He grumbled, lifted his mask and typed a message on his phone, in very large print, that he was sitting next to a “masked Nazi” and a “(misogynist [expletive]).”
From the size of the font and the angle at which he was holding his phone, I guessed he wanted me to see the messages, but, as I have young children, I recognized this explosion for what it was: an immature, guilty reaction to being caught doing something you shouldn’t be doing. I declined the bait and opened my book.
Later during the flight, he again dropped his mask under his nose.
What could Miss Manners do in such a situation? Ask the neighbor again? If so, how? Should we call the flight attendant to ask for her intervention? Should I ask to be seated elsewhere?
If we can. At the very least, you can make a show of it for the flight attendant by asking, “Can I change my seat?” I don’t want to police this gentleman, but I don’t feel safe with his ill-fitting mask.
At that point, the flight attendant will probably scold it for you, and maybe even re-seat you. Miss Manners is afraid you’ll still have to put up with her childish complaints you’ve told her. But at least you’ll do it from a safer distance.
Dear Miss Manners: My husband, myself and another couple went for dinner last summer. We were in a tourist destination, at the beginning of what we came to call “supply chain issues”. The restaurant was busy and no one had thought to make reservations so we had to wait about 30 minutes to be seated.
Soon, after we were seated and our server took our orders, it became clear that one of our party was deeply unhappy with the menu items available; there were items that had just sold out. The disgruntled party then spoke to the server, saying “more bison should have been ordered” and demanding to know why it hadn’t been.
We were so embarrassed that I wanted to leave. What is the best way for spectators to react in this situation? I have never seen anything like it in my dining experience.
Treat this person as you would a child throwing a tantrum: with an apologetic look at the waiter and, if possible, a quick withdrawal from the complainant.
Ms. Manners suggests that you offer to take the offender outside and say, “I know that’s disappointing. Maybe you need a moment to calm down? And then pad the waiter tip.