Message From The Flight Deck

July 27, 2007, 1:36 PM UTC
Fortune


images.jpg
I want to put you all on notice. In a month or so, we’re going to mount a significant effort to elevate a certain issue to the level we’ve previously reserved for ongoing, sustained discussions like the one we continue to hold on Crazy Bosses and Bulls**t Jobs. Click on both links if you want to see what I mean. I don’t know if you’re aware of it, but hundreds of people continue to log their horror stories, insights, jokes and other effluvia on both subjects, and the lore keeps on growing.

The subject I believe should be next on our roster is air travel, and by air travel I mean the following:

  • Getting to the airport, which has been under construction since Kennedy was in the White House;
  • Arriving at the airport and finding that the line to security will take over an hour to negotiate, even though it’s 5:30 in the morning;
  • Incidents at Security;
  • Bizarre stuff at the airport itself, including those guys they allow to panhandle near the ticket gate while masquerading as social service organizations;
  • Rude, odd, or exceptionally nice behavior by airport and airline staff;
  • Tales of waiting egregious amounts of time in the airport;
  • Premium clubs that really aren’t;
  • Horrendous behavior by airlines in screwing around with people so they don’t get off the ground for some reason;
  • Obnoxious incidents on the tarmac, like when they make you wait to take off because a very old plane has a light that won’t either go off or go on;
  • Incidents in the air that confound you;
  • Diversions to strange places where the airline dumps you for a day or two;
  • Luggage mysteriously lost in the ether between time and space;
  • Chatty pilots who wake you on the red eye, and other such stuff;
  • Airline meals/purchased food;
  • Horrible fellow-passengers;
  • Pets on board;
  • Other

In short, ladies and gentlemen, I believe this topic is one that now occupies fully 35% of all business conversation in pre-meeting Board Rooms, bars and other venues where we go to complain, bemoan and just natter about what makes us miserable in this merry life of ours.

You can tell me good stories, too. Tales of human grandeur, generosity and nobility. Those are never out of place, if you can come up with them.

I think it’s quite possible that a new oral tradition may be forming on this topic. I’d like to make this a place where people like us can come to get it started, keep it going and maybe, just maybe, effect a change in this perpetually declining aspect of our working lives.

So come on. Tell me.