Friday, October 26, 2007

Guy's 4-S Rule

On Sunday, I told the story of how I was charged $175 to be allowed off a flight from Chicago to Madison. Yesterday, I witnessed the other end of the farce.

I've just returned my rental car at the Madison airport and prepared to board my United flight to Chicago, and from there start my trip back west. 'Ah-ah' said the counter dude, 'there's no Guy registered on this flight'.

WTF?!? Well after some inquiries, he called his supervisor and she found the root cause: the brainiac who canceled my flight to Madison must have decided that I don't need a flight back, and canceled that one as well.

I tried explaining my predicament. I produced the $175 receipt to prove that I was already fined enough, I tried everything - no joy. I was about to lose my patience (not a good thing to happen in a US airport nowadays). Finally I've uttered a sentence that I'd like carved on my headstone:
'Someone Screwed Something Somewhere', I said, 'Fix it'.

5 minutes later I had a boarding pass to Chicago. 'Of course', said the supervisor, 'I don't have to do this - it's a favor'.

There's nothing I hate more than receiving the service I deserve and having been told it's a favor, or that I didn't deserve it in the first place. It happens all the time (especially with government services, that love treating your money as if it's already theirs). It's about time someone answered one of those people (not me - I needed to get to Chicago :)).

So, anyway, since I dealt with named adages (see "Obey Murphy - It's the Law!" and "Watch Out For the Razor!"), I decided to name this "Guy's 4-S Rule":

The adage: Someone Screwed Something Somewhere.
The person: Traveling Tech Guy.
Background: being screwed up by United Airlines and about to miss his connection to Chicago and a good night sleep at his own bed, a desperate guy utters a desperate cry to the universe to correct the predicament.
General interpretation: I have no idea how I got into this situation. Someone else is to blame. Fix it dammit, or feel my wrath!
Reality: add your own story here (or post a comment).
Recommended reading: Chaos: Making a New Science by James Gleick.

Well, got home at midnight. Will recover over the weekend and will attempt to review some books and a game...

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