I’m sitting in the middle seat of an airplane right now, which means that whenever I want to get up, I need to make the person on the aisle seat move.
The courteous thing to do is to minimize the number of times that happens so I don’t inconvenience my aisle friend.
The person to my left, in the window seat, just decided he needed to use the restroom, so he asked to get up. Since the aisle person now has to get up, anyway, I decided to get up and go, as well, so the aisle person only has to get up once for us.
We both got up and went to the restroom. The window man headed in first, so he also finished before me. But instead of waiting for me, so we could both get back in together, he went and made the aisle person move for him. So this put me in the position of having to show up within 60 seconds of him – long enough for the person to sit back down, not knowing when I’m coming back, but short enough that it’s annoying to have to keep getting up and sitting down again.
If the window seat person had considered the situation and the people involved, he would have waited for me to return with him so the aisle person would have only had to move once.
Sure, it’s a small thing, but these considerations add up. We can either think of others or think only of ourselves. I would have waited, and I only hold people to standards to which I hold myself.