Delta Airlines: Climb Towards Sucking More, or Sucking Less?

Delta’s tagline is “Keep Climbing.” Is this because when you’re at the bottom, you have nowhere to go but up? What are they climbing towards? Do they want to suck more, or less? I must admit I was hoping for less but now I’m not sure.

I was super late to a combined birthday party that I had been looking forward to for weeks due to Delta’s systemic, organized ineptitude, indifference or incompetence. I don’t know which of the three was more prevalent.

It could be that the gods simply didn’t want me at the party on time, so, maybe it was for the good. At any rate this is my review of Delta’s performance yesterday. I fly enough that I know it “should” be an anomaly, but one can only hope.


On time departure? Fail.

It looks like Delta’s record here is actually pretty good, and I would suggest that it is. Yesterday was an anomaly.

DAL Ontime Performance Ratings

Prompt, professional communication from the flight crew in the event of a service disruption or anomaly? Fail.

I can’t stand it when pilots try to downplay issues with humor or subtly throwing others under the bus. I don’t want a pilot’s opinion, I want to know when the problem is going to be fixed.

The other pet peeve I have is the chatty flight crew. Don’t tell me I’m flying over (x) or exactly what you’re serving onboard. We all know coke is free, stale pretzels and peanuts are available and booze requires a credit card. Just start the service and let us fly in peace.


Prompt, reliable assistance to the flight crew from the ground crew? Fail.

Delta’s ground crews are horrible. It sucks when a good flight that is otherwise uneventful ends with a 20-30 minute wait for a jetway or gate. This happens all the time. I think they need new jobs…at the snack bar.

Take off successfully from departure airport? Pass.

Professional, courteous service from the flight crew? Fail.

I know this is going to happen. Its only a matter of time. Instead of saying I’ve had enough and blowing the escape slide (greatest thing ever) an attendant is going to go ballistic on a passenger. Why not? If we go ballistic on an attendant we’re tasered by an air marshal and I don’t have any problem with that. They go ballistic on us I’m pretty sure how that one will end up.

Provide in flight equipment e.g. seats that are in good working order and in-flight services e.g. internet that were listed as available at the time of booking? Fail.

The crooked seat back that made typing on a laptop impossible was an insult. No internet for 5.5 hours after sitting for an hour and a half after door closure….was…..horribly…..frustrating.

In flight entertainment: Duct tape free in first and business class.

The photo was robbed from another site and its from a United flight…At least they could use their laptops.

Provide medical assistance or similar to passengers in need, as possible for the duration of the flight? Fail.

The flight attendant was complaining to another about a passenger in the back that had a panic attack and needed oxygen. The comment was give the passenger two shots of bourbon and tell them to be quiet.

I have zero problem with that policy! I suspect my anxiety will now begin to increase 2-3 times per flight, roughly coinciding with my level of thirst moving forward.


Land successfully at arrival airport? Pass.

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On time arrival? Fail.

I made it to the party…it was a great time. New Orleans style Hand Grenades and good company have a way of curing most ills.

In the event of a service disruption or similar promptly respond to all customer service questions or complaints? Fail.

Im used to surly attendants (their job sucks) delays and inconvenience (airports are busy) or things not working as they should. Oh well. I can’t stand being ignored in the face of clear mistakes, however. @DeltaAssist simply deleting my tweet and ignoring me? That’s a class act. Thanks Delta!

Delta Airlines: Customer Service Mission Statement


Spring.

When I go to New York City there have been days where it’s 60 degrees, the sun is out and its tough not to think Spring is around the corner.

I was in Las Vegas last week and it was 60 degrees, the sun was out, and its tough not to think Spring is around the corner.

What do we get here in Seattle? None of the above. I’m not suggesting that I honestly expected anything different, because I didn’t. But it would definitely be nice to have a pleasant surprise every once in awhile.

Spring is a great time of year because its right in the middle of everything that I enjoy. Summer and the warmth isn’t close enough to grasp, and the bitter cold of winter (not here – but Toronto, NYC and Baltimore, for example get friggin cold) is a memory that won’t come back until the next time around.

I dig Spring. If only we could experience it here in Seattle.


Hope.

…”There are things in this world not carved out of gray stone. That there’s a small place inside of us they can never lock away, and that place is called hope.”

Red was right. Hope can drive a man insane. It also sets them free.


Imperfect. Perfectly.

I can’t remember where or when I read the line below for the first time. It was at least 12 years ago, possibly more. The where or when aren’t as important as the line itself I suppose. The only thing I remembered from the entire poem was:

“Love is about learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.”

