Conflicted

I read this news piece

Airlines Face Loss of Up to $30 Billion in Revenues in Wake of Coronavirus

….and I find myself torn between two emotions:

and

In the first place, I hate all airlines without regard to race, class, religion, nationality or gender.  [25,000 reasons omitted for brevity]

Secondly (according to the article), most of the losses are supposed to befall the Chinese airlines, but considering that they’re owned engines, wings and tails by the loathsome Commie Chinese government, who cares?

Of course, people are going to think that this disruption will mean lower fares and/or less-crowded flights for the rest of us… [pause for scornful laughter] …but the airlines will simply cancel most of their flights, cram the remaining planes to the brim and then (you heard it here first) raise their fares to make up for lost revenue.  You see, international  travel may feel an impact, especially for those fools who inexplicably visit China all the time, but most U.S. airlines get the bulk of their revenue from domestic flights (i.e. corporate passengers who are largely immune to fare increases anyway).  (And you can ignore bullshit articles like this one — I tested the claims, and couldn’t find ONE.)

I know that in a Black Swan scenario, the people most likely to be hurt are people like myself, but at the same time there’s something awfully appealing about watching corporations getting shafted by random events, kinda like what they do to us on a daily basis…

Great Moments In Bad Timing

Given how the Corona virus thing has completely knocked the pleasure-cruise industry off the shelf, one would think that this is a bad time to launch a new one, yes?

Step forward Sir Richard of Branson:

On the bright side, every dollar this Left tool drops into nonsense like this is one less dollar for the dozens of Lefty causes his company supports.

Even before the emergence of passenger liners as floating pox-palaces, you wouldn’t have got me on one of them at gunpoint.  Now… uh huh.  Hot needles, meet scrotum.

Unconcerned

Here’s something so outside my range of interest that I had never even thought of it.

Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg’s campaign to make people feel “flight shame” if they travel by plane has led to the reduction of bookings in her native Sweden. Now the U.S. airline industry is worried that the trend could take hold in this country.

“Flight shame”?  Let’s talk about this for a moment.

Every day I take people to the airport — most are going away on business, while others are jetting off to places like Aruba, Hawaii and Europe for their dream vacation, or else are taking their kids to a Disney Vergnügungslager  in California or Florida.  Others are going to visit family in far-off cities or countries (in some cases family whom they’ve not seen for years), while others still are proud grandparents off to annoy their children and spoil the grandchildren to death (as is their duty).

Does this sound like a bunch of people who would be “shamed” into foregoing their flights, all because some adolescent twerp thinks they shouldn’t be doing them?

Now I can see a couple of cases where there might be some kind of pullback on travel:  a corporation, for example, buys into the climate shame mantra, and as a form of virtue-signaling tells their employees to cut back — unless, of course, such an activity would have a serious impact on their bottom line, in which case… uh huh, you guessed it.  (“Yeah, boss, XYZ MegaCorp has canceled their million-dollar account with us because they haven’t seen any of our reps in a year…”)

Tell me that  wouldn’t set the stoat among the rabbits.

Another group who might be shamed into reducing their travel would be the International Backpack ‘N Sandals Set, who would otherwise be off to Explore Other Cultures And Enrich Their Lives, or do the eco-tourist thing [gag].  Quite frankly, this could only be A Good Thing in that normal people such as me would not have to sit for the following six hours next to someone who smells like a badger (and the male  travelers of this ilk are even worse).  Also, all those exotic eco-destinations would either go out of business (unemployment!) or have to raise their rates to compensate for the drop-off, making their business model affordable only to the extremely wealthy.

I can’t see Val d’Isère, Monaco or Kitzbühel losing much business, by the way:  the rich always carve out exceptions for themselves;  or else they just don’t care, nor do they buy into the eco-shaming, or both.  (About now, Mr. Free Market’s ears should be burning.)

Returning to the article:  it’s all very well for, say, Sweden  to experience a drop-off in air travel — there are many other ways to get from Sweden to other countries in Europe — but then again, all those countries are only a couple hundred miles apart.  However, the U.S. is not Scandinavia, nor even Europe:  I have to drive a couple hundred miles just to get out  of Texas, for instance, and further than that just to reach any other major city like Houston or San Antonio, still in Texas.

Finally, of course, we have the well-known hypocrisy of these holier-than-thou Greens, who think nothing of hopping on board a private Gulfstream just to attend a conference where they can scold other  people for burning fossil fuels and destroyiiiiing the planet.  Little Greta’s last scolding-trip to the New World, for instance, used more energy in total than a hundred and eighty families flying to Disney World for a week each*.

All that said:  if this foolishness does come to pass, what would be the reaction of the airlines to a sudden (and perhaps permanent) drop in passenger count?  We all know the answer to that:  discounted fares and “bundled” vacation packages to attract those lost customers back — with the concomitant drop in their balance sheets’ profit lines.

And wait till Delta/American/United discover that eco-fuel costs three times more than avgas, with a similar effect on their precious bottom line.

Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch.


*I just made that figure up — kinda like the Greens do in all their Doomsday predictions.

Blacktops

Anyone who’s ever worked in the restaurant business will know exactly what the title of this post means.

Basically, it’s a denigrating [sic]  term that waiters (of all races, by the way) use as shorthand to describe a table of Black customers.  What “blacktop” means is that the servers are highly unlikely to get a tip from that seating.

Black people don’t tip.  (As always, that may not be 100% accurate but, as the bookies say, it’s the way to bet.)

