Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ranch Report - One Of A Series, Unless I Get Lazy"

So we're coming into the airport, and I notice something I have never noticed before.  It's not new, it's always been there, but it had never caught my eye before.  This is cool.  You do something hundreds of times, and suddenly it's - "Hey!  Look at that!"

(This does not happen when I'm eating.  I notice nothing when I eat.  I see the plate is empty and I get up.  With no recollection of what I have just consumed.  At home, I have to look on someone else's plate to find out what I had.  At a restaurant, if they didn't order the same thing, I am entirely out of luck.  I look at the bill, and it's, like, "I had that?  I wonder if it was any good.")

There are two lanes when you enter the L.A. airport, one for "Arrivals" and one for "Departures."  You have to pay close attention, because there is no advance signage that this dividing split in the road is coming up. You just have to be ready to make your move.

Accompanying the words "Arrivals"and "Departures" on these green-painted overhead signs are white-painted graphics, I guess for travelers who don't read English.  Or for people who do, but but they prefer their information delivered in pictures.

Not being the driver, I have the opportunity to study these icons more carefully. And, for the first time of almost forty years of passing under them,  I notice this:

The word "Departures" on the "Departures" sign is accompanied by a white-painted graphic - or icon, if you will - of an airplane with its nose tilted upward, the icon graphically signifying a departing plane. (Because that's what they look like when they're taking off.  The nose is pointing up.)

The sign for "Arrivals", however, along with the word "Arrivals", is accompanied by a graphic of a plane flying parallel to the ground.  That is what caught me eye. The icon's plane's nose is not angled downward, as an arriving planes's nose would naturally be.

I thought about why that was.  And I concluded that people associated with the airline industry - I'm sure after a long meeting- decided that they do not think it would be reassuring to graphically depict  airplanes with their noses facing downward, fearing it might give the appearance that they're crashing.

So, instead, you get the plane icon flying parallel to the ground.  Even though if an arriving plane actually did that, it would never, in fact, arrive.

Something I noticed, driving into the airport.
As a reward for having visited this place so many times, I was offered an upgrade to a nicer room.  The location is less ideal than the room I was originally assigned - it takes longer to get places - but I accepted it...because it was an upgrade.

"We'd like to offer you an upgrade."

"No, thank you."

Who does that?

Someone offers you an upgrade, you take it.  Even if it's an upgrade that's a locational downgrade.

So far, every time I have walked back to my room, I have taken a different path.  Not because I've wanted to. I just can't find the same path twice.  Sometimes, I get there in five minutes, some in fifteen.  But I always end up at my room.

And I'm always surprised.
You know, like there's those vacuumed-packed tins of peanuts.  You pull the tab, there's this sudden expulsion of - I am guessing here - air?  Well, that's me, so far, at this place.  And it's extremely embarrassing.

At home, I spend the bulk of my time alone.  Suddenly, I am thrown in with a bunch of people, and it's like some monk who'd been under this "Vow of Silence" and he's informed, "We're not doing that anymore."

I can't believe myself.  I open my mouth, and it's blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!  

I am reminded of a job interview I once went to, I just jabbered my food head off.  I thought I was dong great.  Then, as I was leaving, the man who was interviewing me said,

"You really ought to get out more."

So far, that's me here.  It's like I've been sprung for "Solitary." And do I have a lot to say!

Hopefully, in the ensuing days, I will settle down.  But so far, if I could avoid myself, I would.



Julian said...

The icon's plane's nose is not angled downward, as an arriving planes's nose would naturally be.

I think you should watch some planes actually landing, and notice which end is up.

The typical icons, with the nose pointing downward, aren't terribly realistic, even if they convey the message more clearly.

Mike said...

I know what you ate on the plane, even if you don't. Sushi and a cup of sake to toast the Emperor, before sacrificing your life in the service of the Kamikaze.
Landing nose down...

Ben Kubelsky said...

I'm glad someone else finally commented on the arrival/departure graphics... I noticed them around 2000 or so when I realized the arrival sign actually DID have a down-facing plane at the New Delhi airport. Bet it's different now!