The Big Doofus

October 24, 2006

I have a friend, who works for a guy that I will refer to only as "The Big Doofus" for the remainder of this post.

The Big Doofus works for a company with corporate headquarters in California. So I guess he has to fly to corporate for meetings every now and then.

One thing that most Baton Rouge residents know is the availability of flights from our airport. You can take Northwest to Memphis, Continental to Houston, American to Dallas, or Delta to Atlanta. That's it. No other choices.

It just so happens that three of the four --Continental, Delta, and Northwest -- share frequent flyer miles and elite customer programs between each other. So most of the business travelers in town pretty much stick to these three. (It doesn't help American that their service really, really sucks in and out of Baton Rouge, and that they want you to pay $2 for your bag of pretzels.)

One recent morning, the Big Doofus had a flight scheduled through Houston to California. There happened to be a huge storm that day, which passed through Houston canceling the morning flights. By the time of the afternoon flights, the storm had made its way west, and was right over Baton Rouge.

The Big Doofus was pretty mad about having to spend the whole day in the airport. He called the office to chew out his secretary for booking that flight, as if she could have known about the weather. He demanded that all of his future flights be on Delta through Atlanta.

That's right. He wanted to fly to Atlanta so that he could turn around and fly to California from the East Coast.

The dutiful secretary canceled his Houston flight and booked him a flight through Atlanta the next morning. But of course, the storm system continued its eastward track through the night, and had flights being canceled in Atlanta by the next morning. Once again, he sat in the airport to find out about his flights being canceled.

I don't know this for sure, but I suspect that he called his secretary at this point and accused her of witchcraft. My friend who works there was asked to look into getting one of those machines that they used in Salem to drown suspected witches.

After his second day of waiting, he canceled his trip.

Meanwhile, his co-workers had caught an American flight through Dallas and made all of their meetings at headquarters.