Thursday, November 10, 2005

Always look on the bright side of life!

Greetings from (finally) sunny Monterey!

I woke up pretty stoked yesterday. Last day of a pretty good conference, enjoy an unscheduled afternoon in Monterey, take myself out for a nice dinner, wake up at Oh-Dark-Hundred and get to the airport, home a-bed Thursday night.

So I headed to the conference email room to print out my boarding pass for the next day. Except it won't log me in. That's odd. Kind of worrying, really. No need to panic, though. I've got like 22 hours to sort it out.

Better check my email receipt to make sure... wuh? Does that say that my 6:15 AM flight on Thursday was actually a 6:15 AM flight on WEDNESDAY?

Yeah, now there's need to panic.

Nonono that's not right I was careful that's not right I thought about this so much I didn't buy the wrong ticket I didn't it must be the computer maybe it'll be different on another one

Oh, dammit.

(In the industry, by the way, this kind of problem has many creative names. One of my favorites is PICNIC: Problem In Chair Not In Computer.)

Now, should this ever happen to you, you need to get to the airport as quickly as humanly possible. I get the impression that the ticket window has a little extra latitude to deal with a panicked passenger who's actually standing there.

That's hard advice to follow when your itinerary is off by 24 hours, though. I drank a dazed cup of coffee and got on the phone with the reservation desk. The lady at America West was very nice, but rather strict about the fact that I'd let the 2-hour window expire (by about 20 minutes), and I'd have to pay the itinerary change fee. (She pinned it on her manager, but I've put plenty of people on hold while I hollered "Hey, Tim, I can tell this guy to drop dead, right?") Then there was the fun of finding seats for me, and calculating the new price of the ticket. And now I'm on the Thursday night redeye.


But the nice thing about doing this at a User Support conference is that everybody is both genuinely sympathetic and professionally trained at talking you down. So, denial, anger, negotiating... acceptance.

I got a free day in Monterey. And yesterday the weather was mostly rainy and crummy, and today looks very nice. I probably wouldn't have stayed out for the last set of the cool blues band last night if I'd had to pack and be up at 5. The folks at the hotel have been nice about arranging a late checkout. I'm having a blast using up the disposable camera I bought.

Yeah, it's not a free day in Monterey, it's a $250 day in Monterey which ends with me sleeping on an airplane. But I'm going to walk around and enjoy it, because I have to. Plus, I can sing and whistle a Monty Python song.


Blogger TeacherRefPoet said...

Not a terrible outcome, except for the money part. I hope you had a fun day in the sun.

12:29 AM, November 11, 2005  
Blogger GrrlScientist said...

That's a large chunk of change! Did you have that much fun?


4:03 PM, November 12, 2005  
Blogger Joe said...

TRP: I kept reminding myself that it was bleak, but not bleaker than bleak.

Hedwig: having already spent the money, I had to. ;-)

6:43 PM, November 12, 2005  

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