Monday, June 06, 2005

Northwest Airlines: A tragedy in one act

ACTORS: Table of executives at Northwest Airlines, dressed appropriately, waving laser pointers and cups of Starbucks at each other. SCENE: Harried meeting in a tasteful conference room. This play takes place without an intermission.

CLUELESS IDIOT 1: Okay, people, our customers are leaving us in droves. Seriously, it's like rats deserting a sinking ship out there these days. We've got to come up with a way to reconnect with our customers again, people. How do we do it? What do they want?

CLUELESS IDIOT 2: Oh, oh! How about if we... You know how we got rid of airline meals a long time ago, in our first round of punishing customers for the mistakes we make? And how we just give out pretzels and peanuts now?

CLUELESS IDIOT 1: Yeah?

CLUELESS IDIOT 2: How about if we get rid of the pretzels and peanuts too?

CLUELESS IDIOT 1: I like it! See, this is thinking outside of the box here, people! We need more of this kind of stuff!

CLUELESS IDIOT 3: Ooh, ooh! How about if we... Yeah, if we get rid of all the magazines the customers used to read during the flight? It'll save us $565,000 a year!

CLUELESS IDIOT 1: And how much did the airline lose overall just in the last three months?

CLUELESS IDIOT 3: Um... $458 million.

CLUELESS IDIOT 1: (Dramatic pause) Brilliant! It's gold! What else, people, what else? We're on a roll here!

CLUELESS IDIOT 4: Eek! Eek! I know! We'll charge customers $2 per bag to check them in at the front door, instead of it being the free service it is now!

CLUELESS IDIOT 1: Oh, now, wait, I think that's going a little too far.

CLUELESS IDIOT 4: Sorry, sir.

CLUELESS IDIOT 1: I'm just yanking your chain! I love it! People, if our customers don't come flocking back in droves after we introduce all these ways to just keep screwing them worse and worse and worse for all the mistakes in management and overinflated salaries we clueless, bloodthirsty executives have perpetrated...I don't know WHAT will lure them back! Cigars all around, boys!

ALL: Yay!

BLACK OUT. CURTAIN.

(Thanks for the Associated Press for providing all the facts and figures quoted above. Now playing at the Theatre Building, Friday nights at 9 pm.)