“Walmart” of the sky

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It’s been a month since the last vacation. In the scheme of things that isn’t a whole lot of time, but I gotta say that taking a vacation once a month is kind of feeling nice. I wish it could happen again next month.

Anyway, I have flown two different airlines in roughly the last five weeks and it is interesting to see how they have handled (or are handling) the pandemic a year from it’s start. Yesterday’s trip was less fabulous than the first trip. Now, I have flown other airlines, but there are two that I fly that I have liked in the past and those are the two I tend to check first when looking for flights, Alaska and Southwest.

About a month ago, I was on Alaska. The plane are newer, and feel more spacious, even if they may not actually be. The crews were friendly but not overly friendly. The planes felt clean, given the current situation, and the flights were directly to the destination (going and returning). The service inside the cabin was good. Alaska served nearly their full complimentary menu, so a light snack and beverage of choice was available.

Yesterday, I flew on Southwest Airlines. Southwest took a direct flight to Phoenix and routed it through Denver. This notification came just four days after purchasing the tickets. So, a roughly three hour flight turned into an all day affair. I wasn’t real pleased about it, but what can you do once you have already purchased the tickets? The first leg of yesterday’s trip wasn’t too crowded. But the crew wasn’t very friendly and the plane didn’t feel all that clean. It probably was, but it likely also has something to do with the fact that Southwest’s fleet is aging. Also a surprise, the in-flight service. The voice over the intercom announced they would be service iced water and a snack.

That’s it. Essentially, you are getting “bread and water” for flying with us. They, of course, told us this was because of the “current situation in the world.”

The water was a plastic cup with ice and water in it. It wasn’t even bottled water! Wow! So, apparently it is safer to serve an open cup of water in the era of airborne viruses. Go figure!

I asked a buddy who works for Southwest about it, as I was a little taken aback for the lack of services considering the experience just a month prior on a different airline. His response, “Anything to save a buck. We’re basically the Walmart of the sky, so you can’t expect much.”

I guess that is probably about right. It was a cheap flight. The second flight was much more crowded, the “empty middle seat” for social distancing was not a thing on this flight, and the plane didn’t feel any cleaner than the first one.

All in all, it was just a flight to a destination but I have come to expect a little more than what we got yesterday, even for a discount airline.

Am I spoiled or have they set us up to expect more? I am not sure.

Host

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What do you do? How do you handle the situation?

So, one of the adult children wants to have their children’s (our grandchildren) birthday party at our house. They asked if that could happen at the end of the month.

Sounds simple, right? Sure, go ahead! We love you. We love them. No problem!

But there is history. There is always history.

They have done this once before. Asked if they could use the house and yard for a birthday party and we said that was fine. Very little communication with them between the ask and the event.

Day of the event comes and we find out it is a four hour “open house” where people can just drop in and hang out. 40 people show up (not including family and many of whom we don’t know) at various times during this open house. The kids, on a very limited budget, didn’t plan or budget for said party. They didn’t have enough supplies for said party. They didn’t have enough food for said party. They had no alternative plans for said party if the weather was crappy that day. They didn’t stick around long after the open house was over to clean up.

Guess who picked up all the slack, both in time and expense? I guess you don’t need to guess since you know it was us.

So, what do you do this time when they ask? Just let them do it, no questions asked? Or, do you put limitations on it? Do you set expectations, or do you just go with the flow?

Loaded questions, because you know how I would handle it (at least you should by now). But, the other person in the house doesn’t think it should be handled that way.

What is reasonable, logical, and practical?

Ingratitude

horse laughing laughing horse

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Rampant.

What do you do when you feel as though your kindness and generosity are being taken advantage of? What do you do when there is a lack of gratitude from someone who should be extremely appreciative of the way you have bent over backwards for them?

I think most of us don’t do things for others because we want to be celebrated. I don’t think we do things for others because we are looking for publicity or because we want accolades. We do things for others because we see a need and want to meet it. For some of us, it’s in our nature. For others, well, we have to work at it on a regular basis.

