take a seat.”

I walk across to the wall and select a chair as close as I can to the desk, settling down into it to wait for the baggage agent and the group leader to handle things. After a couple of moments, though, the baggage agent waves me back over. I get up and approach the desk. She gestures to the wall again and repeats, “Take a seat.”

Somewhat confused, but trying to follow directions, I head back to the wall and sit down again. The baggage agent again waves me back. As I’m about halfway over, she says, louder, enunciating each word, “Take. A. Seat.”

Suddenly, the light bulb goes on. I go back to the wall and literally take one of the seats there, bringing it over to the desk to sit down next to the group leader, where I somewhat sheepishly go about helping with filing the report for the missing suitcase.

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