The Cynics Workshop

Where I can try to influence the world, one word at a time.

Month: November, 2012

JetBlue versus American Airlines

I had the distinct displeasure of flying American Airlines last week…I had to go to Chicago and their flight times were most conducive for when I needed to arrive/depart.  It was on the flight home that I was really glad I was on American, only because it re-affirmed my love of JetBlue.  Whenever possible, I try to fly JetBlue…if you’ve never flown it…I highly recommend it. For your convenience, I’ve included a little comparison below:

JetBlue:
Leather seats

American:
Old, dingy, cloth seats

JetBlue:
Personal 5″ television for every seat

American:
Group televisions that are located over-head, and spaced about every 3 rows…on some planes…some have no tv’s.

JetBlue:
Roomy seats…meaning on your sides, and in front (i.e. for someone who is 6’4″)

American:
Cramped seats, with legroom for someone who is 5’5″

JetBlue:
Friendly, courteous flight attendants

American:
Flight attendants who clearly hate their lives

JetBlue:
Free snacks…all you can eat

American:
No free snacks…not even those sweet honey roasted peanuts they used to serve

JetBlue:
Seated next to a fat guy, he doesn’t spill over onto your arm

American:
Seated next to a fat guy, don’t expect to use your arm rest…it is currently occupied by his fat roll

JetBlue:
They bring their free snacks around in a basket and let you pick what you want

American:
They still wheel their drinks around in that old cart which is good for banging into your knees…if you are 6’4″ and have to have your knee out in the aisle because you have NO LEG ROOM!

JetBlue:
No first class, they treat everyone equally well

American:
Still have first class, can see those pricks getting free food and drinks while you suffer with a fat guy spilling over on you and your knee getting banged into by the cart that will give you 5 ounces of water

JetBlue:
Will fly whenever possible

American:
Will fly only when left with no choice

Just a thought…but American may want to re-visit their business model.

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Thought Provoking Question of the Day

Think about the first woman to give birth to twins…how confused do you think she was?

Gas Shortage?

How is there a gas shortage on Long Island?  How are there stations with no gas?  I understand how stations have no power…but how can a gas station have no gas?  There is a station near my house that had power immediately following the storm, but ever since then they have been closed because they have no gas.  This is not a local podunk station, it is a Hess station…so why don’t they have gas?  If I worked for Hess and I knew that one of our stations had power, a light bulb would go off in my head, something would tell me to make sure this station constantly had gas.  If our normal procedure was to send a truck every 4 days, I would make sure to send a truck every 2 days, or every day even just to make sure the station never ran out…but apparently this is not happening…because as of this morning, that Hess station is still closed.  I’m not naive enough to think that Hess doesn’t have the gas, they have giant storage tanks with this stuff, they have the gas, but for some reason they aren’t sending it to Long Island.

I’m clearly frustrated, as everyone is.  I waited 45 minutes this morning (in 32 degree weather) for a LIRR train, and all the trains that stopped were packed, standing room only…no room for us.  So I decided to head back home.  I stopped to fill up, and at first I was excited because I was the 10th car in line.  Well after about 15 minutes the person from the car in front of me decided to go ask what was going on, it turned out that station had no gas…and never felt the urge to tell the people waiting in line they had no gas.  I found another line, but I didn’t feel like waiting 2 hours.  So all that gets me back to my original question, how can these stations have no gas?  How are they well paid oil executives so asleep at the wheel?

Do you know how you combat a gas shortage?  YOU SEND MORE FUCKING GAS!!!  Get it?

Why run the NY City Marathon?

You’d have to be living under a rock to not have an idea of what’s going on up here in the Northeast the past few days.  Before I get into the meat of this post, a quick shout out to say what a fabulous job all the first responders, all the power crews, and everyone else here is handling this crisis.  There is a reason why New York City is the best city in the world, and you are seeing why now.

There is a huge debate going on now due to Bloomberg’s decision to not cancel the NY City Marathon.  I like Bloomberg a lot, I think he has done a lot of great things for this city (like only taking $1/year salary for his job), but this is a huge mistake and it is a good thing he doesn’t have to run again because it is bone-head decisions like this that cost people elections.  I totally agree with the view that sports unites a community, you don’t have to look farther than Piazza’s home run to give the Mets a win in the first baseball game that was played after 9/11, but this is a different situation and I wish terribly that Bloomberg would re-think his decision.

Consider this, the race starts on the Verrazano Bridge on Staten Island, which is quite possibly a third world country right now due to the destruction.  Runners will literally be gathering within shouting distance of people looking for victims of this storm.  The marathon is a huge undertaking and it requires more than a few volunteers to help the runners get to the race, to hand out water and food, and to basically help maintain order.  So in order to make that happen, you are going to have to pull people from the search & clean-up effort to go help with the race.  Instead of handing out meals and water to NY City residents who NEED it, these people are going to have to hand out water to runners from around the Country and World who have come here to run.  Forgive me if I have relatively little sympathy for people who have already purchased their plane tickets, or already booked their hotel rooms for the race…sure they will lose some money, but tell your sob story to people on Staten Island who just lost their house.  Speaking of those hotel rooms, again there are NY City residents who need those rooms, but they can’t stay in the hotels because rooms are booked for this race, it almost sends the message that out of towners are more important the NY City residents…not true.

I know people will say that the race is only 1 day and those volunteers can return to helping New Yorkers after the race, but that is a very important day and for someone who lost their house and all their belongings, that is a huge day.  School is supposed to resume on Monday, what are you supposed to do if your child doesn’t have any clothes?  I don’t think people fully grasp that there were towns on the Jersey & Long Island shores that were completely wiped out, as in there is nothing left.  If you were lucky enough to live in a town where your house wasn’t destroyed, maybe now you have raw sewage seeping up from backed up pipes, or maybe you have mold growing in your basement or 1st floor from the water, maybe you have to worry about looters, and now maybe there is no one to help you because that person who was going to give you a hot meal and a bottle of water is stuck at the 18th mile handing out water a runner from Nebraska who now has something to cross off their bucket list.

From what I have seen, people are still acting relatively civilized…but it would not surprise me at all if there is a revolt on race day, especially on Staten Island where it all starts.  I wouldn’t blame them one bit, because if that was me, I would certainly have more than a little animosity if I saw a bus drive past what was left of my house carrying people who were going for a run.  Especially if that bus could have been carrying relief supplies for victims.

I lived in the city for years, and I have seen this race run literally right by my apartment…it is a great event, it is a fun race to watch, but it should have been re-scheduled.

 

*Update*

Apparently I have the same clout with the Mayor’s office that I had when I lived in the city because I just got word that Mayor Bloomberg made the right call and cancelled the marathon.  If this disaster had happened a month or so ago, I would say let’s give it a go…but the 5 boroughs are still too much of a disaster…glad you made the right call Mike.

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