So here I am, back in Spokane, sitting downstairs and sipping the crappy (but free) glass of red wine. I am relaxing a bit before I teach my final (let’s say that again FINAL) class of the project I’ve been on since July. Today’s trip was not out of the ordinary in the least, but thinking back, I could’ve been unhappy, cranky, or mad more than once.
Thing is, most of these were my own fault…
First off, I was booked (at my request) on the 5 PM flight. I really hate getting here that late (woulda landed at 6) as by then I would’ve been hungry enough to chew my own arm off. BUT, I was scheduled to teach this afternoon, and the 5 was the only sure way I could do a good job and still get to the airport on time. So no sense getting cranky there, deal with it.
Well the class was cancelled as the only participant (this was a make up class) announced she is retiring didn’t need the class. I still hung out for about 15 minutes to make sure no one else showed up. When no one did, I packed up and was on the road! Cool thing about flying to Spokane is that the flights are hourly. Most times if you get there early, you can get on an earlier plane no charge. Cool, things were looking up.
That is until I got to Wallypark! First off I brain cramped. yesterday I decided I was going to just park at the airport itself since it was only a one day trip, instead of off-site. But a good song came on the radio, I started signing, and ended up at Wallypark instead. (autopilot) Trouble is, the lot was full, only reservations allowed! Cool I have one (been aced out before)! DAMN forgot to print it!! They aren’t sophisticated enough to look up reservations.
Now I knew all of this, as it happened to me once before. That time I had just happened to print it out, and I meant to have printed it this time. I explained this to the lady, fully expecting to be told “Nope we are full!” However, either I looked convincing, or she took pity on me, but after a minute she opened the gate and told me to look on level 3 (someone had just left.)
I could’ve been mad they didn’t have a way to look up the reservation, but hell, I’m the one who forgot to print it, and wasn’t paying attention…. Luckily it worked out well.
Then I got to the airport, and behind a guy at the x ray who was obviously new to travel (older guy). He had stuff piled on top of the lap top in the tray, not enough trays for all his stuff, and extra stuff in his pockets. (How much stuff does one need??) When I am running late, I will tell you true, this would’ve annoy me. Today I was early. I just held back and kept handing him trays until all the crap was ok. He made it through faster, and I earned karma points.
I got through TSA (after the naked picture (I always try to flex and look good)), went to the gate, and got on standby for the 3 PM flight! YAY! Trouble is, there were 10 people ahead of me on stand by BOOOOO! Oh well, I settled back with a book to wait. I had a guaranteed seat at 5, plus there was another flight at 4. Chances were middlin to good that I would at least get on the 4.
Well the flight was called, and I looked at the standby board, they found seats for 7 out of 10, damn! Oh well…. Two other people saw this and took off in a huff (I think to get to the next gate and complain). I, on the other hand, do this flight WAY too often to give up that easy.
And sure enough, they called a name, and no one answered. They waited a minute, then called a second name, again no one answered. I started loading my book and grabbing my stuff, cuz the third name they called was me! “RIGHT HERE!” and off I went. Last person on the plane, and taking off 2 hours early!
Strohlaw: It’s ok to get mad if you get bumped off a the plane you are scheduled for, it is NOT ok to be huffy if you just aren’t lucky enough for an earlier flight.
Now at the Spokane airport, the rental cars are clear on the other side from where Alaska lands. It is honestly, no lie, close to a half mile away. After being cooped up in a crop duster for an hour, I give my legs a good stretch and walk quickly to the rental counters. I also like to be there first so there is no line. (there is a lot of impatient in me)
Editors note: More than once I have had to stop myself from calling out “On You Left!” as I pass slower walkers….”
Well today, I was first in line, got up to the counter, and got…. a trainee on her first day….. UGH!!! We’ve all been there, fumbling with computer, asking questions, takes 3 times as long. Again, I coulda been cross… But we’ve ALL been the new guy and fumbled through it. We’ve all had that jerk on the other side of the counter on the first day who is mad and impatient. And I am a trainer and work with the new kids all the time. It’s my job.
So when she apologized, “No worries, I am early take your time!” It took maybe 5 extra minutes, no big deal. A little patience (which Michelle will tell you is all I have sometimes) goes a long way!
I buzzed into the hotel (Oxford Suites) had my license and credit card out, handed it to Hayden, who informed me “No reservation!”
Um yes there is, I saw email. This time I was starting to get cross. But then she said, “Are you sure it’s not the other location in the Valley?” “DAMN!!!”
A bit of background. I SUCK at booking travel. I have set reservations for the wrong day, wrong month, wrong city…. It ain’t pretty. So my faithful gun toter, girl Friday, and general assistant (Otherwise known as my gorgeous and VERY helpful wife) has taken this over for me.
And before you think it, she booked JUST what I told her. The downtown one is closer to the office, but the valley has nicer people. I remember now having asked for the Valley this time.
You could tell Hayden was hesitant to tell me all this (wrong place) as I am sure it happens a lot, and people get cross. Add to it, the travel dealio we use at work is like Expedia. It’s a third-party that buys rooms, and we rent from them. Which means the reservation could NOT be transferred.
But, as I’ve said throughout, it was my own damn fault for not remembering and NOT looking at the email closer.
So let’s recap, full garage, apparently bumped from the early flight, slow service at the rental counter and wrong hotel… Looking back I really could be mad.
But I scored a spot at the garage and the shuttle was waiting, I DID get on the plane, the rental lady was nice as was trying hard, AND the first hotel let me have a couple of cookies and let me leave the car while I walked into town for some yummy sausage gnocchi!
Let’s hope tomorrow goes well! Thanks for stopping by!