EMILY: If you pay for first class and the airline sticks you in coach, people expect you to be upset. No one calls you demanding or unreasonable. And yet here is this woman whom I pay more than she can get anywhere else in Hartford, whose severance package could finance a summer cruise down the Rhine, dragging me into court saying that I was unfair.

The Rhine, the second-longest river in Central and Western Europe, at 1230 km (760 miles). It rises in the Swiss Alps, flows predominantly through Germany, and ends in the Netherlands, where it empties into the North Sea. It has been a vital waterway since the days of the Roman Empire, and cities along it include Basel, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Strasbourg, and Rotterdam.

Cruises down the Rhine are expensive, around $5000 per person for even a modest one. As Emily’s maids never seem to last more than about a week, it seems implausible they could have a generous severance package such as she describes.

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