Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Blizzards and security breaches

Okay, my bad blogger thing continues. Last week I was on vacation; yesterday I was in transit. I did start an entry last week, and it was irredeemably boring. Consider last week’s inaction a “save” from a boring post.

I am now back into the swing of things after my Christmas holiday. I always try to bank up my vacation days so that I can take a couple of weeks at the end of the year. Happily we have a fairly liberal vacation policy at the office, so that doesn’t mean I’m chained to my desk for the rest of the year; I can still take a few days off here and there. But the big trip is always at Christmas.

Travel karma totally went my way this year. I was scheduled to fly out on a 5 pm flight on December 19. Now, I normally don’t book pm flights in the wintertime; I always try for the first flight out. However, there simply wasn’t one available this year, so I reluctantly took the 5 pm. I wanted it to be that Saturday, rather than wait for Monday, because the closer you get to Christmas the worse the travel conditions become. So, 5 pm the 18th it was. And everything looked completely fine until the Wednesday before, when they started hinting around about snow. I still wasn’t worried. “We may get a flurry or two,” they said. “It depends on how closely it hews to the coast.” Thursday: “Well, we’re probably going to get a bit of a snowstorm.” Friday: “Buy food and blankets and batteries! We’re in for a Nor’Easter!”
I decided, at 1 am Saturday, to see if I could rebook. Delta had helpfully canceled my 5 pm flight and put me on a 1 pm. (though somehow the idea that SOMEHOW THEY SHOULD LET ME KNOW didn’t occur to them.) But the 1 pm went from Newark to Atlanta to Nashville to Salt Lake, which didn’t seem to be the most practical route. So I rebooked online to go, at 8 am, JFK to Chicago to Salt Lake, with a two-hour layover. It was the best we could do, and I was happy to take it. The thing is, by this time it was 2:30 am and I still had crap to do. And by “crap” I mean “pack.” (This does not mean I was procrastinating. Remember, I had thought I had until 5 pm. I was not procrastinating! I was doing other things! And by "other things" I mean "watching Mad Men.") I rushed around and finished everything by 3:30 and got to sleep around 4:15, with the alarm set for 6:00. Yah-hoo. I didn’t sleep much on the first flight (on which they booked me first class, for some reason) and I was just trashed in Chicago. (I expect that by this I join an illustrious list of people who have been trashed in Chicago.) There was a gate area they had cleared of seats, and a few people were flat on the floor there. I walked by a couple of times, staring longingly at prostrate (sleeping) people, and then said, “I have no pride” and joined them, and I slept for an hour and a half on the dirty floor of the Chicago airport. And I would do it again.

I came back yesterday and flew into Newark. My boss was scheduled to return from his vacation, flying into Newark, on Sunday, but they didn’t arrive until 3 am Monday because of the crazy security breach. I had almost scheduled my return flight for Sunday, but didn’t; I figured that Sunday might be one of those awful “everyone’s coming back at the same time” days and Monday might be better. Now, the Good Worker part of me (whether it’s a big or small part of me, I haven’t yet determined) said, Monday is the first day of the work week; I should be back on Monday! I should arrive at the office at 9 am, ready to retackle my job and my life! But I didn’t. On a whim, I decided to give myself that one extra day and fly back on Monday. Oh, how the whim paid off! Thank you, Travel Gods; and Good Worker, go sit in a corner and eat cherry pie with Early To Bed and Regular Gym Goer while I figure out what to do with you.

Of course, this could mean nothing. But I’m taking it as an auspicious sign…a good 2010. How often do Travel Gods rule in your favor? Almost never, I tell you. I should also play the lottery, play in the road and take up smoking, because at the moment odds are in my favor.

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