Friday, August 11, 2006
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!!!!