MD-80s downed in Dallas AGAIN.

There are rare circumstances when the wider national and international news you rarely pay attention to coems back to bite you in the butt. HARD.

For example, in the past few weeks when I’d seen articles about yet another airline declaring bankruptcy, or additional standards being flaunted on a particular type of aircraft, or aircraft not being repaired to specification, I generally ignored it. The news was old hat, commonplace, unremarkable. I was more likely to be hit by a car than downed in an aircraft – but so far, neither one has happened.

Which is why I didn’t bother to realize that the one airline that flies direct from Boston to Dallas (American, which has its hubs in Dallas and Chicago) was busily pulling MD-80s from a variety of routes because the FAA was coming down on them hard for not being up to spec. MD-80s are about 1/3 of the total planes American has, I learned later. Today they make up all the flights going from Dallas to Boston, leaving my boss stranded. He might be able to get on one of the 2-3 flights American has not yet canceled, but who knows?

So, I have thus far spent my morning as a little mouse, scurrying from one airline to another, trying to secure a way for the head honcho to make it home. So far, he’s book on TWO flights (just in case) and is making me crazy with his paranoia. “Do I have a confirmed seat?” Yes. “On both flights?” Yes. “With seat numbers on all the flights?” Yes yes and yes. “What are my seat numbers?” AHGHAHAHGHGAH! What, are you going to cancel one of the flight reservations if they don’t have an aisle for you? Sigh.

But I have learned something. From now on, I’m going to read trivial, insignificant news every day and consider it a part of what they pay me for. It may not be the most stimulating reading. It may make me crazy with grammar correction fastidiousness. But who knows? It might come in handy.

What my job needs.

So, I was browsing online today and came across this.  Now, I was a big fan of the idea behind the “eats, shoots, and leaves” book (even though I never read it) and this seems in line with that whole idea.  So I’m excited about that, and about possibly getting to the library.  I had heard of the book before, but now I’ve been completely sucked in by the endorsements.

And then I thought, ‘You know, everyone in my office could use this book.  In fact, you might as well call us ‘Comma Splice City’ and be done with it.’  But endorsements can on occasion be wrong, so I’d better read the whole thing first myself.  Then I only have to convince my supa-cool boss man that everyone in the office needs one.  Here’s my argument: not only will they be funny (because they are), but they will also be educational.  And guess what?  We work at an educational institution! It will increase worker productivity too.  Really.  Especially my productivity if people actually use it and I don’t have to correct them every five minutes.