Okay, so after Sunday’s disastrous attempt at a date, I decided I needed to jump back on that proverbial horse, so I sent back a bunch of “I’m interested” responses and, as a result, set up three dates for this week. The first of these was after work yesterday. He’d chosen the venue, a fairly upmarket wine bar with a water view.
We’ll call him Barton. His profile listed him as 47 and ‘slightly overweight’ and he listed flying as his favourite hobby. I have a couple of friends who fly and I love going up with them in their little Cessnas, so that was pretty promising.
He was already there when I arrived and he was BIG. There was nothing at all ‘slightly’ about his overweightness. He wore a business shirt that had rather unfortunate stains under the arms and a tomato-red face that looked like he’d been running, but I really suspect he hadn’t. He was also on the phone and held up one finger at me while he boomed at some hapless soul on the other end, “If this is how you treat your Platinums, I might have to fly with someone else.”
So it transpires that when he put down a hobby of ‘flying’, he meant flying on commercial airlines. It also transpires that the reason he didn’t put down any other hobbies is because he doesn’t have any other hobbies.
“Yes, I’m a frequent flyer. Platinum with Qantas and Virgin and I have Admiral Club and Centurian, and Diamond on other airlines. They greet me by name on eight different airlines you know. I fly every week. One of their most important customers.”
“Oh,” I said, envisaging the poor passengers watching this guy come down the aisle, afraid he’s going to sit next to them and spend the flight oozing into their chair and talking at them in that booming voice.
“This weekend I’m flying from here to Canberra then I’m flying to Hobart via Sydney, then back to Canberra via Melbourne then back here. I get 150 status credits and it only costs me around 30,000 points. I get to go in all the business lounges – much better than the regular lounges.”
Upon questioning as to why he was doing all that flying – for not other reason than to get more miles and status credits. He never visits the destinations he goes to – just the airports. He chose the wine bar because he could get three frequent flyer points for every dollar spent there.
“What status have you got?” he asked me.
“Oh, um, I think I got to silver once,” I said.
“Silver? I thought your profile said you like travelling?”
“I do. This year I’ve been to Malaysia and London and…”
“You can’t travel without status! I could show you how to get up to at least Gold you know. Here….”
What followed was an extremely long-winded, detailed and jaw-droppingly boring plan of applying for credit cards that offered lots of bonus miles and using this card for those purchases and that card for other purchases and only shopping in certain stores and taking convoluted routes every time I fly and looking out for sales and flying for no reason except to get status credits…
Now, I think it’s great when someone is passionate about their hobby, but he didn’t talk about anything else, didn’t ask me anything about myself and only paused to ensure I was suitably and hopefully legs-openedly impressed with his incredible importance.
Also – and this is something I could deal with and work on if the rest of the package was worth it, but it so wasn’t – the unfortunate patches under his arms started spreading and migrating all over his back and down his side into places I didn’t want to imagine.
As soon as I was able to get a word in, I thanked him for his time, left him twenty bucks (check out my good deed – that meant he could pay on his credit card that got him two miles to the dollar or whatever) and made a hasty exit.
Nowhere near as bad as Date 1, but not exactly a success! Next!