Thanksgiving 2016

So according to a friend, the opposite of thanks” is shanks.” Without further ado, here is my Shanks and Thanks list for 2016.


Shanks for American cancelling round trip mistake fare from San Francisco to Rio de Jeanaro in First for <$600. Big shanks to the DOT who totally rolled over to their corporate lobbyists by suspending enforcement of their fare mistake guidelines. Shanks for protecting industry leaders and not your citizens.

Shanks for T-Mobile’s new user-hostile, anti-net neutrality data plans. Shanks for making Verizon and AT&T the good guys.

Shanks for the corporate-funded, corrupted, unfair election process where my vote counted for a third of those in Wyoming.

Shanks for a poisonous 20+ months of campaigning that made me dislike John Oliver a little bit. How dare you? John is all I have on Sunday nights. Don’t do that to us.

Shanks for shitty wifi. It’s back and it’s worse than ever.

Shanks for Dropbox’s shitty service and for lying about being hacked for FOUR years. Shanks Apple, Google, Box, Microsoft and Dropbox making a solved problem unsolved again. You fixed something that was working just fine.

Shanks to Anthem healthcare plans that make Kevorkian say don’t put my name on that figurative dumpster fire of a policy.”

Shanks to those who stole my personal devices and smashed my Zipcar window last week. You’re making me not want to go back to Target. I love Target. You should be ashamed. It’s not like we don’t know who you are. We have you on tape. What on earth are you going to do with aluminum bricks?

Shanks again to iCloud and Apple ID for continuing to prove that nearly anyone can pull off contacts syncing except Apple. Who thought a rotating cast of 200 external contractors would make such shitty software?

Shanks to Uber and Squarespace who thought that if they just sent back canned responses for each email I’d just give up. Fuck unhelpful canned responses. I pay you money. Read my email first.

Shanks to Allegiant Airlines and the FAA who colluded to ensure that the airline could get away with 4x the in air emergencies and forced landings than any other airlines.

Shanks to those who mention how many illegal immigrants are in this country. Guess what? Fuck you.

Shanks to those who say my homosexuality is a lifestyle. Hot air ballooning is a lifestyle. Being really into jazz music is a lifestyle. Keeping your cell phone on silent is a lifestyle. Following the paleo diet is a lifestyle. I’m just gay. I like guys. It’s not a choice and it sure as shit isn’t a lifestyle.

Shanks to Apple Music who lost my music twice this year. Shanks to Spotify who still haven’t figured out how to even close to properly sync local music. Some of us like Taylor Swift for what it’s worth.

Shanks to politicians who think disenfranchising others is something that should be moral and legal to do. How do you sleep at night knowing that you are making it harder for others to access their rights as citizens?

Shanks to inarticulate people who think that living and breathing give them the right to hurt others and make people feel bad about themselves. Shanks you to hell.

Shanks to rolls of clear packing tape that can’t keep the end from getting impossibly reattached to the roll.

Shanks to drivers who don’t use turn signals. Still.

Shanks to people who choose to not empathize with others. Who never try to put themselves in another person’s situation.

Shanks to corporate executives who invent policies that push American Airlines employees to provide shitty service for the sake of quantified performance improvements.

Shanks to those who say that my free lunch at work is something I cannot complain about. This is literally part of my compensation plan. I get paid less to be given a mandatory thing. A mandatory thing that is full of rubber chicken.

Shanks to gate agents who don’t clear upgrade lists. Shanks to passengers who say Do you know who I am?”

Shanks to Florida for still being a state.

Shanks to those who take up the whole escalator step and get upset when you ask them to step to the side. Also shanks for the groups of people who walk 3+ people abreast on the sidewalks.

Last and probably worst: Shanks to Alaska Air Group for buying and trying to merge Virgin America into Alaska. No one wants this. Enjoy my constant emails, calls, and complaints to the DOJ and DOT.


Despite being cathartic, it might have been a bit of a downer to read a bunch of complaints all in a row. I’ve complied a slightly less terrible list of things that I am grateful for, despite the current circumstances:

Thanks to my new team at Flexport for making me feel at home, making upward professional mobility feel real, and for letting my annoy you all with airline centric facts and stories.

Thanks to Quizlet for introducing me to many of my best friends.

Thanks to Webpass for 3 years of awesome service. Good luck as the new Google Fiber. I can’t wait for gigabit wireless internet everywhere.

Thanks to Homar at American Airlines’s Eagle Nest in LAX for coming onboard to process my upgrade. You’re the best of American.

Thanks to my mentors and friends outside work, you make me feel capable and remind me that I have worth. Thank you Meg and Fang and Christy.

Thanks to Virgin America for being one of the best flight experiences in the industry, and always giving me an invisible microphone to lip-sing your safety dance video. I’m sorry to see you fly into the sunset (not if I and my letters to the DOT/DOJ have anything to do with it!).

Thanks to those who were there to lift me up last week when I went through the election, a breakup, a break-in, and other terribleness.

Thanks to Twitter account bots that post photos of dogs. You have made Twitter tolerable for me.

Thanks to Vice News Tonight, John Oliver, and Gale King for making me want to be part an informed part of this country’s future.

Thanks to Jason Levine for giving us the best designer moment in a long time. (Gather the crowd! Shout it aloud! Creative Cloud!)[]

Thanks to Iliza Shlesinger for making me laugh uncontrollably in the darkness.

Thanks to McMansion Hell for make me laugh uncontrollably in public.

Thanks to Hillary Duff and the Lizzie McGuire Movie for the trip down memory lane.

Thanks to friends who like to build products and dream up companies with me.

Thanks to Zipcar for giving me that suburban fix I need each week — The Cheesecake Factory, Target, Panera, small town mainstreams, large malls, dog parks, and airfield overlooks here I come.

Thanks to Justin Trudeau for being a symbol of greatness. I’m so glad Canada is providing a guiding light to where we should be in 5-7 years.

Thanks to Final Cut Pro X for bringing back to my TV Production roots in a flash.

Thanks for the extended family members that moved to San Francisco and for my sister for providing some sanity on the east coast.

Thanks to everyone for living through my terrible airline anecdotes and nonsense.

Thanks to my favorite authors, podcast makers, and artists who bring beautiful light into world on a regular basis.

Thanks to my grandmother who has brought me so much joy. You are the heart of our family.

Thanks to American, Virgin America, JetBlue, and Delta for helping me experience the miracle of flight this year.

Lastly, but certainly not least, thanks my new housemates for helping me build a home here in San Francisco.

In Conclusion

I’m (kinda) bitter. I’m (mostly) exhausted. I’m (entirely) ready for 2017.

Quintin Carlson Designer, in flight.