Abandon Text!

W. H. Auden once said: "Poems are not finished; they are abandoned." I have been abandoning writing projects for many years, since only the pressure of deadline and high expectations ever got me to finish, or even start, anything of merit. This blog is an attempt to create a more consistent, self-directed writing habit. Hopefully a direction and voice will emerge.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Thank you for not flying United

I've had a new project that's supposed to start fairly soon, in a city near Pittsburgh. We had a lot of last-minute contract negotiations that had dragged on for several days, so I've been trying to handle the travel plans without really knowing whether I would be going. Finally, I got the go-ahed from my boss, and I booked a flight to go up to Pittsburgh this evening via Washington-Dulles.

I had the flight booked at 5:45 pm.
I had the itinerary printed and in my hands at 6:00 pm.
I was standing in the terminal at 6:45 pm.
At 6:50 pm I was informed by people in line that the flight to Washington was delayed three hours and everybody was getting new connections booked.
So, my flight was already at least two hours late before I even bought the ticket.

Now, as a software consultant I am sympathetic to the challenges of complex systems, and I'm especially aware of the gargantuan complexity of airline bookings. But . . . how could they sell me a ticket for a flight that was already so late no one would probably want to fly on it?


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