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Friday, January 11, 2008

Choices We Make Have Consequences

Every choice we make has a consequence associated with it. Sometimes we make good choices and they result in positive consequences – those are the ones we like to talk about. Sometimes we make poor choices that result in negative consequences – we do not like to deal with them or even talk about them much.

This could actually turn into a much longer post about how most Americans think all of their choices should only have good outcomes and they should not be responsible for their poor choices – like say the tech bubble bursting in 2001, or the current housing market situation where people made crazy loan choices. But it won’t.

Fortunately, the choice I made this evening and the bad consequences associated with it are not bad in the scope of things. Really it is just a result of me being spoiled. Really spoiled.

My meetings in Menlo Park finished at a reasonable time today – allowing me to head out to the San Francisco Airport just before 5:00pm for my flight home to Los Angeles. Hoping that traffic would be light enough, I put myself on standby for the 5:56pm flight to Los Angeles with the thought – I will get home two hours earlier.

I planned on giving up my First Class seat (upgrade) in order to do so.

Traffic was not too bad – the car return at Hertz was quick – security and the walk to the end of the terminal to Gate 89 was brisk, but no worries. When I arrived at the gate, I approached the counter and handed my waitlist card to the agent. A ticket printed off quickly and I was in seat 28E. Of the 40 people on standby for the flight I was one of the first two names called. A lot of people did not make it.

There was one minor hiccup – our flight attendants from another flight had missed their connection and were not in San Francisco yet. This led to a 60-minute delay. Then it came time to board the plane.

Did I mention earlier that I had become really spoiled? It has been a long time since I sat anywhere other than Economy Plus, Business, or First Class on United. Maybe a couple of years.

So, by the time I found my way to almost the back of the plane and took my seat in the middle I had forgotten how tight the seats are without much legroom, especially when you are in the middle, seated next to two other guys. It is really uncomfortable. (try typing while fighting for armrest space)

Another reason why I do not enjoy sitting in the back because when the plane moves in turbulence – it is a lot more visual than when you are in the front or looking the window. As I have mentioned before, I really do not like flying – at all. Some find that surprising given the miles I log these days – 115k miles last year on United not to mention other Southwest flights.

Having experienced this outcome and being really uncomfortable right now, I am questioning the choice to jump on the earlier flight. Had it stayed at two hours it would have been well worth it – as it ticks under one hour difference in time, not sure it was the best choice. Then it will take me an extra 20 minutes get off the plane.

Things could be worse, I could have financed my home with 100% housing loan and looking for a government bailout.