To lighten the mood.

Old Apr 19th, 2001, 02:12 PM
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To lighten the mood.

I found this little ditty while I was on hold with the airlines. It made me laugh so I thought ya'll might like to see it.


Customer: Hi. How much is your paint?

Clerk: We have regular quality for $12 a gallon and premium for $18. How many gallons would you like?

Customer: Five gallons of regular quality, please.

Clerk: Great. That will be $60 plus tax.


Customer: Hi, how much is your paint?

Clerk: Well, sir, that all depends.

Customer: Depends on what?

Clerk: Actually, a lot of things.

Customer: How about giving me an average price?

Clerk: Wow, that's too hard a question. The lowest price is $9 a gallon, and we have 150 different prices up to $200 a gallon.

Customer: What's the difference in the paint?

Clerk: Oh, there isn't any difference; it's all the same paint.

Customer: Well, then, I'd like some of that $9 paint.

Clerk: Well, first I need to ask you a few questions. When do you intend to use it?

Customer: I want to paint tomorrow, on my day off.

Clerk: Sir, the paint for tomorrow is the $200 paint.

Customer: What? When would I have to paint in order to get the $9 version?

Clerk: That would be in three weeks, but you will also have to agree to start painting before Friday of that week and continue painting until at least Sunday.

Customer: You've got to be kidding!

Clerk: Sir, we don't kid around here. Of course, I'll have to check to see if we have any of that paint available before I can sell it to you.

Customer: What do you mean check to see if you can sell it to me? You have shelves full of that stuff; I can see it right there.

Clerk: Just because you can see it doesn't mean that we have it. It may be the same paint, but we sell only a certain number of gallons on any given weekend. Oh, and by the way, the price just went to $12.

Customer: You mean the price went up while we were talking!

Clerk: Yes, sir. You see, we change prices and rules thousands of times a day, and since you haven't actually walked out of the store with your paint yet, we just decided to change. Unless you want the same thing to
happen again, I would suggest that you get on with your purchase. How many gallons do you want?

Customer: I don't know exactly. Maybe five gallons. Maybe I should buy six gallons just to make sure I have enough.

Clerk: Oh, no, sir, you can't do that. If you buy the paint and then don't use it, you will be liable for penalties and possible confiscation of the paint you already have.

Customer: What?

Clerk: That's right. We can sell you enough paint to do your kitchen, bathroom, hall and north bedroom, but if you stop painting before you do the bedroom, you will be in violation of our tariffs.

Customer: But what does it matter to you whether I use all the paint? I already paid you for it!

Clerk: Sir, there's no point in getting upset; that's just the way it is. We make plans based upon the idea that you will use all the paint, and when you don't, it just causes us all sorts of problems.

Customer: This is crazy! I suppose something terrible will happen if I don't keep painting until after Saturday night!

Clerk: Yes, sir, it will.

Customer: Well, that does it! I'm going somewhere else to buy my paint.

Clerk: That won't do you any good, sir. We all have the same rules. Thanks for painting with our airline.
Old Apr 20th, 2001, 07:21 AM
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This is tooooooooo funny! How did we ever come to this . . .

Old Apr 20th, 2001, 12:48 PM
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Sounds a bit like what my husband got when he tried to change the date on his ticket to come home early.
He ended up buying a one way, cause it was three times cheaper.
One would think coach class paint is all the same , yes?
Old Apr 20th, 2001, 01:06 PM
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I know I will catch all kinds of hell for defending the airlines, but - - to paraphrase you, Nancy - - if all coach class "paint" is "the same", why didn't he just use the ticket he had? No, he wanted some "other" coach class "paint". So clearly, they are NOT all inter-changeable.

The fact is that the airlines have a highly "perishable" product - - the same as a chef making souffles. Once the door closes, all those unsold seats are "dead" inventory. They charge what they need to charge to keep the company afloat.

Savvy buyers are part of the system - - to throw them a few pennies for the seats that they are having trouble selling.

I can't imagine how any company can lug 300 pound humans with 200 pounds of luggage all the way across the ocean, feed them and provide them with reclinable seats (wink...) and only charge a thousand dollars, let alone two hundred!

I'm glad I'm not in their business.

I can't sell crap.

Selling is a very hard business. Brain surgery, by contrast, is easy.
Old Apr 20th, 2001, 02:00 PM
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Well, Nancy, I think you're ditty is very funny, too. Reads like a Monty Python skit - remember the dead parrot?
Old Apr 20th, 2001, 02:24 PM
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He's not dead - he's pining!
Old Apr 21st, 2001, 07:05 AM
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Rex ~ read the header! "To lighten the mood". It was a joke, a funny, intended to make someone laugh.
Old Apr 21st, 2001, 07:11 AM
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Rex, are you really a brain surgeon? I've always wondered what kind of doctor you are.
Old Apr 21st, 2001, 07:37 AM
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First - - as I need to do from time to time, I apologize if my tone was a poor match for the levity of the intial post. It was directed at the popular notion that airlines are "bad" or "evil" in their approach(es) to pricing, and not at any one person. Honestly, I am thankful that airlines know how to sell some seats for $1200 apiece so that have some "scraps" - - with all kinds of conditions attached to them - - (though they arrive at exactly the same time) - - for hundreds of dollars less.

