Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I have funny friends.

My friend James e-mailed me a copy of a letter he sent United Airlines this afternoon. While I typically only put my own writings on this blog, I felt I needed to share what James wrote with the masses. Not only because it's intensely amusing, but also because the masses need to be educated...

Dear United:

I am writing to express how much I truly have grown to hate your company. I often tell others about my hatred and I realized as I am sitting here trying to get home on an earlier flight after you canceled all the morning flights to my home city, that I have not taken the time to tell YOU why I hate you.

Let me try and summon my muse for a moment...

As a business traveler who often changes his schedules and flights let me tell you how obscenely angry it makes me when I call you to change a flight. The typical "well sir there is a mandatory $100 fee for absolutely nothing, and of course the fare difference." Amazingly the fare difference always exceeds $100, and on top of my wonderful change fee (for nothing) means that is costs me over $200 to change a flight from one day to another. I hope you have a sweet party with all that money I paid you to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! $200?!?! To change me on to another flight where there is an opening, after I have paid you $450 for a ticket?

I am fine with high ticket prices, oil is expensive therefore jet fuel is expensive, this does not bother me. But charging me $200 to move seats when I have already paid for a flight is bullshit, and you know it.

That is your first piss-offable offense.

The second was your move to "economy class". You took your planes, squished together the back seats to make a few more inches of leg room for the front seats, then proceeded to charge more for the front seats. As many of my flights are short, I do not pay for economy class out of spite. You blatant disregard for your customers is truly inspiring.

Your third offense is always managing to put me in the middle row, even when I book my ticket far in advance, check in early etc. Somehow my boarding pass is always missing a seat number and I have magically found myself in the middle seat between the worlds two largest humans. Thank you for that honor and privlege.

Your final offense, and perhaps this is the fault of some partner or subcontractor, is send me a United credit card offer in the mail EVERY SINGLE DAY OF THE WEEK! Perhaps you use the money from your economy class scam to do this, but I open my mailbox each day to find a letter from you. I open it, thinking perhaps it is a check for all the money you stole from me for flight changes, but no, it is a credit card offer. As if I would even want to get more miles so I can fly with you more.

Luckily for you, my travels often take me to cities where your $400 + fare is often the cheapest, and as we know, airlines have fallen to the true bottom of the sales and marketing game and lost all ability to provide real value. It is ONLY about price, not value, not experience, just price. As this is the case I am forced to fly with you from time to time, and it is truly a terrible experience.

I have informed my assistant to avoid booking me on United flights like the plague. I aske her to try Frontier and Delta, American and Southwest, Alaska Airlines and Japan Air, JetBlue and Pete's Flying Taxi. To look at charter flights and freight flights where we may be able to stow aboard with cases of bananas or chickens in order to avoid flying on United. But at the end of the day, sometimes your flights are still the cheapest, so back to the airport I go on my travels with United, my travels which are oh so subject to change, and you company which is oh so unable to be even the slightest bit flexible or sensible.

I hate you United, unfortunately I will probably see you next month.

Just a thought.

Jessica Fletcher is a nosy bitch.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Spaced out.

As the child of divorced parents, I am constantly trying to figure out what areas give couples the most trouble, so that I might avoid the same issues in my own relationships. Obviously money, child-rearing, religion and sex are biggies. But I've conducted super-scientific research* over the past year or so, and believe I've come across something more detrimental to relationships than all those elements combined.


I think MySpace, in general, is a problem. It's cyber-crack. You indulge, KNOWING it's ultimately not going to be good for you. But catching up with old friends and getting to create a mini-advertisement for yourself makes you feel good. Then you want to stop because you recognize the lameness/hazards of the whole thing, but you can't because it's far too addictive.

But when it comes to relationships is where it gets really tricky. First, there's the cyber-stalking of the ex. In my case, this activity has proved quite rewarding, as my ex has started to look like a meth-addict since he's been dating his new girlfriend. Were this not the case, however, and were his girlfriend even remotely attractive, this activity would no doubt have a far different effect on me.

Then there are the complications that arise before you even start dating someone. I sent a guy to the 'Heap after seeing a picture of him on his MySpace page being hugged by two topless chicks. I've also scrapheaped guys for lame movie/tv show/music tastes. Or for having too many hot-chicks-that-are-clearly-not-real-friends as friends.

But the biggest issue when it comes to dating and MySpace seems to be when you're actually IN a relationship. My sister was quite serious with a guy when this random "friend" of his started posting all these risque' messages on his page. My sister immediately got insecure about things - and understandably so. Then another friend of mine was dating a girl that got irritated that she'd changed her status to "In a Relationship" while his still said "Single" - and understandably so. Then there's the "check-out-the-new-person-i'm-seeing" business, where you send the page of your new S.O. to your buddies, only to have it ripped apart by your friends.

"So you'd be okay with having a stepson? I thought you didn't want kids."

"Wait, she's a PROUD PARENT???"

"Um, did you look at her page? How did you miss that? Even if you didn't read her profile, surely you saw the pictures of her holding her kid?"

"I thought that was her nephew."

The only solutions to all of this, of course, is to simply delete your account. But of course, that would require admitting you have a problem. Which, for the record, I don't.*

*This is a lie.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The 'heap.

I'm going out with a guy that my friends and family refer to as Marvin Sparkles. This is nothing close to his real name, nor is he prone wearing sequins. Rather, my sister referred to him as Marvin Sparkles because she'd genuinely thought that was his name.


Anyway, Marvin and I were chatting the other night about The Scrapheap. The Scrapheap is the proverbial pile of guys I've discarded throughout my dating history - and something Marvin used to be quite afraid of. But he announced the other day The Scrapheap is no longer a concern. He knows he's in.

Currently, I'm not going to disagree with this. However, it did get me thinking about some of the things that have sent guys to The Scrapheap in the past, and I decided to make a list. (Marvin, pay attention.)

  1. Tommy Hilfiger apparel, with visible insignia.
  2. Humming along at concerts.
  3. Showing up 20 minutes late without calling citing "an emergency pool party" as an excuse.
  4. Potential for homosexuality.
  5. Driving a pick-up truck.
  6. Living outside a 5 mile radius of my home.
  7. Saying he was unsure whether or not he actually got a college degree.
  8. Weighing less than me.
  9. Calling me "darlin'".
  10. Smacking while he ate.
  11. Having the worst screen name in the history of
  12. Yellow teeth.
  13. Extreme cheapness, including but not limited to: lining his home with glow-in-the-dark stars so he could move around at night without using electricity, trying to heat his home with an open oven and a fan, and taking home the leftovers of others...from another table.

Admittedly these are mostly shallow, petty reasons. And I'm sure there are thirteen more where those came from. But apparently I don't scrapheap for overtly gay nicknames. Curious, but lucky for Marvin Sparkles.