09 August 2009

Some updates

I haven't even blogged lately!

Between a crazy work situation, and my addiction to Facebook and The Sims 3, I have pretty much given up on blogging for the past several weeks. Also, I will certainly NOT be joining the UCLA Extension residency taught by my mentor Gayle Brandeis - I just don't have any worthwhile material.

But it's been interesting. A few days ago, I was in San Francisco again for an overnight business trip - and while I did not socialize with anyone (in fact, I found my San Francisco-based girlfriend to be so obnoxious and potentially dangerous, that I cut off all contacts with her), I did find a karaoke bar where Sarah and Kirsten might hang out.

On The Sims 3, I have more personality tweaking options which can be quite elucidating. I decided to start another household with three adult women - me, a Calista Flockhart lookalike as my wife, and Sarah. My wife has gone on to have an affair and bear an unemployed male neighbor's love child, while I have since divorced her and married Sarah. Sarah is a total slob, and always licks her dishes clean - something I had her do on a flight assignment.

And speaking of Sarah's job, I am in touch with a retired 16-year veteran United flight attendant - and he's been participating in the airline business simulation as my alliance partner. He's giving me some insider info on United Airlines, and it is NOT pretty. Sarah may not have a job much longer, based on what I gather; United is being transformed into a Pan Am-like operation with weakening domestic network, which is a doomed strategy given United's aging fleet. The Express subcontractors are now responsible for most of United's domestic network; I did notice that even trunk lines like Los Angeles - Seattle are now Express. The mainline services - be it the renovated 767s, the p.s. 757s to New York, or the 2-class 777s - are completely pathetic. He's run into some extremely loyal customers (at United's top-tier elite level, at that) who are now so fed up that they've defected to competitors, including Delta, which has been very well-run lately, and will even get stronger once it integrates Northwest into its system. (This low-level elite customer does share the frustrations.) He thinks there won't be a United anymore in 5-10 years; either it will have failed, or merged into a stronger competitor like Continental. It would indeed be a huge shame for Sarah's career to end, and for me to see the failure of an airline that was the key component of my most treasured travel memories.

1 comment:

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