At no point before it, and at no point since has one line had such a lasting impact on me. The exceptions to this statement might be “Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?” or “Stop looking at me swan” but I digress.

I never chose to try and analyze the statement in order to gain a deeper meaning. I never looked at whether or not there was any true validity to it. I’m not going to try that now either. Where am I going with this then? In the limo from the airport in Cancun to Playa del Carmen I opened up the company iPad I was issued and clicked on the notes app.

The full text of the poem where this line, a line that had become almost mantra like to me appears on screen. I literally said holy shit, no f’king way out loud. I hadn’t seen or heard the poem since the first time I read it.

It meant as much to me now as it did then, but in a different way. I shut down the iPad and just sat for the rest of the ride in to Playa. I kept thinking about it after I checked in to my hotel, changed and walked out the door to the beach. (A beach with soft white sand and almost a full moon is really good for thinking, if you’re looking for inspiration)

What I finally I realized its not enough to see an imperfect person perfectly. Someone else has to see you as an imperfect person perfectly as well. I always understood that, but never believed in it as crazy as it sounds.

I have always thought I had to be perfect. When you are your own worst critic that’s a recipe for disaster on many different levels. On that beach in Mexico I finally realized that I’m not perfect, and never will be. I also realized that its tough for someone to learn to see you perfectly if you’re always reminding them why you’re not before they ask or notice.

The second time around the line meant a lot more to me – because now I actually understand it. Its not enough to see others perfectly if you don’t see yourself that way as well.


Writer’s Block.

I haven’t posted in almost a month. I’ve tried to post a few times, each of them have ended up in the scrap heap of ideas, both good and bad otherwise known as the trash.To suggest that I had “writer’s block” is inaccurate because this is most certainly not writing. To be honest I’m not entirely sure what this is, exactly. So I’m just going to type and let the rest figure itself out.

I was going to write about the new seasons of Californication and Big Love. Both have been extremely good, for very different reasons. I would also suggest that both have departed from what made them what they were historically this season as well, but I think these departures (specifics to follow in separate posts) are actually good. Then I realized I haven’t finished my Boardwalk Empire series, so I should probably do that first.

I was going to write about Mexico, but, there isn’t much to say really. It was warm, it was pretty and the Mexican people proved once again they are phenomenal hosts at every level. While I was there I got invited to do the same sales training I gave in Mexico to their team in France next month.

Most would jump at that opportunity. I told them I only eat Freedom Fries. Spring Training is in March, but thanks for the opportunity. So no Mexico post this time around, and no post about France either. Spring training on the other hand? I feel a pilgrimage in the works.

I was going to write about New York, and how going there so much, especially as the seasons change has changed my perspective on almost everything. Then I realized I’d be there again in 2 weeks, so I might as well see if my perspective continues to change before documenting my opinion to the endless cache that is the internet.

I was going to write about the gamut of emotions that are inevitable when you unexpectedly encounter the unexpected. Its not as if I have been communing with the dead, although if I was I would definitely ask Phil Hartman to leave his wife earlier so we could have had many more years of Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer.

One unexpected encounter is an anomaly, and anyone can deal with that. A second anomaly from a different direction is a reason for pause, as far as I’m concerned. At that point there is kind of a pattern, and I have to ask:

Why?

Lastly I was going to write about something I’ve always believed in, its almost been my mantra over the last 10 years. That mantra is tied indirectly in so many different ways to the why question above, only I never realized it.

Now I do. That’s another post too. I think I’m finally over my writer’s block.


A Win Every Day.

I believe very strongly in the idea that I need a win every day. If I don’t get a win per day I begin to get restless or question my efforts. I know it sounds weird, but, that’s just me. I’m not normal. I’m me.

Wins don’t need to be significant. It could be rocking a sales demo. Closing a deal. A great night out. Doing something nice for someone else. A win is a success – and I’ve got to have them. Call me type A, or crazy, or whatever. I’m not terribly worried about it. I just need wins.

I’ve been consistently nailing my win per day quota over the last few months but I’ve felt like something was missing. Even a significant win like landing a big deal or hitting a new personal best at the gym didn’t really seem to “inspire” me like they used to. It was if I was going through life like Eeyore.

This isn’t to suggest that I was depressed. I won’t suggest that I wasn’t, but I also refuse to admit I was. I’ve always based life on my win/loss ratio, primarily because my wins, as mentioned above don’t have to be big.

