Better Late Than Coach

On the eve of April 19, 2015, I embarked on an adventure in the upper North Americas. The embarkment began at approximately 10 PM, MDT and did not end until approximately 3 PM EST, the next day. In the interim, a lot happened.


It started as a regular Sunday – me working as an au pair, aka, supervisor – and ended with me in the airport patiently waiting to visit the motherland of the McKenzie and the Property brothers.


As I waited to board the plane, I kept my eye on the upgrade board. It was like the lottery. My name continually moved around the board; from 11 of 13, 12 of 14, to 13 of 14. Oh, the suspense!


As this classist lottery was in progress, a bigger lottery was looming.


“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your co-pilot speaking. At this time, the captain has not arrived. Rather than having you sit on the plane, we have decided not to board at this time. We hope the captain will arrive soon.”


No captain? This is something I’ve never experienced. I wondered how a captain might eventually decide to arrive. I’ve been late to work or a meeting before and, like most, tried to sneak by, unnoticed, but this is a feat not so likely achieved for a captain of a high flying contraption.


I quickly found a seat at a westerly gate that allowed me a better opportunity to observe the captain’s arrival.


A few people, in what appeared to be captain attire, walked by me; however, none of them stopped at the gate.


Then, nearly one hour past the scheduled boarding time, an individual in captain attire nonchalantly made his way toward the gate. Based on his demeanor, I assumed he was a rogue Ted Striker, most likely parked in the red zone, slowly making his way to sway this century’s Elaine Dickinson.


As it turned out, he was, in fact, our pilot. The other passengers immediately began applauding while I wondered about his cab’s meter. More importantly, I wondered why I didn’t select a career that rewarded me for pausing the lives of more than one hundred individuals whose next moments were completely dependent upon me.


Fortunately, I didn’t have much time to ponder because it was at this time that I received notification of my upgrade to first class.


Like our captain, I nonchalantly walked past the other passengers to proudly take my seat in first. Unlike our captain, I was not applauded. Fortunately, this didn’t bother me because I knew we would soon be off the ground, better late than never, and I’d be seated in first class. I may not be a captain, but I’m unemployed in first class. Those aren’t bad odds.

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