And yes, Nancy (scottn007) - - your post was very funny and a nice contribution to the board.

No, I am not a brain surgeon. I had the opportunity to participate in some pediatric neurosurgery as a third-year medical student, and some of those cases were remarkably easy from a technical standpoint. Much of pediatric neurosurgery has to do with the "fluid system" of the brain, not the brain itself. Almost all surgery is demanding of attention to detail, technical and intellectual excellence, and I did not mean to imply that surgery is really easier than a career in sales. I just happen to have respect for people who excel in sales - - ALSO.

I am a neonatologist (a pediatrician who specializes in newborn intensive care). It also demands attention to detail, and technical and intellectual excellence - - at least much of the time. And it succeeds largely due to the talented contributions of extraordinary nurses and dozens of others in assorted allied professions. I never kid myself about who makes babies better. Most babies make themselves better. Unlike adult medicine, time is our friend in neonatology.

Because of other career interests, I have been a "part-time" doctor for 15 of the 19 years since I competed my training. I've been working full time for much of the past year. And I look forward to going back to part-time status, with a similar amount of time devoted to Europe travel in the near future.

I realize that this doesn't really "belong" here on this thread. But you asked. And besides, everything gets buried here eventually here anyway.
Old Apr 21st, 2001, 07:38 AM
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Perhaps Rex is "Dr. Dolittle"?
Old Apr 21st, 2001, 09:03 AM
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The airline story is incomplete.

After purchasing the paint, the airline should point out that, should the customer's desired color be especially popular, the customer will be "bumped" to a less popular color.

Also, once the customer has bought the paint in a particular color and committed to use it at a particular time, the airline may call the customer before the painting begins and "reschedule" the painting so that the airline can make more money.

The airline should also make clear that, should the arrival of the paint be late, the customer will be entitled to no compensation, even if the tardiness is solely the fault of the airline. If, however, the customer must substantially delay the use of the paint, the customer will be forced to buy new, more expensive paint.
Old Apr 21st, 2001, 12:30 PM
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On the related subjects of airlines, silliness, and Pythonistas, have any of you seen "The Airplane Sketch" with three of the Pythons as pilot, co-pilot, and flight attendant? (It's not a Python bit, as such, but it's one of the funniest things I've ever seen in my life. It's on the Cleese special, "How to Irritate People")
Old Apr 21st, 2001, 12:33 PM
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You are right Cindy, your part does need to be added to the story!! The airlines really do provide a wonderful service but you could pull all your hair out before your done with them!!
Old Apr 21st, 2001, 12:37 PM
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Every now and then, an airline employee, with wit and good humour can restore our confidence as in the following story:

A crowded United flight was cancelled. A single agent was rebooking
> a long line of inconvenienced travelers. Suddenly an angry passenger
> pushed his way to the desk. He slapped his ticket down on the counter
> and said, "I HAVE to be on this flight and it has to be FIRST CLASS."
> The agent replied, "I'm sorry sir. I'll be happy to try to help you,
> but I've got to help these folks first, and I'm sure we'll be able
> to work something out." The passenger was unimpressed. He asked loudly,
> so that the passengers behind him could hear, "Do you have any idea who I
> am?"
> Without hesitating, the gate agent smiled and grabbed her public address
> microphone.
> "May I have your attention please?" she began, her voice bellowing
> throughout the terminal. "We have a passenger here at the gate
> WHO DOES NOT KNOW WHO HE IS. If anyone can help him find his identity,
> please come to the gate."
> With the folks behind him in line laughing hysterically, the man glared
> at the United agent, gritted his teeth and swore, F*** you!"
> Without flinching, she smiled and said, "I'm sorry, sir, but you'll have
> to stand in line for that, too."
Old Apr 21st, 2001, 12:59 PM
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Very funny!! It always helps if you can use humor to make the meanies go away!!
Old Apr 21st, 2001, 01:18 PM
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you know the story of our trip to Italy.
Well, my husband decided he needs to come back a week early for a show at the smithsonian Institute.
Important show, yes!
But, it was not so important when we made our plans last yr.
Anyway, to come home early with the return part of his ticket., he would have to pay an additional $2,400!!
But, by booking a one way he will only have to p[ay $800
Old Apr 21st, 2001, 01:20 PM
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Oops, computer posted too early.
any way, that is the story, it has something to do with "same class service" , even though all the seats are in the coach section.
But, lets follow Nancy's lead, and keep this light.
Light is good.

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