Warning: this post is def trending rantish! There may or may not be any deep spiritual meaning or profound theological insight over the next few paragraphs. But I can promise indignation, righteous wrath, perplexed musing and offended incredulity.
Here's the scenario:
- I have a plane ticket for Rome this Thursday morning. It's two flights, actually: Tampa-Charlotte and then Charlotte-Rome.
- Rebekah's Aunt Ellen passed away this weekend. The funeral is set for Wednesday afternoon in North Georgia.
- I'd like to go with Rebekah to the funeral.
- We won't be that far from Charlotte, so I could easily make the second leg of my flight Thursday afternoon.
So I called the airline and I said, "It looks like I won't have time to drive back to Tampa in time for my Thursday flight. I'll just hop on in Charlotte. I don't expect a refund from the Tampa-Charlotte leg, but I'm letting you know my plans."
- Airline... "If you don't board in Tampa your reservation through to Rome will be forfeited."
- Me......... "That's why I'm letting you know. Don't do that. I'll join the flight in Charlotte."
- Airline... "We'll have issue you a new ticket, Charlotte-Rome, and bill you at today's rate."
- Me......... "But I already have a ticket for Charlotte-Rome. It's paid for."
- Airline... "No. That gets cancelled when you cancel the Tampa-Charlotte leg."
- Me......... "So you're saying it will cost more money to fly one leg than to fly two? How much."
- Airline... "The difference will be around $350."
- Me......... "That's absurd. Nothing's actually changing on the Charlotte-Rome flight."
- Airline... (ignoring my observation) "Then we'll have to add in the $250 change-fee, that's in addition to the $350."
- Me......... "But that adds up to a $600 charge to sit in the same seat I've already paid for!"
- Airline... "It's a brand-new ticket, sir."
- Me......... "But I don't want a new ticket. I want to use the one I already have...."
- (circle back to the beginning of the conversation and repeat, ad nauseam..).
BOTTOM LINE: I finally told them not to change anything. The bottom line is that I will go to the funeral with Rebekah. However, instead of relaxing and visiting with family after the service and then heading over to Charlotte, we'll drive like crazy for the Florida line and then get up early Thursday morning so I can make my flight time in Tampa. Then I'll fly back - along the same route - in big metal tube, land in Charlotte, get off the plane, and walk over to the 767 that will take me to Rome.
Here's my theory. It's also my theory as to why things are increasingly sticky and tricky in the financial world. I believe that the big corporations have fallen victim to the insidious trap that was described by the Hebrew writer Paul in a letter he wrote to his friend Timothy. Listen to these poignant words:
But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 1 Timothy 6...
The business culture is literally trapped by an unprincipled hierarchy of values that is not only senseless, but will ultimately have the effect of plunging both itself and its customers into "ruin and destruction". Many businesses have lost the ability to make personal and reasonable decisions based on logic, relationship and principle. Everything is so caught up in the supposed bottom line (read "greed") that the fundamental principle of community has been lost.
When we fail to live in community anymore, then the culture will collapse from lack of heart.
So what are we going to do about this? - DEREK