I find myself, as I sometimes do, somewhere down around the pond looking longingly at the Canadian geese, and imagining long flights from the shores of Lake Espanolia in Mexico, to the vast prairies of Saskatchewan. Then Mary starts reminding me that I promised to finish the weeding. But that’s unimportant now. What is important is that for the foreseeable future we, like the majestic Candian geese, will not be flying on United Airlines. The geese, because they have no pockets so they have no place to keep money for the fare, and we, human type peoples, because the recent merger between United and Continental is, to put it delicately a debacle of epic proportions.
Stories like this were the reason we are finishing up this spring’s travel season on American Airlines, rather than United, even though our closest major hub at Denver is United territory. Although I have managed to put upwards of fifty-some years on this ball of mud (and where, oh where, did those years go?), I still find it hard at times to believe that any one set of people, like the programmers at United, can dig so deep and find their inner Dunning-Kruger. I knew about this effect for some time, but never knew it had a name. Now I can pull that out at parties when the hostess incompetently neglects to put the proper proportion of peanuts in the Chex Mix. I’m sure I’ll be a lot of fun to be around. Unless of course my own special area of incompetence is ‘party-goer’, and because of the Dunning-Kruger effect I’ll be unable to recognize that I’m incompetent at party-going, and now I’m going to go and make a fort from the couch cushions to hide in the rest of the afternoon.
While I’m in seclusion though – don’t take United Airlines till at least 2015, by which time the fifteen-year-old stepson of the IT department manager should be prevailed upon to come in and correct the computer code for the ticketing system.