Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Too Much Information

Sitting on the jump seat with someone for a few days can bring about a false sense of intimacy.
Just because you occupy a close workspace, and have a shared responsibility for one another's life in the event of an emergency, doesn't mean that you are confidants, and maybe not even friends.
So why is it, then, that a complete stranger will start confiding personal and very confidential information about their life while sitting on the jump seat next to you?!
Over the past few days I've learned a great deal about my co-working:  About her health issues, the birth of her child, the breakup of her marriage, her new found sexual freedom, her new boyfriend's fantasies, her sister's credit problems, and a whole lot more than I want to mention here.
Before this trip, I had never seen this woman before. 
Why does this happen?  What prompts someone to spill their guts like this?  Why do people on an airplane need to share Too Much Information?
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Train Geek said...

I guess your coworker figured she'd never see you again, so why not get this stuff off her chest?

Jump seats - the shrink's new couch.

Robert Konigsberg said...

One of the nice things about flight travel is that anonymous neighbor; someone who doesn't know you and gives you the freedom to work through whatever it is you work through. People like to tell me about the person whose funeral they are returning from (or going to) or their weight problems; it's a little wierd. The same time, here's someone who is a clean slate, that I can talk with, say things about what's going on in my life, just to hear how they sound, without judgement of my past.

Also, there's no follow-up. For instance:

"I'm having an affair." *

The consequence differs when saying that to someone you don't know, versus saying it to, say, your sister.

* This is merely an illustriative example, calling my wife is not necessary, thank you very much!

Traytable said...

Hahaha!! Yes, it's the same if you're walking someone to/from an aircraft...

e.g. little old lady in a wheel chair - get the whole life story/wedding/what she made clothes with in the war, etc etc

JoeyC said...

Awwww Yuhu... you're not a believer in Jumpseat Therapy?


Nah, my mom always complained about it.

Sure, its really cool to talk about where you went last layover, what the best restaurant is, that stuff.

But when you start sharing TMI stuff, it gets really awkward. My mom always said it felt really surreal, because some crew would literally spill EVERYTHING... EVERY LITTLE DETAIL in their lives.

And trust me - I doubt some physcologists would want to hear all that!

Yet another job duty - to unofficially give therapy to other crew.

The responsibility of this profession will never cease to amaze me!