less productive

It’s weird how being in the office has had no effect on my productivity; save for the things I do for myself in a day. What a world we would have if we cut out all the unnecessary bullshit and let people do the things they love, and celebrate them for it.

No working for a dollar. No rock ‘n’ roll pros, playing for the lawyers, as Local H would say.

Just people playing on whatever they want, without judgment, only help and support.

No more assholes. No more soul crushing work. No more cruelty.

Just a life of kindness and support.

What a fucked-up world that would be, isn’t it? The fact that you’re (and by extension, me) are already thinking it’s impossible shows just how far we have to go, and how much better we could be.

It doesn’t have to happen all at once. Protopia is better than utopia, any day. Incremental improvement is still improvement; the only sin is being so far jaded that the effort becomes impossible, instead of inevitable.

Target: 1400 words
Written: 328 words, novel: Father Lightning

air france

Wow, these pieces of shit. We had our flights all booked in and checked, only to show up at the airport to find out four out of the six of us had been bumped to the next day, and my wife and disabled daughter left on standby today.

At the airport, again, a wheelchair was supposed to be booked, but when we got off the bus at the airport, we were told we had to go through two whole terminals just to get to the place to pick one up. My poor daughter was exhausted by the time we got there. After several unsuccessful attempts to get someone to help us figure out these flights, we are told to speak to a manager at counter eight.

This guy… oh man. I’ve met some unhelpful individuals in my day, but this guy should never be anywhere near people. He should be working in a cave, alone, or as a night janitor at a storage facility where no one else works.

He kept accusing us of changing our flights ourselves, even after we showed him the boarding passes we still had for that day’s flight on the Air France app. No matter how many times or different ways we tried to explain to him that my daughter needs a minimum of two people to help her get on and off planes and through airports (not to mention deal with luggage, etc), he still did not give a fuck.

Since my daughter and wife were still on standby for that day, he wanted them to go, but refused to let anyone else go. When I asked what happens if our daughter gets called to board off standby and not my wife, this son of a bitch replies, “She goes.”

And when we explained (for the seventh time) that Sara can’t get on or off a plane by herself, can’t carry luggage or put it in the overhead bins, can’t get down the aisles to the bathroom, can’t disembark or push herself in a wheelchair (or even open her walker if it was folded up, which it would be), let alone drive herself home once back in Toronto, you know what he responds?

“Too bad. She goes.”

It’s around that time that I started very loudly screaming about how Air France (and France in general) hates disabled people, because at this point, we had been almost thirty minutes with this asshole, what I’m assuming was his boss finally came up and they have a conversation and he puts us all on the flight that day… on standby.

Are we done? NOPE.

My daughter is sent back to mobility assistance (because at this point, she still has not been given a wheelchair), where she’s told she has to wait for one to come… by herself. No one allowed with her. Well, that sparks yet another argument and finally, finally, they allow me to stay with her. The rest of them are rushed away.

Normally, in an airport, when you’re in a wheelchair, they take you through separate lines for security and things so I expected my wife and daughter to beat us to the gate. However, when we finally got there, they’re nowhere to be seen. It’s been at least forty-five minutes. Where are they?

Still sitting in mobility assistance.

Every time my wife asked how long or if they could put a rush on it, she’s told: Sit down. Wait. That stupid fucking French shrug that they do when they absolutely could do something, but can’t be bothered, because the “culture” says they’re allowed to be dicks. The plane was already boarding for twenty minutes when someone finally came, and kudos to that guy – fucking superhero. If it wasn’t for him, they’d have never made it.

Thankfully, at this point, the gods had apparently decided we’ve been kicked around enough and a connector that was supposed to be on this plane doesn’t make it and we all get on. It’s a Festivus miracle! Extreme luck, because if we’d listened to that manager (who should be fired), we’d all have screwed for at least another day or two.

Fuck Air France.

Target: 1300 words
Written: 1503 words, novel: Father Lightning

french “culture”

The French sure seem proud of their culture. Indeed, we’ve told again and again that rudeness is a feature. That it magically disappears if you make the attempt to fit in, use the language and so on. So we did. And what I’ve found is that largely, that’s not particularly true. People who were inclined to be nice to you were already nice. People who were inclined to look down at you as lesser because you were a foreigner, well, you could speak perfect Parisian French to them and you’d still get treated like a yokel.

I know the snootiness, the superiority, the fashion consciousness, all that is part of the French cultural landscape, and they’re super proud of it (in Paris. In Bordeaux, I actually found people not too bad, minus the whole pedestrian/bike/traffic thing, in which I believe they are all trying to see how close to murder/death they can come). Wherever foreigners, and in particular, disabled foreigners were concerned, I think most of the people we dealt with, particularly in Paris, would have been happy to see us run over in the street.

But my thinking is that if being an asshole is cherished part of your culture, then maybe your culture needs serious reform. The same is true of right wingers and Republican culture: if your culture’s identity is based on being shitty to others, then it’s a shitty culture.

France has a lot to offer, but I think it needs to have a reckoning with itself and how it treats other people, internally and externally, because being a prick is never a feature.

It’s always a flaw.

Target: 1300 words
Written: 306 words, novel: Father Lightning