Monday, January 6, 2014

Yes, Everything IS Amazing...Yes

This is one of the greatest bits ever.  And to really *get* it, you have to watch or listen to can't just hear about the gist of it from a friend.  Louis CK just truly, absolutely, 100% nails so many things about modern society here.

But there's a "but" coming, and here it is:  All this connectivity really does become a problem when things go wrong.

I'm shanghai'd, or waylaid, or stranded, or whatever it is for a few days.  As fates go, that's not so bad...especially considering I'm in Florida in January.  Considering there are people in the world with actual problems -- and considering that even the emperors of Rome and Greece didn't have flush toilets, or warm showers, or BCS bowls to watch -- I should keep that in perspective.

But the suck factor is the expectation on the other end.

Friday?  Really?!?!  REALLY?!?!  Can't you just fly standby?  I mean, today is Monday!

Yes, it is. 

What about Orlando?  Fort Lauderdale?  Miami?  Nothing into Bradley or Green?  What about Manchester?

Got it, got it, got it, and got it.  And no.  Honestly, no.  And JetBlue is terminating the inbound calls to them, not the other way around.  

One of the funniest/strangest things I saw last night was the number of "instant logisticians" at the airport. Suddenly, everyone around me knew a lot more about flight operations than JetBlue did, and they also knew more about the jobs of the people at the flight counters than those people did.  They were also expert meteorologists.

I knew better than to get upset.  I believe that 'upset' has a purpose (just look at how pissed Andrew Luck was in the second half on Saturday) but I also believe that 'upset' is worthless when it's not going to change your on-the-ground reality (pun possibly intended).

But as much as I love Louis CK, being stuck in a beautiful climate with modern amenities and ample chow can actually suck sometimes.

Because there are several employers involved here.  There are appointments.  There are meetings with clients. There is day care, there are medical appointments, and there are reserve unit duties.  There are lots of messy explanations coming, and lots of same-answers-to-the-same-questions-type-stuff coming.

The wonderful modern world provides (which I love), and it also demands.  I'm generally okay with the tradeoff, and I wouldn't trade places with even a relatively well-off Roman from 2500 years ago.

But I sure wish I could've made it into Logan last night.  


kad barma said...

Renting cars one-way is my fallback tactic, and I almost used it as half of a trip to LA before the holidays. (Had to burn some vacation time. but it turned out I couldn't squeeze it in because of all those other things you're pointing out that you're missing...) Only a couple generations ago, people used to treat travel as an open-ended activity. We've definitely lost something via our illusion of reliability. My brother-in-law described the arrangements to meet with some semi-nomadic Berbers in Morocco a few years back, ("Thursday" doesn't mean to them what it means to you and me), so I know humanity still has a soul somewhere on the planet. Hope you can meditate the sense of urgency away until your return flight--the world will indeed go on.

The New Englander said...

Good points...was very tempted this morning to rent a car through Enterprise, bound for a Lincoln Sq. drop-off. Ultimately balked, just b/c of the weather risks and the wildcard factor of a two-year old.

As a happy ending to the story (and yes, I realize this is all relative), I was able to work something out through Southwest. I'll escape paradise mid-week, by way of Manchester...

I love the last sentence in your comment, and I think that's what Louis CK is really going for with some of the people he's calling out in his of the ugliest things I witnessed last night and this morning @PBI was the collective sense of self-importance on the part of the people traveling...

...BUT I will concede on their behalf that the tyranny of expectations cuts both ways. If people were acting emotionally last night out of legit. fears about work consequences (and the expectation of reliability that the people depending on THEM might have -- in other words, is someone's boss just hearing 'dog ate my homework'), then I can sympathize...same w/certain other situations -- if a teacher is worried because the school will have a hard time finding a good sub, if a self-employed contractor is going to miss a deadline, if someone is going to miss a surgery, etc. then I'd file it under 'big deal.'

But I will readily concede that the wee bit of schedule juggling I had to do was not actually that difficult...and the whole disruption was a bigger deal to me than to the counterparties. And, of course, the big blue ball continues to spin on its axis.

C R Krieger said...

To add to Kad's point about his brother-in-law's experience in Morocco, in the late 1960s in Germany, I was in the flying business and we had a stretch of bad weather (nothing like what we have experienced here, but very low ceilings and visibility).  We were grounded for two weeks. The weather was good enough to launch. In our case it was the lack of an alternate airport for recovery. Having an alternate with acceptable weather is important. And, in those days we were able to go with worse weather at the alternate by declaring dual alternates. Sometimes you just have to wait out Mother Nature.

Regards  —  Cliff

The New Englander said...

Yes, indeed. And in this case, it was an alternative airport (MCO) and most importantly an alternative airline (Southwest). Viva la Free Market!