Insty brings it home with this post, and I, as a two-year veteran of Ubering with well over two thousand trips driven, can attest to his friend’s conclusion.  (And bear in mind that about 80% of my annual business comes exclusively from taking executives to the two Dallas-area airports, which means that mostly, the tips are going to be part of the expense account.)

As a one-time statistician, I unconsciously collect data from my own experiences, and I’m going to present Kim’s Hierarchy Of Tipping (in an Uber context) and digging into my experience, here are the percentages of people who tip, by category.

  • White men:  70% — close to 90% of my tip revenue comes from White men, of all socio-economic classes
  • Chinese / Japanese men:  50% — but it’s a tiny number, so the actual revenue is insignificant
  • White women:  25% — and their tips are much smaller than the mens’, and younger women hardly tip at all
  • Indian men:  5% — and that only from the few Indian guys I pick up on a regular basis
  • Older Black men:   5% — if they’re executives, otherwise 0%
  • Younger Black men:  0% — unless  they’re in food service i.e. waiters (see below), in which case it’s about 2%
  • Indian / Black / Chinese women:  0% — I think one  Indian woman once gave me a $2 tip (on a $40 fare).
  • Young White guys, mostly waiters, cooks and bartenders:  close to 100%;  why?  because they understand the value of tipping.  When a young guy tips me $3 on a $4 fare, I know what that represents, and it has nothing to do with percentages.

Here’s the thing:  tipping your service provider isn’t just about the money, although that is important.  What tipping does show that you the customer value  what I as your service provider has given you, and it gives me an incentive to keep providing a good service.

I’ll spell it out from my own perspective.  I get up at about 3.15am and log in to Uber at about 3.45am, working until about 9am.  I provide a courteous, smooth, knowledgeable and (sometimes) entertaining trip, every time.  There’s free water on offer, a phone charger if needed, and I even load and unload my customers’ suitcases.  If a customer has forgotten something like a phone or passport, I stop the clock and turn the car around to fetch it.  I monitor the traffic reports so I can take a different route to avoid congestion.  I keep my car spotless (inside — on DFW roads, I’d have to wash the outside twice a day to keep it as clean).  And on that topic:  it’s not some cab company’s heap that I’m inviting you into, it’s my own personal car.

If I published the compliments that a few (maybe 80 or so) customers have left on my profile over the past two years, you’d think I’d made them all up.  (“Best Uber ride ever!”  and “Great conversation!” are the most common.)  I don’t provide good service;  I provide fantastic  service.

Yet very few people tip.  My tip percentage of total net income is 4.74% (and that is a hard number, because it’s Tax Time).  About a third of what a waiter makes.

And I have to tell you all that if one day I decide to chuck it all in, it’s because excluding White men, people in general are ungrateful assholes.

No More Talking At The Office

Working at an office is bad enough; but working at an office and being discouraged from talking to one’s workmates is awful.  Yet that’s just what this harpy is suggesting:

Ann Francke, head of the Chartered Management Institute, has said that bosses should actively curtail male staff talking about football, cricket and rugby in case women feel ‘left out’ at work.

‘A lot of women, in particular, feel left out. They don’t follow those sports and they don’t like either being forced to talk about them or not being included. I have nothing against sports enthusiasts or cricket fans – that’s great. But the issue is many people aren’t cricket fans’. She added: ‘It’s very easy for it to escalate from VAR talk and chat to slapping each other on the back and talking about their conquests at the weekend. It’s a gateway to more laddish behaviour and – if it just goes unchecked – it’s a signal of a more laddish culture’.

And in an even-more horrifying development, I am forced to agree with Piers Morgan, who said:

‘What utter twaddle. We’ve got to stop these virtue-signalling cretins sucking all the fun out of life’.

And then the inevitable response:

Critics have said that by applying the same logic non-work related chat about TV shows such Love Island, EastEnders and Game of Thrones should also be curtailed. While others asked if workers with children could be stopped from talking about them in case it offends those without them.

Yeah… let’s just stop all non-work chatter altogether.  If it’s not work-related, then HR should have the power to swoop in and… do what?  Fire the offenders?  Have them flogged in the public square?  Have them endure yet another hectoring lecture from HR?  [Cries of “No, no!  Anything but that!  Please flog me instead!”]

I know!  Men should only be allowed to talk about such “exclusionary” topics inside men-only enclaves — except, of course, that Feministicals International has already banned those for being “exclusionary” themselves (although chick-only workspaces are, of course, just dandy).

Fuck off.  Just… fuck right off, you pissy little control freaks.

This all started when we gave them the vote.  I hope you’re all satisfied.

So Much To Do, So Little Done

Okay, Sir Winston may have had more weighty matters on his mind when he said that, but I know how he felt, after reading this:

Britain’s BEST chippies: Top 15 seafood eateries are revealed in National Fish and Chip Awards 2020

As any fule kno, one of my favorite meals in Britishland is the venerable F&C (proof below).

So when I read articles like the above, all it makes me want to do is hop on a plane across The Pond and embark on a tour of the top 15…

However.  The list shortens quite a bit as some of the chippies’ locations are on Kim’s List Of Places Never To Visit (based on the recommendations of Stout Bulldogs like Mr. Free Market, The Englishman and the Sorensons) — places such as Belfast, the whole of Wales and anywhere in County Durham.

Still, this one (in Kent) looks promising:

…especially as Kent is home to one of the best beer brands anywhere:

And if they haven’t got Spitfire, there is an alternative:

Tell me you wouldn’t, if you were me.