The thing about these 737s is that the business seats are the same as the cattle class. They magic as many business rows as they need with movable partitions, although in the first three rows the middle seats can fold down into table-like things for the convenience of the elite who are nevertheless still crammed like sardines just like the peasants a few rows further back.
The only real difference in these planes is that first class get treated better, get a free drink while the plane waits to push back and taxi to the runway, and they get better food.
Air France isn't satisfied having just two classes; they have four: L'Espace Premier which is first class, L'Espace Affaires, or what we all call "business", and then (like BA), two versions of steerage which (unlike BA) are the same damned thing. The only difference is that Tempo Challenge offers some bonus miles and free reservation changes which are rather useless when you're already boarding the plane. The only other difference is that Tempo Challenge is in front of Tempo.
My seat had been changed to 4B. A middle seat. I saw that 7D was occupied by one of the Saudi sprog.
Worse, seats 4A and 4C were already filled with big guys whose shoulders extended into 4B's airspace.
I talked to the steward and explained the problem. I'd have to wait until all the passengers were on board. I sat in 3D ("business") and waited, even refusing the the champagne and orange juice offered to the rest of the "business class" people in an attempt to show that I only wanted the seat, not the amenities. It's the same goddamned seat as the other 800 in the plane: narrow and uncomfortable.
The plane was full, save for 4B and 3D. The steward talked to the purser who scowled and came over to me.
"You cannot sit 'ere. Eet ees beezness class. You must go to your seat zair."
"But I need to work. I didn't ask for an upgrade. I didn't want an "upgrade". It's not an "upgrade" when the seat is worse than the one I paid for."
"But you 'ave an upgrade! You are een Tempo Shall-ange! You should be 'appy!"
"I'm not happy. I need to work. I can't move between those guys. I don't want any special food or drinks. I just want to sit on the aisle so that I can type."
"You cannot do zees! Eet ees a beezness seat!"
"It's the same seat as the others," I continued to plead. "I'm not even getting miles and I don't want extras. All I'm asking is to be able to work."
"You 'ave ze upgrade and you must take your seat or you must leave ze plane."
"But then I'd miss my connection."
"We do not 'ave to continue your journey eef you refuse to seet."
The fucker on the left had his iPod set to 13 and dickless on the right kept drooling in his sleep. I sat bent 20° at the waist in order to breathe. The "upgrade" food was also fancier, meaning "worse". There was even less than the standard cheese sandwich but it was presented very prettily. I knew I should've had the overpriced Weißwurst Frühstück at the airport.
A day later as I logged into the network, my corporate software was automatically upgraded. My firewall couldn't block it because it was done via logon.bat as the machine booted, overriding even the firewall's service.
PaintShop Pro was a nice, down-and-dirty graphics program before JASC decided to be PhotoShop Junior. You can't get version 3 anymore. When I want Photoshop, I'll use Adobe's software. I don't want to use Photoshop for a quick little graphic hack, but because of upgrades, you can't get PSP3 anymore.
Nor can I do a bunch of internal work the easy way anymore. We now have a "richer" app suite, which means that instead of, say, firing off a quick note with a diagram to someone, I have to connect to a central server, log in with full credentials, jump through half a dozen screens, and then I have to recreate the note and whiteboard share so that it can be sent to someone whose address I already know but which I now have to search through screens of departments and positions to get to in order to click on it and then confirm that I want the message sent. And then confirm it again.
The only thing worse than an automatic upgrade is a fuckwit who gives me one without asking me.
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