You, Sir, are a bully

An open letter to the jackass in the security line at the Austin International Airport Saturday morning.

Boy, those lines were insane, huh?  Everyone was getting a little anxious as they realized they would just make their gates (I was the last one on even though I arrived at the airport in plenty of time!). People, for the most part, were good naturedly complaining about it to their neighbors and making calls to give folks a heads up that they may not make their flight. Everyone seemed to be in a “we’re all in this together” kind of mood.  Until I heard from behind me a very loud “Hey LADY. You can’t cut the line”.  At first a few people chuckled and said “busted” but then you.would.not.shut.up.  Your verbal abuse of this woman went on so long people stopped making eye contact and just stared ahead uncomfortably. I couldn’t see either one of you until the line snaked around and what I saw was a very harassed, repentant looking woman begging everyone to go ahead of her and apologizing profusely saying she was just late. And boy did you pounce on that.   You told her we were ALL late (true). You asked if she was proud of herself for making other people miss their flights because of her (really? drama much?). You threatened to get security (great idea.. it was already taking them forever to herd us all through the line). You said she was disgusting (no words). You actually shouted the words NOT FAIR a couple of times and I wondered if you were a 12 year old. Then I saw the 12 year old. Your son.  He had to be your son; he had the same spit shined black loafers, sharply creased black slacks and blue oxford shirt buttoned all the way up to the top.  I thought..”oh boy..poor kid must be so embarrassed”.  Then I saw his face. He had this look of smug delight as though dressing down and humiliating people were a father and son activity you enjoyed together. That made me incredibly sad.  He is a very nice looking kid, probably very smart and certainly must have all the opportunities to prosper.  What he doesn’t have (yes.. I am judging you as a parent based on a 20 minute encounter at an airport. Deal with it …you’re the one that showed his ass in public)  is a strong male role model. Have you ever heard the words “teachable moment”?  I’m guessing you haven’t. That woman did not look like a very experienced traveler. She was alone, looked overwhelmed by the whole process.  Maybe she absolutely could not miss her flight for reasons none of us will ever know.  Not everyone has the means to just rebook a later flight. She may not have even understood that was an option if she did miss hers.  I was pleased to hear one young couple tell her to stay in front of them and ask her about her plans.  They  had children  with them too. Lucky children. There was another young family standing not too far from you.  I saw the father motion to you to step back. He told you politely it was “enough”.  I hope your son saw that.  That man didn’t bully or humiliate you. He simply said “enough”.  And you were blissfully silent for about 2 minutes and then one woman said “kudos” to you and you positively preened and said “SOMEONE has to speak up” as though you see yourself as some urban superhero fighting injustice. Yes. One woman in the line thought you did the right thing. The other 600 people in earshot wanted to tell you to shut the fuck up, but the rest of us have manners.

I hope you made your flight and I hope you enjoy all the calls you are sure to get over the next several years about your boy bullying his peers. You will have earned every one of them.




  1. John Jones · March 3, 2014

    There is one in every airport every day and today was your lucky day to meet the one in yours. I enjoy reading your commentary and you really should give some thought to doing it full time. I think people would enjoy your refreshing attitude. I can only hope your day went uphill after that.



  2. Shaunna · March 3, 2014

    I feel so sorry for his son, having him as his main role model. We have no idea what others are going through, so it is so important to be kind to everyone! My heart goes out to that poor woman.


  3. miltonia10 · March 4, 2014

    What an arrogant $&@”! His son will for sure have problems down the road. I’m just sorry it took this incident to read your blog again. Hope things are going better. You’re such an amazing, insightful person.


  4. The Presents of Presence · March 6, 2014

    This is a great post, well-written and so articulate. I wish I had that man’s address so I could send him your post. I hope all is well with you xo


    • mainelyhopeful · March 6, 2014

      I’m sure he is too self involved to recognize anything but praise. I am well. I’m glad to see you got such good news!!


  5. Audrey Kalman · September 24, 2014

    What a sad commentary, though even sadder is that it’s not at all uncommon. I like the way you use humor to point out how such attitudes and behavior pass from generation to generation.

    Oh–and Susie sent me 🙂


  6. Emily @ Adventures of a Dog Mom · September 24, 2014

    Wow, that’s crazy! I hate to admit it but it doesn’t surprise me because it seems like there is one of those in every group. But way to go to the others that stood up and said enough. That’s awesome.

    PS. Susie sent me.


  7. gardenlilie · September 24, 2014

    Well put, thanks!


  8. Cassandra · September 24, 2014

    Good for the father who said “enough”!

    Susie sent me.


  9. FitsofWit · September 24, 2014

    Hi there. Susie sent me.
    To put it bluntly, there’s an asshole in every crowd. All we can try to do is be the better person. Great post.


  10. silkpurseproductions · September 24, 2014

    There will always be bullies and this is exactly why. The teachable moment was him teaching his son to be a bully, who will then teach his son to be that way until someone actually has the spine to break the cycle. I often wonder about the other parent in a case like this. Was she there? Was she embarrassed? Perhaps this behaviour is the reason she wasn’t with them. When he tells the story that one woman who applauded him will represent the whole crowd. Let’s hope everyone else can share it your way.
    Susie sent me.


  11. Polysyllabic Profundities · September 24, 2014

    People like that make me incredibly uncomfortable. I never used to think violent thoughts – but I secretly think of throat-punching those idiots! PS: Susie sent me.


  12. susielindau · September 24, 2014

    Believe me. Karma will kick his pretentious ass. I’ve been in that woman’s shoes recently and wrote about it. I apologized to everyone as I got on the plane, but no one seemed to care that I was late.
    Thanks for bringing this to the party! Have fun clicking on links and meeting my friends. They should click back here!


  13. donnadmunro · September 24, 2014

    Imagine how his poor son will turn out. Children really do follow in their parent’s footsteps. Tread carefully.


  14. The Regular Guy NYC · September 25, 2014

    Dropping by from Susie’s party.

    So you have a douche of a father who is bringing up what will be a little douchebag son, and both bullies. Ad that to the mix with the pain in the ass of airport douchebaggery and life really begins to suck.

    I have seen it all as I travel a lot for biz and have written multiple posts ranting about these idiots. Yes, a throat punch should be mandatory here.


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