Pressing up against the window trying to create some space between himself and the man sitting next to him, Joe Aspiring kept wondering how great it would be getting around by taxi. The redundant meeting he had just left only served to increase his frustration. Never ending travels by bus were one of his less desired pastimes. One more year of internship and my status will change, he kept encouraging himself.
The luxury of taxis on the company’s expense did cheer him up, for a while. It was a refreshing change sitting back on black leather, enjoying the leg space. Looking at the windows of the adjacent bus he took some pleasure in the fact he had moved up in life.
The never-ending meetings frustrated him. I wish I could have worked on the international client, he had pondered. I could use a change of scenery. How did those guys get on the international team at the first place? Probably strings were pulled on their behalf. Spending every other week abroad must be fantastic.
The taxi that drove him to the airport was taken for granted. “Could you please turn down that music?” he angrily turned to the driver. These drivers are a menace, he thought. Next time I’ll insist on a proper ride. His senior team leader, traveling with him, had told him they’d probably only meet only at the baggage area at Heathrow since he was flying business.
The check in was a nightmare, as always. Endless lines and tiresome airport security personnel took their toll on him. Stepping slowly down the aisle he lovingly caressed the wide spaced sofas of business class. Perhaps one day, he thought. Inching further he had hoped and prayed. It took an eternity to get to his seat, waiting behind what seemed like a horde of people insisting on bending the laws of physiques by squeezing huge trolleys to tiny overhead spaces. Slowly raising his eyes he exhaled deeply, 42J was right between a 10 year old and an elderly woman. He cramped himself between his fellow passengers, legs, again, tightly squeezed against the seat in front of him. Someone should look into the relationship between leg space and social status, he thought. There must be a deeper reason than economy. Perhaps a constant reminder of your worth, he had bitterly thought.
He could stand the flights no longer. His surprising upgrade to business class was nice but left a bitter taste. He felt awkward among veteran business class travelers. An accidental upgrade is just that, he thought. Look at all these people; they must be wealthy and successful, groomed by their companies. When I’ve earned the privilege of routine business class I’ll know I’ve made it in life.
When his assistant handed him his e-ticket for his upcoming conference in Rome he was disappointed to see his miles weren’t enough for a first class upgrade. Those young executives with their constant laptop tapping and blackberry staring are impossible to travel with. Sitting in the lounge he eyed the door to first class’ part of the lounge. I wonder what kind of food they serve their. It has to be better than this bagel, and the wine is terrible, what happened to the service here?
First class was his dream coming true. Such comfort, such service, I could get used to this, but who are all these Nuevo rich surrounding me?
Saturday, December 12, 2009
A short tale on leg space, social status and the irony of human nature