feed Subscribe to feed

More travel babble and stupid human tricks…

Posted in Crazy Wisdom on Friday, May 16, 2008 at 12:45 pm by flerly.

Well, I’m home a day early. Once we realized I needed to be in town today for a training session, an already swamped Mary graciously called to have them bump me up to the same Thursday night flight Mac was already taking. Of course neither of us noticed that the confirmation from the travel agency ACTUALLY said the 5pm flight Friday night instead of Thursday, which would mean they moved me to a later flight instead of earlier… But, thankfully, the flight wasn’t full and I was able to sort things out at the airport in person. I had a seat, they checked my bag in, but told me I wouldn’t get a seat assignment until I got to the gate. After security, I walked up to the gate and asked… they wrote 10-B on my ticket, and told me they’d print me a confirmation of my seat number for the flight attendant as I boarded the plane.

Let me back up… Mac “kills” at his training sessions by cracking his joke about his policy of “No agent left behind” as he tells them to stop him if they need to catch up. Everytime I hear it, it makes me cringe, because in my experience, he has lost them because he isn’t paying attention because he is in robotic-training-mode… but the agents laugh, so… it works.

So, back to the airport, the flight is an hour delayed in arriving, but it does finally get there. We’re all starting to stand for the rushed boarding, and Mac asks what zone I’m in. He’s been chatting up some unfortunate woman beside him, so when I say “I have no idea, but it’s an aisle seat so I’ll just wait a bit and let the window folks board” — he and the lady both begin to instruct me as to where on the boarding pass I will find my zone information — because, of course, i’m an idiot who has never flown. I hold up my boarding pass to just show them that there isn’t a zone on it, instead it has the big words “Needs Seat Assignment” and the handwritten 10-B.

Despite our having ALREADY discussed this thoroughly an hour ago, Mac proceeds to freak that I won’t get on the plane because it’s too full. He seems to think I’m on standby or something. The lady he was talking to and myself try to explain to him that seat assignment and standby aren’t the same thing, and seems to understand as we all start to form up at the end of the short line. I hang back and allow a couple folks to slip in between Mac and myself … just to avoid further conversation opportunities, but his chat buddy is still right behind him.

As they scan his boarding pass, he pauses, looks back toward me and shouts across the crowd that if I don’t make it onto the flight, he’ll get back off and stay with me until the next one. To the folks in between us, who see me a mere few people back, already in line, with my boarding pass at the ready, it must seem bizarre to hear that some act of God might prevent my handing my boarding pass to the attendant in a couple moments, so they all turn to look at me. The woman he’d been chatting, however, looks back to me with some sympathy, shrugs toward Mac, has her pass scanned and then proceeds to follow him out to the plane. I mumble to the people around me that if only there were a later flight option today I think I’d jump at the chance to stay and not fly with him, but I guess I ought to just get home.

Amazingly, my boarding pass scans, they hand me a printed receipt saying my seat assignment, and I board without incident in possibly only a fraction longer of an exchange than if my pass had already had the printed seat assignment. Some part of me wishes Mac had been there to witness the event — most of me wishes he was trapped in a bathroom stall missing the flight.

It’s a small commuter plane, so people are slow to stow their bags in the compact storage areas, and having waited until almost the last person to board, I am stuck at the end of a slow moving line of folks in the aisle. Mac is on an aisle seat near the front — I get stuck waiting for someone standing in the aisle RIGHT BESIDE HIM, I nod at him… I am SURE he looks right at me… finally I proceed on by him to my seat further back.

The flight does actually get very full and the attendant fusses over some bags that won’t stuff anyplace, then makes a final check of seatbelts and such. At this point I can see Mac’s balding head twisting around frantically… it seems he didn’t see me get on the plane. He stops the attendent, tells her he needs to unfasten his belt to check to make sure his co-worker made the flight, because he might have to get off the plane… I’m ONLY 4 rows behind him.. also in an aisle seat… on the same side of the plane… close enough to hear all of this. The attendent looks a little frustrated, since we’re already an hour behind, but accomodates him, he stands up… starts scanning the faces behind him in the plane, and it is all I can do not to just duck away and let him get off the fucking plane.

Soon enough, he spots me then loudly announces “I didn’t see you board! I was about to get off the plane and look for you! You know my policy, ‘No Kim left behind!'” He sits back down to refasten, as somehow in this exchange I end up the focus of surrounding folk’s stares. I’m thinking, “Poor incompetent girl who can’t be trusted to board a plane by herself…” Then I see his chat buddy sitting a row back from me at the window on the other side and she is just shaking her head and laughing. She catches my eye and says to me, “He sure does worry an awful lot about you.” I tell her, “lucky me.” I get the impression from her she thinks he is my kindly senile grandfather or something.

The rest of the flight itself is uneventful, but landing in the rain at Hartsfield was fun, especially when we’re in a little sky-hopper that doesn’t fit one of the gangways, so we have to walk down to the wet pavement and through the rain into the building… which is made harder when the doors to the building are all locked. Seriously… locked out of the airport — Mac and a couple folks take off down the side of the terminal building trying to find another set of doors, while I go tell the guy bringing around the planeside valet bags that we’re locked out. He lets us in, I take off, and don’t look back to see if Mac and the others even realize they can now get in.

Yes, I’m such a bitch, but I was tired and once again had exceeded the limits of my Mac tolerance. I proceed to head to the restroom nearest to baggage claim and hide out for a few minutes. By the time I come out, I see our carousel is running, but Mac is still there, whereupon I turn around and duck into a news stand to shop. On the next peek out, the carousel is still running, but most people are gone — so I finally go grab my bag. I was just thankful he wasn’t waiting around to make sure I’d gotten my bag — but maybe he figures I’m okay so long as I’m in the right city.

For the record, Economy parking row 65-D is about as far from the airport terminal as you can park and still be on airport property, so walking it in my skirt and dress shoes, dragging luggage, through puddles in the rain was a fabulous experience that I can’t wait to repeat, and I mean SOON. In fact, who is up for a jaunt around the airport this afternoon? Anyone?

Fuck. All. This. Traveling.

But, you know… as to what I actually did with customers on this trip… I had a fine time. I didn’t sit in on Mac’s training classes and go nuts… I had my own room, my own sessions, and it really is the part of the job that I enjoy the most — meeting people one on one and helping make the product they’re paying for do what they actually want it to be able to do. I think maybe if I could just do these trips alone, this would be a million times less stressful.



  1. muse0fire has made a Comment

    Hey, regarding the parking at the airport – I HIGHLY recommend using the Park&Ride on site. It’s $9 a day. You park, stand next to your car, and a shuttle picks you up immediately and drops you at the airport. When you come home you board the shuttle, give them the little slip of paper denoting the row where you parked, and they drop you off AT your car. No more walking in the rain, no walking alone at night, and even better – no searching for a parking spot (as soon as you pull in they tell you where to park.)

    May 16, 2008 @ 2:00 pm

  2. flerly has made a Comment

    Ya know… I’ve seen that sign and never knew what it cost. Usually I honestly do use these airport trips to get in as much walking as possible, even from terminal to terminal,so I don’t mind parking out in no mans land… but last night in the rain in the wrong shoes sucked — and really, that was just my lack of foresight on the shoes and lack of umbrella.

    May 16, 2008 @ 3:06 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Search this blog