October 16th, 1991
35,000 feet, somewhere over America
I’m supposed to be on a flight to Toronto but halfway down the M25, my little red car started making sputtering noises, followed by spurts of loss in power that forced me to drive in the slow lane, resulting in me missing the briefing.
Shelia in crewing, more commonly known as “the most evil of them all,” gave me a right rollicking and said I’d have to “Take the matter up,” with my fleet manager, who, at that very moment, appeared!
“Nice to see you, Karen,” Brianna smiled. “Where are you off to?”
I began to explain my plight, but Shelia interrupted me. “I told her she’d have to see you.”
Brianna looked confused. “Why?”
“Because shewas late.”
“Car troubles can’t be helped,” Brianna shrugged. “I wouldn’t worry too much. I’m sure you have another trip for Karen.”
Shelia drummed her fingers, feigning a sudden bout of hearing loss.
“Is there another trip you can stick Karen on? I’m sure she doesn’t want to hang around here on standby all day.”
“As it happens, I do have something.” I could tell from Shelia’s gleeful tone I was headed somewhere awful. She made sure I was looking at her when she sneered, “Lagos.”
“Lovely,” I lied, my heart sinking. “Thank you, Shelia.” For absolutely nothing!
Stretching her lithe frame over the counter, Brianna pointed to the screen.
“Would you look at that, Shelia,” she said, straightening up. “I’ve been guilty of making the same mistake.”
“Mistake?” Shelia hissed. “What are you on about?”
“L o s and l a x. It’s easy to see why you confused them.”
“But, but-” Shelia stuttered.
“Be sure to let Karen know the details,” Brianna said in an authoritative tone, before turning to leave.
“Bye, Brianna,” I said, not daring to look at Shelia, intently taking out her aggression on the poor, innocent keyboard. “Catch,” she growled, tossing the freshly printed roster in my direction. I grabbed it, gave her my biggest fake smile, turned and uttered, “Los Angeles, here I come!”