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  • I would like to thank American Airlines for putting the possibility of a fee for checked baggage out there in the news recently.  They have provided work/life-minded individuals like myself with one of the finest metaphors going, and even inspired some ideas on how to implement that metaphor to the benefit of our interpersonal relationships.   
  • So the airlines are talking about charging us a fee to check our baggage.  Already, pundits are saying this will make everybody cram everything they own into bulging carry-ons just to avoid the fee.  Well, there’s more than one kind of baggage, as anyone who has ever considered couples counseling understands.  I’m talking about emotional baggage.  And the fact is, if we don’t all learn to check it, we’ll be cramming it into the overstuffed carry-on of our psyches and making life miserable for everyone else.   
  • Therefore, I suggest all homes and business institute an emotional baggage check plan, with appropriate fees attached.  At the workplace, it will make co-workers think about how their head games might be affecting others, and in a home environment it will make housemates…um…think about how their head games might be affecting others.  And I certainly number myself among those who could benefit from a little baggage check penalty.  Once the baggage is checked, it’s out there on the table as it were, the fee has been paid, and everyone can get on with the business of working and living.  Even better, everyone now has a reference point for non-productive behavior, and can cite it during any future flare-ups.   Here’s a sample fee structure for checking emotional baggage in the workplace: 
  1. Tendency to steamroll in meetings due to never being heard as a child:  $25
  2. Instituting new policies with passive-aggressive whining, owing to low self-esteem: $30
  3. Obliviousness to employees’ legitimate concerns because of unhealthy megalomania instilled by overachieving parent (bosses only): $75 
  • And in the home, emotional baggage checking fees could come in equally handy: 
  1. Saying "ask your mother" or "ask your father" whenever child has a request, brought about by deep-seated fear of being hated:  $10
  2. Clinging to your foolish need to be right about everything, most likely because of not getting any healthy role models for submerging of the individual ego: $50
  3. Never being able to decide on what DVD to rent, caused by subconscious fear of the intimacy and closeness that could result from sitting on couch together: $45 
  • These are, of course, only representative examples.  The list is endless, as is the potential for extra income.  Of course, if you’re emotionally healthy, you’ll tuck it away in the kids’ college fund…right?