This week has been fantastic. Amazing. There are wins, and then there are wins that you remember. A week full of these makes for a really good week. I found out I get to go to Cancun. On an expense account. Leaving rainy Seattle in February for tropical Mexico and scuba diving in crystal blue water? And I don’t have to pay? Win. Huge win.

Our new west coast director of sales is completely kicking ass, and its been great helping him. There has been more activity in LA in the last month than there was over the last 4 years. Its great. Completely stoked, and it makes it easy to get wins. And a tan.

I found out that my friends are going to throw me a birthday party. That means a lot to me. That they would take the time to organize something and people would take the time to come is really nice, and it couldn’t come at a better time. I’ve always said “chicks dig the Dan” but realizing “people dig the Dan” is a much better idea. Its also a win. A big win.

I got a text from someone that read my entire blog. All of it. They suggested I should become a writer. I don’t think I’m writer material for a myriad of reasons, but I definitely appreciate the compliment. What I appreciate more is the fact that she actually took the time to read my blog. All of it. The feedback loop was critical though, and that was a win for me. If you’re reading this you know who you are – thanks chica! Muchas gracias!

Finally I was told by my doctor and nutritionist that I’m one of the healthiest 35 (soon to be 36, who cares, another post will come about that) year olds they have on their rosters. There is nothing wrong with me. Could I improve? Yes. But, I’m healthy. I’m not an edge case, in fact there are no red flags or warning signs. When I look at the years of abuse I’ve put myself through from a dietary and partying perspective it was probably the shock of my lifetime. And I could have chosen to take it that way.

I’m choosing to view it as a second chance. I believe its one of the biggest wins ever. It means I get to make different choices, and chart a new path. I’m glad I already did.


Why Not the Seahawks?

I don’t even know where to begin. Yesterday’s Seahawk game wasn’t supposed to happen. Things like that don’t happen in Seattle, to Seattle fans. We watched the Yankees destroy the closest we’ve ever come to the World Series. We watched the referees rob of us of the closest we’ve ever come to a Super Bowl title. We watched Clay Bennett steal our championship basketball team and away them to a deserted wasteland.

For a trip down memory lane relive the “Bennett Sucks” chant during the last Sonics game:

At least we still have the Storm and the Sounders. But I digress.

The Seahawks were horribly frustrating to watch this year. For every win like Chicago there were the huge losses. Losses where we were totally dominated. We can’t run the ball. Our offensive line is a piecemeal hodge podge of backups on any other team. Hasselbeck is in decline because he’s forcing it and making bad decisions. Our defense is suspect.

The Giants game was the crossroads for the entire season. Down by 5 touchdowns at halftime they had a choice. Cave in and throw in the towel, and the season or try to make something from nothing. Then came the loss to Atlanta. I think everyone, including me thought they were done.

But they rallied and made it to the playoffs. They set a new mark in NFL history in the process, officially becoming the first team with a losing record to win a division title.

We had to play the defending champion New Orleans Saints. Who Dat dey say is gonna beat dem Saints? Not the Seahawks. That’s what I, and everyone else in the country I think thought until I woke up on Saturday morning. For some reason I felt a positive vibe. Because why not. I tweeted the following before the game:

When the game started and we were down by 10 I poured myself a cocktail and said its going to be a long day. There’s always next year. Then they scored a touchdown. And the momentum completely changed. The offense was clicking. The defense was bending, and broke, but the offense picked them up. They played with an attitude, a swagger. The fans were amazing:

Seahawks 12th Man Creates Measurable Seismic Tremor? – KCPQ.

I began to think: Why not Seattle today? We can do this! At the end of the first half I was a believer.

The opening drive of the second half was methodical and precise. I was excited, but not yet ready to concede it might be our day. Towards the end of the game when Marshawn Lynch FINALLY went into beast mode I knew the game was ours and I couldn’t believe it.

Why not the Seahawks? When the Red Sox made their improbable run in 2004 the idea was “Why Not Us?” They were right. History had tormented the Sox for so long that the simple idea of why not us was perfect for the moment.

The Seahawks were not a good football team this season. But the last two games have shown that these are not the same Seahawks we’ve watched all season. If they keep playing like this they are going to be tough to beat, and it should be fun to watch. I hope.

If they lose next week – fine. Yesterday was a win for the ages regardless. Pete Carroll has given us reason to hope, by salvaging something from nothing. If this year isn’t our year – next year might be. Because why not the Seahawks?


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