But, how do you handle a situation where you stepped out of what your “normal” everyday life is like, to rearrange and disrupt your life for a while, to help someone out only to have them act in a way that shows little to no gratitude or actually appears they are taking advantage of the situation?

Yeah, strangers likely wouldn’t act this way.

Family? Family, on the other hand, usually does.

I found out last night that appearances aren’t what they seem and there has been some talking going on behind that back of some family members about other family members. Mind you, the secretive discussions are from those who are getting help (and desperately needed it at the time) about those who are giving the help (who saw the need and stepped in to help despite major misgivings).

Seems a bit shocking, doesn’t it? It actually doesn’t really surprise me. I mean it does, and it doesn’t. That has been the trend all along. Family bends over backwards to help other family members, only to find out that it cause issues inside the family and causes the ones helping to regret they helped.

Lessons learned? You would think so, but no. That’s the problem with having a generous, helping heart.

Ingratitude. Expectation. Greed. Under-appreciation. Irresponsibility.

It’s cliche, but that phrase “Looking a gift horse in the mouth” actually does mean something.

 

Expectations

reflection photo of man standing on dirt road

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I’ll admit, I have a problem.

The problem? I have too many expectations. I don’t think I am an unreasonable person, but I do think that having expectations in the current days is slowly becoming an exercise in futility.

I expect that people mean what they say, and say what they mean.

I expect that people will be responsible for themselves.

I expect that people will own their actions, or inaction.

I expect that people will follow through. That they will honor their word.

I expect that family members will be productive citizens when they come of age.

I expect that my rights as a citizen of the United States are paramount to those of a non-citizen (obviously within limit as I am not a lawless individual).

I expect that the media should be fair and balanced.

I expect that my tax dollars are used for legitimate needs.

I expect that good customer service can’t be compromised.

I expect that respecting our elders and law enforcement is a given.

I could go on. But I won’t.

It doesn’t seem that there is a point to having expectations any longer. Yes, we all have our own expectations but there used to be those that everyone agreed upon and that just simply isn’t the case any longer.

What do you think? Is it unreasonable to have expectations these days?

 

Not the fairest in the land

battle black blur board game

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There was a clear loser yesterday in the fast food wars. The food from a fast food restaurant was anything but royal.

Headed out of town yesterday and so busy getting ready that I forgot to grab something to eat while at the house. It was an hour drive to the destination, so I wasn’t going to make it without a little food. I remembered there was a Dairy Queen along the route that was easy to get in out of, so it seemed like a decent place to hit the drive thru.

From time of order to food through the window, it was 18 minutes. Not fast food by any means. I happened to notice the time I placed the order because I was on a little bit of a time crunch by then. The line ahead of me in the drive thru was moving very slowly, so I started tracking how long it was taking.

Once back on the road, the food came out of the bag. It wasn’t pretty. Not at all.

Now, I realize it is fast food and the expectations aren’t for gourmet food. However, there is some expectation that the food is decently hot and, after that long of a delay, that the food is relatively fresh. Expectations shattered.

The fries were limp. Crispiness wasn’t even close to the vocabulary. Soggy is more like it. Slightly warm, maybe just above room temp.

The burger was warmer than the fries, but the bun had the consistency of being in the warmer and wrapper for 20 minutes. It had been microwaved to be warmed back up, while still in the wrapper. That much was obvious.

Crappy food after an 18 minute wait. Interesting. Disappointing. Since I was already down the road and running behind, I certainly wasn’t going to turn around and ask for new food.

Mental note made: Don’t stop at the Dairy Queen. Ever.

Thanks, I think

PM100

Actually, thanks for nothing.

I could have done better. You definitely could have done better.

But thanks for sticking around and taking a look. I hope you can at least relate to the Pissing and Moaning going on around here. It doesn’t take much work to find things to complain about and I am really good at it. But, just in case you have something on your mind, you can always leave a comment or three. Or you could share it with someone you think might enjoy it too. Either way, thanks.

Now, go do something not worth your while. You deserve that much at least.