Monday, June 22, 2009

In Which Olly Meets the LaGuardia Superhero: Sean Holian

Brilliantly dubbed (by an Anonymous witty person): My LaGuardian Angel


Well folks, today I flew American Airlines flight 382 into LaGuardia. It was a routine flight, all was well, and we disembarked at one of the D gates. Walking nonchalantly towards Baggage Claim, I am separated by a glass partition from those folks who are flying out of LaGuardia to another destination.

Curious, I peered through the glass.

And who should I see but the mystery TSA worker? That amazing man who ran all the way across an airport and boarded my flight two minutes before it was scheduled to take off, the one I dubbed 'The Miraculous Savior of Laptops?'

Resisting my first urge to knock urgently upon the glass in an attempt to somehow catch his attention, I try to think about how exactly I can make his acquaintance. Walking around the glass partition and towards the lady who generally checks one's boarding pass and ID, I tell her, "Hello! I know this is an unusual request, but I am actually coming back from a flight, not boarding one. That man over there in the glasses is the guy who saved my laptop about a month ago and I would really like to thank him. Is there any way you could let me in?"

She says, "No, you need to have a gate pass."

I look at her with imploring eyes.

"You could try talking to the TSA worker sitting over there," she nods, and I walk back behind the glass partition and tell my story to the TSA worker. He opens a super-special secret silver door and lets me into the security checkpoint area, telling me to talk to another TSA worker, this one female.

I tell this lady my story, and she tries to figure out which man in glasses I mean. I finally point to him. "Oh, you mean the Supervisor," she says.

Wow, I think. The Supervisor of TSA ran all the way across an airport and boarded my airplane to give me back my laptop. Wow.

"I guess I mean the Supervisor," I say.

She takes out her walkie-talkie and pages the Supervisor to her. He walks over to her, and she says, "That girl has something to say to you."

I look up at this tall, distinguished man with the kind eyes and glasses and say, "Hey. I'm hoping you're the right person because I think I remember you. I was flying to Chicago and this man boarded my flight and gave me back my laptop after I had left it on the conveyor belt. I'm pretty sure that was you."

"I don't remember," he says, and shrugs modestly. "It might have been me. When did this happen?"

"About a month ago," I say. "You boarded the laptop and said, 'Show me some form of ID' and asked if my name was Olivia."

"Oh!" he exclaimed. "Yes, now I do remember."

"Well, I wanted to express my total and complete thanks for saving my $1000 laptop. I was so flustered then that I didn't get to thank you properly! And I was wondering if there were something I could do, some way I could commend you or otherwise thank you?"

He smiles at me. "Usually people are yelling at me!" (I'm assuming that is because of lost items.) "Sure," he says and hands me a blue card with the email address one writes to in order to write up stuff regarding TSA workers.

My LaGuardia Superhero's name is Sean Holian. If any of you ever meet him, tell him that Olivia sends him her best and thanks him again.

Anyway, what are the odds that I should happen to meet my superhero in LaGuardia about a month after this whole incident took place? The odds that I just happened to peek through the glass (truth is, those are high; I'm always curious about everything) and recognized him and got to thank him appropriately? The odds that now I can write him the letter of commendation he deserves?

There are about a million people working in LaGuardia. I think the fact that I found my Laptop Savior is demonstrative of the fact that if God knows you really want to do something (and I really wanted to thank this man), He'll help you to do it. Thus, even though talking to flight attendants and the pilot and the gate attendant didn't help me track down the TSA man, a chance glance through a glass partition did. Thanks, God. That completely made my day; I'm a happy child.


Gavi said...

Hakaras hatov is a wonderful thing to have - if we do ours, God does his.

Anonymous said...

How about... the LaGuardian Angel?

Chana said...

You're suggesting LaGuardia Angel as a title for him? Out of curiosity, why that title as opposed to the LaGuardia Superhero/ Savior of Laptops?

Anonymous said...

becuase it plays off of guardian angel

Something Different said...

Woah. Oh man. What a story!

These things never happen to me.

Chana said...

Anon 8:05 PM,

Oh! That's brilliant! (*smacks palm against head* - I just don't think that way, sadly.) And thus he shall be dubbed my LaGuardian Angel. Thank you! You must be the sort of person who is awesome at coming up with one-liners and other witticisms. Huzzah sharp people.

Scraps said...

That's fantastic. :)

nmf #7 said...


dustfinger said...


kliz said...

I know him, that's my friends dad.