How to get rich (in character) from Travelling
A blog post by the Cathonator**
Have you ever met someone awesome on a plane?
Maybe you travel often and air travel is a proverbial bus in the sky, perhaps you indulge in exciting annual events (holidays, yay!), or maybe you have very small children who make it an anxiety-ridden, restless, nightmareish means to an end. I still have PTSD from a recent 24hr torture… I mean flight. Either way, the opportunity to meet a new friend is there.
But back to the question. So, have you?
When I was travelling interstate on a regular basis, I would always spice up my trip by wondering, “how is this seating situation going to pan out?, “Whose derriere would be casually backed into the adjacent seat to mine?” and “who would be the ultimate winner in the ongoing game of seat-bingo in the sky?” These deeply philosophical questions always kept me entertained and to ensure I gave myself a strong foothold in my newly created ‘Seat Bingo’ game, I’d book my seat upfront – the window for me thanks – then wait to see how the drama would unfold…
Rules? Yes, of course, there are rules. The rules for Seat Bingo go something like this:
- Minus 5 points: Someone next to you, and they smell (BO, bad breath, spicy food, booze, gas…. the list goes on)
- Minus 4 points: Someone next to you and they’re Rugby League DRUNK.
- Minus 3 points: Someone next to you, and they’re spilling over the seat – elbows, body parts food, beverages… whatever.
- Minus 2 points: Someone next to you, and they WILL. NOT. SHUT. UP.
- Minus 1 point: Someone next to you (who is perfectly fine, courteous and smiles politely) but you have ‘bugger off’ written across your forehead because you just read your Facebook feed and Uncle Steve’s latest update is riddled with Game of Thrones spoilers. Cheers, Uncle Steve.
- 1 point: Someone next to you, and they’re of small/average size. 👍
- 2 points: Someone next to you and they pretend you are invisible. 👊
- 5 points: Someone next to you and they’re polite and you acknowledge that you’re both alive and basically sat closer to each other than you would be with anyone else other than an “intimate partner” (unless you’ve been married a while, in which case it’s just anyone else.)
- 8 points: NOBODY NEXT TO YOU fist pump (cue obnoxious Insta-story of empty seats)
- 9 points: Upgrade!! Wahooo! Who GAF who’s next to you when you can streeeetch out your leeeeegs.
- BINGO! (that’s 10 points folks): Somebody next to you who is of average size, does not smell, isn’t (very) drunk, is up for a chat and you discover you are BFFs for the entire plane ride.
*Please note that the points in between those mentioned above are a discretionary mix of the others – award as you wish.
*Please also note that clearly this game only works on an honesty system. 10 point proof must be given in the form of a new LinkedIn connection (see below).
“Oh my word.
This is a bit freaky.
May be Karma is real.
Maybe we were meant to meet on this flight.”
By my Inner monologue
So, Seat Bingo! You love it, yes?
Seat Bingo isn’t about romantic love (although BONUS POINTS if they’re attractive). It’s about professional love, people. Look at the face Tim, the face.
Seat Bingo is about discovering a fellow human with whom you would never have otherwise met and you somehow, connect.
Seat Bingo is not watching the movie because you’re both too busy putting the world to rights – you’re in the same industry, you’ve been to the same places, you have some connections in common, you both have kids the same age, you’re both expats, you share a hobby… so many places this could go.
Seat Bingo is reading the same page of your presentation 5 times because the banter just keeps on coming.
The end game of your Seat Bingo is connecting on Linkedin (or at least Instagram). And, of course, messaging afterward to say how lovely it was to meet, but in a not creepy sort of way. Perhaps one day, you might be glad you met that human and you might do some amazing work together, or introduce each other to someone who changes their business.
Or, you might never speak again… BUT you had a really enjoyable 90 minutes in the sky and, more importantly, you beat that bloody Tiffany from sales at the end of the quarter with your 10-pointer! Yasssss!
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Cathonator, did you win Seat Bingo?”
I’m not one to brag Jeremy, and nor should you. But what I can say is that I have definitely met more than one 10-pointer. I’ve even met a couple during flights travelling with my child – the most recent of those was both a godsend and a creative genius, who will get his own article… but I digress. Professionally, in an industry which hinges on “not what you know, but who you know,” this suggestion of a whimsical game, encouraging you to lift your face to your fellow passengers, could bestow untold riches. If not riches in the financial sense, then certainly a wealth of positive, community-building feels.
And that my friend, is pure gold.
Did you know that if you’re at a conference, meeting or – yes, on a plane! – head to the ‘Connections’ icon on your Linkedin app, there’s a button in the middle at the top of the screen entitled,
If you click on this, and stay on that screen at the same time as other people in the immediate area, those people appear on screen and you can quickly add each other as contacts.
It’s like a professional Grindr basically. Try it at your next meeting!