Friday, August 11, 2006

Friday, August 11, 2006
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Below this post is an attempt at posting a photo of the Magic Shoes that my friend Michelle Miles found for me. Thank you!

Yesterday was pretty much caught up with the foiled terrorist plot around here. I’m glad I wasn’t scheduled to fly. We’d heard whispers for a few days prior about upcoming dates not to travel here in New York – I’m already scheduled to be out of town, so I paid attention to them, but knew I’d be gone – and under my own steam, away from heavily populated areas.

The worry made it difficult to concentrate, though. At last count, they were still looking for at least 12 more people thought to be connected to this particular group.

There is something consumers/travelers must do in all this: Not let the airlines off the hook. The big commercial carriers treated their passengers like crap before 9/11. Once 9/11 happened, they believed it gave them license to cut all services, raise prices, and treat them even worse without repercussion, “because 9/11 hurt our business.”

In light of the current new restrictions, the consumers MUST demand the following:
--beverages provided on the flights, free of charge
--meals returned to flights, free of charge
--blankets, pillows, and headphones provided, free of charge
--if flights are cancelled or changed by the airline FOR ANY REASON (terrorist, weather, anything), passengers must be rescheduled, and given food, drink, and hotel vouchers free of charge.

Anything less than that – which is the most basic customer service – and travelers should refuse to fly, sue the airline, and it should be heavily fined by the government.

And, any airline who DARES to cut or remove its employees’ pension fund should be dissolved by the government. Because you can bet your bippy the executives in the offices doing shit to keep the company going aren’t taking any cuts ANYWHERE. Instead, they cut the employees and then give themselves a big, fat raise. It does NOT go back into the company. If it went into “the company”, it would go into the pockets of the people who actually do the work, not those sitting around in the office.

There’s always one executive in a company who actually does the work, but you can bet he’s not getting the raises and the additional benefits. And, of course, the positions that used to be called “secretaries” and are now “administrative assistants” or “executive assistants”. If something is working in a company, chances are because it has a good administrative assistant near the top. I know. I used to work temp jobs in companies. Believe me, it was rarely those in the corner offices – it was those out in the desks out front that actually did the work.

Bluntly, I think most of the major carriers deserve to fold at this point in time, so carriers who provide actual customer service (Jet Blue and Air France come to mind) and deserve the business will do so.

Since 9/11, the heads of the airline industry have looked for ways to turn the situation to their advantage, especially if it gives them an excuse to harm the people who are actually doing the work – pilots, flight attendants, ticket agents, baggage handlers, mechanics, anyone who belongs to a union, etc. – while they sit in their offices and order another Lexus online for themselves, their wives (to keep them from fretting about the mistresses), or their mistresses (to keep them from telling the wife pretending she doesn’t know).

They have to be held accountable.

It will never happen under Bush, but, hopefully, the thinking citizens of this country will put a real president into office in 2008 and things will take a turn for the better.

Let me emphasize, for the misinformed, that Bush had nothing to do with foiling the terrorist plot. It was good police work on the part of specialized teams in MI5 and Scotland Yard, and the specific individuals on this side of the pond who were involved. It was police work done by people out in the field, not by administrators, managers, or anyone with fancy title. It was difficult and dangerous work. THOSE are the people who’ve earned the credit.

Errands took much longer than they should have yesterday, but isn’t that always the case? I had to switch out an air mattress with a faulty valve (nothing like waking up at 3AM on the ground because the bed’s deflated). Then, it was off to the bookstore, to switch out a book I’d bought twice by accident, and, of course, since I was there, buy more. I swapped one book for Jasper Fforde’s The Big Over Easy, and also finally got Geraldine Brooks’s March.

I read The Big Over Easy yesterday, and laughed my head off. It was a good tension release. And, actually, a lot of the politicking satirized by the book was relevant to yesterday’s events.

Worked on some of the short articles – did a pile of research and did some roughing out. I need to have everything due September 1 done by August 20, so the fiction is put aside right now while I concentrate on the paid work.

And I better go do that right now, while the car is in the shop for inspection, because the cupboards are getting bare, so when I pick up the car, I’ll swing by the store. Let’s face it, when the cat food cupboard starts to have room in it, the cats become agitated.

And we can’t have that.


Of course, the second I go to post this and get to work, they start with the effling leaf blowers under my window!!!!


At 11:56 AM, Blogger Melissa Marsh said...

I haven't flown since 9-11. My stepkids have numerous times back and forth from their mom's in KY and I've had to go security, but that's it.

I agree that the airlines are taking advantage of the situtation. I know they're hurting, but c'mon - if it weren't for the passengers, they wouldn't have a business, right?

At 11:56 AM, Blogger Melissa Marsh said...

Sigh...I really need to proofread more.

"I've had to go THROUGH security."

There. Now I feel better.

At 12:02 PM, Blogger Tori Lennox said...

I haven't flown in years and sure as shootin' don't want to fly now. I'd rather travel by train, bus or car. Sure, it takes longer (and would be difficult to do if I was going overseas *g*), but you can stop and stretch your legs when you feel like it. Bring your own drinks. Don't have to dump your cosmetics in the trash.

And I'm with you 100% on executives and their ridiculous paychecks.

At 12:03 PM, Blogger Tori Lennox said...

And I totally forgot to mention Jasper Fforde! I love him so much!!! I wish I had even a quarter, heck, even an eighth, of his talent!

At 12:21 PM, Blogger Diane said...

I really do enjoy these rants of yours. They're so ... right. :o)

At 12:31 PM, Blogger Lori said...

Devon, I agree. The issue seems to make no sense. We fly more now than ever, yet the airlines are constantly slicing services and posting losses. While many might think it's due to insurance that went through the ceiling after 9/11, that's not the case now that the government is providing the backstop for terrorism coverage. In fact, airlines are subsidized, much unlike the train travel in this country.

Perhaps the problem is in the large, overstuffed wallets that are occupying the boardroom.

At 1:09 PM, Blogger Siobhan said...

I'll have to fly to get home and my son is off travelling at the end of the month - it's almost a right of passage for Brit kids. I don't mind if there's extra security and they stop all hand luggage. I agree with you that air travel isn't what it used to be re. passenger comfort. I'm afraid money talks and it's another sign of the times. Sigh!

At 10:31 PM, Blogger Bailey Stewart said...

I'm glad that my newspaper made a point in the headline that it was a Muslim that turned them in.

Getting low on cat food - oooooooh, bad Devon. *gg*


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