A sweet sojourn from the busyness of life.

This blog is a journal of forays into my loves of creative writing,
humor, and photography. It is a departure from daily stresses.
Some of life's greatest journeys are detours.

The real act of discovery is not in travelling to distant lands
but rather in seeing with new eyes. - Marcel Proust

Monday, March 15, 2010

Oh Spring, A tale of longing.

(photo taken in Spring in South Korea)
No one loves spring more than Michigan people, dwellers of the frozen north. We have had some beautiful Spring-like weather these past few weeks so of course it turns one's fancy to thoughts of Spring. We always hope this is it for Winter, that final day when we trade the snowblower for the lawnmower, but we know lurking around the
next bend is the dreaded BIG DUMP, we know it is true, but for now it is wonderful to be experiencing the first signs of Spring or I will call it "Alleged Spring" something of a poser. We are looking forward to the real thing!

To this end I have penned a verse about my beloved Spring, I admit it is a little over the top, but I am a girl in love!

Oh Spring

Such joy you bring this day
Your rich beautiful tale
Unfolding while I wait.
Each day you reveal your secrets
The beauty that lies hidden
Beneath the folds of this winter cloak.

No one loves you more than I
Hovering in the cold
Waiting in the darkness
Forr the first breath of your sweet goodness.

The shades of sleeping brown
Await your glorious touch
Your green brushstrokes
Bring the world to life again.

Those blooms that hover just beyond my sight-
I grow impatient for the sweet sachet that they
bring to my world.

Oh Spring
I wait for the day when you and I will walk
hand in hand
Basking in the warmth of your caressing rays,
Your stay is fleeting, this I know.
But Spring, you are such good company.
Come back to me
I surrender to your charms
Oh Spring.

May Spring hurry to your neck of the woods...Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

United we Stand...

….in line…in pain…dreams dashed! With a new resolve never to be put in this position again.! Yeah!
Musician Dave Carroll recently had difficulty with United Airlines. United apparently damaged his treasured Taylor guitar ($3500) during a flight. Dave spent over 9 months trying to get United to pay for damages caused by baggage handlers to his custom Taylor guitar. During his final exchange with the United Customer Relations Manager, he stated that he was left with no choice other than to create a music video for youtube exposing their lack of cooperation. The Manager responded : "Good luck with that one, pal".

So he posted a retaliatory video on youtube. The video has since received over 5.5 million hits. United Airlines contacted the musician and attempted settlement in exchange for pulling the video. Naturally his response was: "Good luck with that one, pal". Taylor Guitars sent the musician 2 new custom guitars in appreciation for the product recognition from the video that has lead to a sharp increase in orders.

This video while amusing reminded of my own terrible experience with United. The only recompence is that it is a singular experience since It will never happen again.
I am passing along my tale of woe, but just in case there is some unsuspecting soul out there that doesn’t have a clue, consider yourself forewarned. I guess if there was truth in advertising for United, the slogan would be “for those times when it really doesn’t matter when you or your luggage gets there”or “for the free spirits..when time doesn’t matter!
My Experience

I was so excited. Our three adult children were coming to visit us in Seoul Korea. The trip of a lifetime and we were excited.. They were coming from three different cities and I went to a lot of trouble for two of them to fly into LA and sit next to each other on the plane. I was excitedly relating these plans to my friends.
What airline are they flying in on? they asked.
“United” I replied.
Stony silence. They looked at each other and said “Oh that is too bad”.
“Why” I asked.
“Well they won’t come in together and their luggage definitely won’t be there”
“We never fly United, didn’t anyone tell you?’
I spent the next month hoping that they were wrong. So the big day came and I began to get the calls. My son from LA saying my daughter wasn’t on the plane.
My daughter from Denver saying they had been sitting on the tarmac for two hours waiting for the flight crew to arrive. This was May so weather wasn’t a factor.
When they finally arrived there was no apology, not even a free drink! The crew went on about their business like nothing was wrong. they didn’t even hurry!
My daughter is a lawyer and took time off work only to sit on a plane wasting her time.
But then that was the case for an entire plane, wasting their collective time. But I guess that doesn’t matter…
So she missed her international flight and arrived in Los Angeles in the middle of the night. When she asked one of the United employees what she should do they said “That is not my problem”
So she called me and I began to make calls from Korea. I called all the 24 hr help lines and none of them answered. Finally I called a sales office in New York City and
had the good fortune to speak to someone who was helpful. I told her I needed to get my daughter on the next plane and there was limited space. (I had checked on the internet) She said she wasn’t an agent but could access the internet and could put my daughter in a seat but that we would have to sort it all out at the airport. We may have to pay to change the ticket!
I told her thank you and that I was calling her from Korea, she replied that I was speaking to her in London! So we sorted this all out via a lot of international calls!

After all of this, I contacted United and was given a $100 voucher!
$100! for missing a day of a once in a lifetime vacation and all that aggravation.
I sent it to my daughter and she said she wasn’t going to use it.
“I don’t think I could afford a FREE flight on United”. she said. “My time is too valuable”
This happened over a year ago but my sources tell me things haven’t changed.
It seems to me that United hasn’t awakened to the fact that customer service is important. Consumers have fewer dollars to spend and they look for value.
So I am not suggesting that you never fly United, just be mindful of the potential difficulties that could arise.
Sorry I don’t have the name of the helpful employee in London…
Share your experiences good or bad with me..
Maybe you have had good luck!
Happy Trails!