Good Narrative Principles

Sky Captain


AlbertIMG_4729, a seasoned Sky Captain, likes order. He’s come to think of the boarding process as his show and won’t tolerate another colleague’s input. Once the door to the cabin is closed, Albert happily yields control. His colleagues’ bend to his wishes, because he’s that good. They always leave the gate on time. His record of inspiring ordinary passengers to become cardholders because they now understand the advantage of priority seating, is unparalleled. It seems each day he adds a bit more order to the proceedings. Yesterday, for instance, he added a new flourish — namely, sharing percentages and numbers with the passengers waiting to board. He announced the percentage of passengers who have boarded thus far, the number of passengers in the “lesser zones”, the number who have boarded and have yet to board. While he likes to come across as a crisp accountant who puts great stock in numbers, figures and facts, he is fine with bending the truth provided it minimizes chaos. For instance, regardless of reality, he always warns passengers that the flight is over-booked and that overhead storage is in short supply. Then he reminds the passengers that hoisting their bags into these crowded compartments might result in injury. And finally, he offers free check in for carry-ons. He jokes, threatens and cajoles his passengers until a few finally yield to temptation allowing him to stow their luggage below. In this way he avoids the scramble for space for that always unfolds in “steerage.” Somewhere, some day, he is sure that he will conduct the perfect boarding process.

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