We would like to thank United Airlines for, once again, providing us with great material. You knew it was only a matter of time until our chickens would tune in to current airline events. Just wait until Hans reads about the latest United Airlines incident. Stay tuned for more!
On a more serious note, I am hoping this will shed a little more light on what has been happening to airline travel over the years. Many of you know I travel a lot for my job and can’t get around the airlines. Overbooked planes, running out of overhead spaces, broken planes, angry flyers, those are all almost daily occurrences for me. I have to admit I enjoy a certain degree of status with some airlines which helps but what I have noticed the most lately are routinely completely booked or overbooked flights in the last few years. I can’t remember the last time there was an empty middle seat next to me. And if you miss your plane because you can’t make the connection, you’re almost completely out of luck. And that’s not just United but some of the others as well. Maybe now they will all make an effort in order not to be “that airline” …
And it’s not just the airlines. The passengers get more annoying every year as well. Refusing to turn their phones off, making a total mess on the plane, being rude to the crew, the list is long. Human decency has gone out the window. Airline travel sure isn’t what it used to be anymore. But how to fix it?
Just a quick note before the actual blog: I’m at AERO in Friedrichshafen right now! I’ll be there until Saturday. Come see me! (Foyer Ost). Yes, I know I’m repeating myself.
On to today’s subject: Have you ever hear of Amilcare Puviani? He was an Italian economist, is regarded as an early representative of the public-choice-theory, and focused on public finances in his work. His most popular work “Teoria della illusione finanziaria” is basically a guide or manual for the state, how to squeeze out as much money out of a population without them noticing or getting aggravated about it. A key item on his list is to make the whole system as convoluted and intransparent as possible, so that nobody knows how much taxes he or she actually pays and so that the whole system becomes an unseizable, intangible, amorphous money sucking blob that is impossible to fight. (That wording is mine, not his, to be fair).
When I look at my tax forms, I have no doubt that this book is recommended reading for every public officer who reaches a certain level in every treasury department around the world.
And when I think about the accumulated time spent on accounting and tax stuff by millions upon millions of people, it makes me weep for the lost time, joy, productivity and potential of mankind. And the next time you tear your hairs out doing your taxes, remember: It’s not *just* the natural evolution of big institutions at play here. It most probably is all done on purpose.
Anyway, since I’m away from my office right now, I can’t reply to comments, but just preemptively: Yes, I like roads and schools, that’s not the point.
I suck at messaging. Some people text with a speed and and effortlessness that it’s amazing. Especially young people. Personally, in most social settings, it makes me feel uncomfortable to be look at my phone, let alone text something back. I usually have to excuse myself and leave the room, because on one hand I feel disrespectful, and on the other hand I can’t formulate sentences with a discussion going on around me.
I wonder if that makes my a hypersensitive person who sucks at multitasking, or a polite and considerate person who prefers real interactions to impersonal ones.
Anyway, that’s one of the reasons it usually takes me forever to text back. I usually call anyway, because it’s quicker. Especially in a business context. I used to prefer writing emails, and emails do have their use and merits. But in many situations, a 5 minute call can solve more than an email that I spend 30 minutes on, trying to find the right way to get all the nuances right.
Who knew Chuck was trying to get as many girls’ phone numbers as possible? Well, I guess we all did, probably. Looking at that stack I am thinking there will be more material about Chuck dating in the near future. I am actually surprised a little that Sally isn’t mad at him. I’d be a little miffed if I had to sift through all those business cards.
Here is a good question: What if there is a chick out there for Chuck? One that puts up with his crazy ideas and his passion? After all, I was able to find one eventually and if I can do it …
So I have to publicly admit here that I am just like Chuck when it comes to business cards. Every year I went to the HAI Helicopter Convention I ended up with a huge stash of business cards. And every year I had the best intentions to categorize them in a certain order for future reference. Yet every year they ended up in a big pile since I never had Sally to help me out. At least that is what I tell myself. It’s only the lack of a Sally-type help. I can still mostly find what I need in that pile but we are far from categorized or alphabetized. Unfortunately I did the same at Oshkosh and ComiCon. Maybe we even missed out on that once-in-a-lifetime Chicken Wings movie deal because my business cards weren’t organized correctly?
Also, are any of you in here still using a Rolodex? Of course Hans wouldn’t go splurge on a fancy online system just yet. My own business card collection has actually become more of a sentimental thing rather than an actual tool for keeping in touch. Almost everything is online these days …
I wonder if mankind will ever grow out of its tribal nature. I would be willing to bet that it won’t happen in the foreseeable future. And a tribe doesn’t work when everybody’s a leader, so it only makes evolutionary sense that most people have a tendency to follow and, in a way, to behave as a flock. I’m sure it’s the same thing for chickens!
I like how Hans continuously tries to come up with clever ways to keep his employees motivated. I guess if you are cheap, you need to try to be clever. I am not all that sure he is succeeding this time. Of course none of us in the real aviation world have ever dealt with operators that are cheap (*cough cough*) and know that this strip is completely invented.
But let’s do something new here! Post your favorite “motivational” quotes underneath the strip! Let’s see what motivates you!
Not a bad idea, you have to admit. Although pizza tastes good in most conditions, except maybe frozen, I also prefer it to be at least slightly warm.
Thinking about it, somebody should take this idea and create heated mugs. I don’t know how prevalent Christmas markets are in the States. But around here, we have them everywhere. The traditional drink sold at these markets is hot wine punch, based on mostly red wine and spices. I only partake in it occasionally, but it always bothers me that, when you get the mug, the wine is so hot, you can barely drink it andthe mug burns your fingers. Then there’s a brief period when the wine has just the right temperature, not too hot and not too cold. To me, that period usually last for about two small sips. After that, the wine is so cold that it doesn’t taste good anymore. I wonder why there aren’t thermos mugs or something out there. I pay deposit for those cups anyway.
The internet never ceases to come up with new crazes, fads or fashions to entertain and engage us. (Notice how I just wrote about the internet as if it was an entity or creature? But that’s a whole other subject for another time). Planking, Gangnam style dance videos, the Harlem shake, the ice bucket challenge … the list goes on and on. The latest fad is the so called “mannequin challenge”, in which people try to enact a real life freeze frame, and somebody with a camera moves around and films the whole thing. There are a few really, really impressive ones out there. I remember one with a whole gymnast crew and one in a power lifter gym, where people hold perfectly still in positions that few other mortal men even can dream of getting into.
Anyway, I thought about how this mannequin challenge would play out in different scenarios or workplaces. If you work in a clothes store or at Madame Tussauds, you could probably participate in it without even being noticed. But I’m sure there are professions out there, such as lumberjack, zookeeper, firefighter or soldier, where freezing up could have some dire consequences.
That’s more or less how today’s comic strip was born, although the consequences for Chuck, Julio and Sally are seemingly not as dire.
Here’s another dusty old comic strip for you! I guess it explains the reason why everything has to be written down and documented in triplicate when it comes to aircraft maintenance. It also reminds me of elementary school, when we were playing “telephone”. Who says you don’t learn stuff that is useful for real life in school? I see that technique used in practice very often!