Monday, June 30, 2008

I'll give you something to cry about.....

I have been listening to all the news stories about the airlines charging $15 to check a bag.
I started traveling with one carry-on bag after my luggage was lost for 11 days during a trip to Italy. My wife's bag was lost (delayed in airline language) for the same time period. I learned something. You need far less things than you might imagine, even in a foreign country where you don't speak the language.
BEG and I made a pact to never check an airline bag again. It has nothing to do with fifteen dollars. We learned exactly what is really needed and how to pack it in a carry-on size suitcase. We spent 2 weeks in France this past March with one carry-on bag each. No problem, no kidding. It can be accomplished sooo easily.
Cut to the television interviews. One woman at O'Hare in Chicago is whining like a baby about the high cost of flying for a family with six children. Six children? Lady, this is the smallest of your problems. Having cashed 2 kiddos through college, trust me on this one, airlines are the smallest of your problems. And not to sound all Chinese and everything; but 6 kids! Good planning.
Another lady traveler is bemoaning the fact that she is being charged to carry the child seat she is taking to her daughter in Omaha. Huh? They don't have child seats at WalMart in Omaha? Think people! Another man says he might have to shift from his normal first class to sit in coach if fuel prices keep rising. Oh Good God! No, tell me it isn't true!
Another man says this is killing his trips to Las Vegas to gamble once a month. Oh no!
Cut to the TV anchor with a furrowed brow, asking the field reporter if there is ANY relief in sight? The field reporter sadly replies "not anytime soon." My lingering thought is this is a lot of silly crybaby excrement we're hearing. I'm sure the powers in Dubai are laughing their asses off at the ridiculous and whiny Americans.

My dad used to say when I would tear-up as a child, "Stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about." Harsh? Sure. But I know at this point in my life what he meant. I recently earned a bad ankle sprain and haven't been able to train on the track, which has made me agitated (according to BEG, and God knows she is the one that would know). I tested the ankle on the track this morning and still no go for me after 2 weeks of shut down. I grumped my way up to 7-11 to buy some coffee. A patron at the counter bid me a cheerful good morning. He was sitting in a wheelchair and had no legs. True story; not kidding you. Happened this morning.

"I'll give you something to cry about"
Now I Get It....maybe


Enemy of the Republic said...

Point well taken. I've never lost luggage, but I know people who have. I still will check one bag and pay for it, unless it is a brief business trip, because I hate lugging around stuff, and now everyone will be stuffing the overhead bins with their carry-ons! Flying isn't pleasant and people who want a joyride should take a cruise--oh, that isn't even fun anymore. You are right; we don't need all that stuff; I often pack little in case I want to bring stuff home--academic conferences sell good books and I have to get tee shirts for my family!

I don't blame the airlines for doing this--it is far more economical for travelers than raising flight fares.

I'm so glad to see you, friend.

kathi said...

Way to drive it home.

kathi said...

Oh, and my mom use to say the same thing to me, and I stopped crying every single time (or made great effort to stop) because I knew exactly what she would give me if I didn't and she was always true to her word.

Jenn said...

I love this post. LOVE it.

I hate when the media does those stories. Like we're too retarded to figure out how to deal...well, I guess some of us are. I would have thrown my carry-on bag at the t.v.

Or maybe just my plastic baggie full of liquids.

Seven said...

Its always nice to see you here. using one carry-on only sounds difficult. Once you learn how its really easy.

Kid Bratcher,
I love when women say that to me.
And good for follow through moms.

Aren't 1/2 of the cable news stories insulting? And I'm still watching!

Anonymous said...

7, oh man. I'm sorry to hear about the sprain. I'll bet it was a collision or trying to avoid one with those hurdles. Or did you step on a shot put? How's this going to affect your Nationals, or will there be one for you this year? God speed your recovery.

Seven said...

Hey Rob,
It was an awkward landing on the back side of a hurdle. I'm in the 3rd week and there is still swelling and the track is a no-go. I'm beginning to fear a hairline fracture may be involved. Obviously the 400IH is out at Spokane, I can't afford another rough landing for a while. I'm just monitoring it and will see if I can do the 1 and 2 sprints at Nationals. I'm staying strong in the weight room meanwhile. You didn't tell me it was so cotton-pickin dangerous!
Thanks for the good wishes. Are u going to Spokane?

Anonymous said...

7, I'm going Down Under from mid-July to early Aug and will be competing against my homeland in the Oceania Champs. I won't have enough time to stop-over in Spokane. I sure hate to miss you all and 4x100. Best of luck. I need your secret to one carry-on bag traveling. Later, Rob

Lynilu said...

OK, but ....

If we all learn to be as abbreviated in packing as you, I agree it is a good thing. However, when the airlines then begin losing the extra $15 the are charging for bags, what will they do to make up the revenue? That's why they did it .... added $$, NOT so we would learn to pack better. I can't help but wonder how they will creatively make more money. You know they will.

Seven said...

I keep all my luggage where I can touch it because the airlines have proven these two things to me:
1. They can't keep up with it and transfer it where it is supposed to go.
2. They don't care one bit that they can't do the above.

Fifteen bucks isn't the issue for me; though I will not be paying it for the reasons listed above.

Actually, some players like Southwest are a small part of the speculators driving the oil market. Many of the airlines already hold oil futures that bring them fuel at yesterdays price. What that means to me is to shop carefully for air fare and let the market sort out the winners. Per Rob's suggestion I could give a seminar on one bag survival, but when I mention one bag survival to some of my friends I see immediate panic/anxiety in their eyes. Some folks will always insist on carrying half the house and all the bathroom with them. And maybe a childseat too, just to be safe.

~grey said...

things happen for a reason... :)

as for the whiny bunch... they will probably never get it!

Robert Shapiro said...

I wonder how many sons that have had hard times and challenges with parents say, "I'll never be like that when I grow up."

I wonder how many daughters when they have been mistreated and told to be this or that say, "I just want to get out."

I wonder how many fathers have tried to cope with something they were never trained to be.

I wonder how many mothers have ever been able to manage with demands coming from all sides.

How we all get along with each other and ourselves is something that is an ongoing process and not always working out as well as we would like.

We don't know what other people have experienced. We don't know why they are the way they are but we do know we don't want to be on the receiving end of the punishments like they received or maybe that they hand out. Life is very difficult in this school of Earth.

I have faith that when we graduate this school that we have the opportunity to work these things out and understand them in benevolent ways. Nevertheless the challenges persist for us all.

I wish you well my friend on your journey. Goodlife.

Seven said...

You're caring reminders always come at useful time. Thank you.

Deb said...

Excellent point! Sometimes we're tangled up in our own drama and messy world that we don't see the bigger picture and realize that things can be ten times worse.

In fact, I have to thank you for reminding me that things can be worse. I fall under the category of "the big whiner" when things don't go my way.

I can't believe that happened to you this morning. I bet it changed your views pretty quickly, huh?