April 8, 2005


Today was my last day in chambers. Bittersweet, really. I hugged all the clerks and staff, and I said goodbye to the judge with a firm handshake and a very nice conversation where she thanked me for my help and claimed they couldn't have gotten along without me (how very nice and obviously untrue!).

It was the best job I've ever had. But I didn't get paid. Rather, I was paying for the privilege and therefore, I only signed up for a 12 week gig, so I savored every moment, because I knew each experience could be my last, or my one-and-only. I don't know if I'd have enjoyed it with such fierce fervor if I was a normal job where I was getting paid and didn't know when it would all end. Ahhh... the human condition. How silly that I'd enjoy the job I paid to have more than any other. And how typically human. Sure, we should all try to live every moment as if it might be our last. But, no matter how hard we try, we don't. Sleep calls. Laziness calls. And perhaps if we were truly omniscient that's what we'd do with our last minutes anyways. Clearly, I digress.

In other news, I called the airline to check in on our rebate coupons (the "sorry we dropped the oxygen masks while you were asleep over the pacific" compensation). I didn't see any place where they cleared on our tickets to Puerto Rico. Turns out they did, just in the bizarre code world of airlines where a $75 credit becomes a certificate valued at $0.00 and an entry in the line calculation of $34.88 each direction. Yes, I'm aware that $34.88 X 2 does not total $75. But, it's hard to be upset about the lost $2.62 on each leg when my call netted the surprise information that the fare on the flight had lowered since we booked and they are going to send us *another* voucher for the difference, in an amount of almost $50 each.

I'm not complaining. But I am amused. Obviously, we were willing to pay the original fare. We booked it. But if they offer to send us a refund so that we can buy it at the current market price, of course we will take it. Either this is goverened by statute, or, it's no wonder the airline industry is constantly battling bankruptcy (or both). Seems like if it's governed by statute we (as a country) should just admit that we've hamstrung the industry into constant bailouts and bankruptcy that makes 'em more or less public utilities supported by taxpayer dollars. I doubt anyone would really have a problem with that (okay, them's probably fightin' words...). But, seriously, it seems to me that the honesty about their status would have to result in some efficiency gains. Perhaps I'm naive.

The other discovery I made is that while we may have quite a few airline miles, we don't have close to the amount we could have. Many of the restaurants in our area give airline miles at rates of 5 or even 10 miles per $1. Damn. We could have easily earned first class upgrades to PR if we'd been taking advantage of this over the last couple of years. Oh well... such is life. Next time.

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