It was quite a three day trip. I'd flown with the guy before, but it had been a while, and never more than out and back on the same day. All I remembered was that he wore designer frame glasses. Prada.
He looked like a cross between Jon Favreau and one of the annoying husbands from the Real Housewives of New Jersey.
I said hello and extended a hand to shake. He didn't look up. He was in too much of a hurry. For three days he did nothing but hurry, all the while mumbling like he was the last link to Marlon Brando's Godfather. Of course, he's from New York. But moved to Florida. Just like 90% of all people in Florida who aren't Cuban. But, in a rare twist, he actually complained about New York. I think it was for show. If pressed, I'm certain he would extol the virtues of the only city on Earth. The one so many like to praise, after having abandoned it.
So after a minute, he says, "You wanna exchange numbuhs? In case we need to catch up."
No, I thought. What catching up will we have? We're sitting next to each other for the next three days. During which time, he micromanaged to the point, I don't even remember what my responsibilities are anymore. I was apparently too slow, so he pretty well did my job to his satisfaction. All the while he talked about himself. This is a trend I have mixed feelings about. On the one hand, I'ven't the least amount of interest in anything even remotely having to do with your life. Then again, it saves me from having to talk about myself. Not that anyone ever asks. I'm just saying.
One thing I learned was how he wants to buy a $750,000 airplane, because he drives three hours to work, and it would change his life. He had lots of plans for his money. Lots of things he wants to buy. Lots of investments he wants to make. Lots and lots and lots.
And then he told me he is in bankruptcy.
I pictured this...
The best part came on final approach. Its been a tremendously stressful week for everyone at our airline. Come midnight Friday, it could all be over.
He turned to me and said, "It's been a real pleasure working with you. Give my best to your family."
Who he's never met. And never will. God willing.